David Tudor

David Tudor with materials for a realization of John Cage’s Cartridge Music at the Capitol Records studio in New York, ca 1962
© Earle Brown Music Foundation, http://www.earle-brown.org/ Photograph by Earle Brown.


An interview with John Cage & David Tudor for KPFA radio, conducted in French and English. This interview was recorded on May 29, 1972, a time at which both John Cage and David Tudor were on a European tour featuring performances in London, Bremen, Paris and other European cities.

David Tudor and John Cage in Japan, 1962. Photographer unknown.

“Being an instrumentalist carries with it the job of making certain physical preparations for the next instant, so I had to learn to put myself in the right frame of mind. I had to learn how to be able to cancel my consciousness of any previous moment in order to be able to produce the next one…”

David Tudor quoted in Kuivila, 1999.

David Tudor’s ‘Reunion’ premiere in 1968.
Marcel Duchamp Teeny Duchamp and John Cage playing chess
© Shigeko Kubota/ courtesy of Maya Stendhal Gallery , New York.

In 1973 I made “Rainforest IV” where the objects that the sounds are sent through are very large so that they have their own presence in space. I mean, they actually sound locally in the space where they are hanging as well as being supplemented by a loudspeaker system. The idea is that if you send sound through materials, the resonant nodes of the materials are released and those can be picked up by contact microphones or phono cartridges and those have a different kind of sound than the object does when you listen to it very close where it’s hanging. It becomes like a reflection and it makes, I thought, quite a harmonious and beautiful atmosphere, because wherever you move in the room, you have reminiscences of something you have heard at some other point in the space. It’s (can be) a large group piece actually, any number of people can participate in it. It’s important that each person makes their own sculpture, decides how to program it, and performs it themselves.

An Interview with David Tudor by Teddy Hultberg in Dusseldorf, May 17-18, 1988

Sliding Pitches In The Rainforest In The Field: Rainforest Version IV(1973)   (51:58)
an electro-acoustic environment.

Further reading
David Tudor papers and related collections at the Getty Research Institute – here
A biography of David Tudor at the Lovely Music label – here
Presenting David Tudor, a conversation with Bruce Duffie on April 7th, 1986 – here
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This entry was posted in Composers, Indeterminacy, Performance, Sound Art, Sound Installation and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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