The audacious 20-member Alarm Will Sound ensemble celebrates the John Cage centennial and closes this summer’s River to River Festival with a new multimedia production of the work that brought them together a dozen years ago at the Eastman School of Music. Satie meets Thoreau in Cage’s 1970 magnum opus Song Books, whose 89 pieces combine voices, instruments, electronics, and theatrics into a serendipitous sonic circus. Random objects—flowers, a typewriter, a map of Concord, Massachusetts—manifest ideas by the likes of Marshall McLuhan, Marcel Duchamp, and Norman O. Brown in I Ching–informed chance operations. The Alarmists will take their cues from Cage’s dots, lines, and various size fonts and follow directions—such as “Perform a disciplined action”—anticipating Brian Eno’s Oblique Strategies and other uncaged dada antics.
Sun., July 15, 7:30 p.m., 2012