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A Wrench in the Piano: Saturday, May 25 | 9pm

May 19, 2024

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Second Inversion

John Cage’s prepared piano. Photo by Maggie Molloy.

by Maggie Molloy

John Cage was a composer who threw a wrench in the classical tradition—or at least, a handful of screws and bolts.

While working as a dance accompanist at Cornish College of the Arts here in Seattle, he was tasked with writing music for a dance that had no room on stage for a percussion ensemble. So, he created his own percussion orchestra—inside of a grand piano, by placing screws, bolts, and pieces of rubber on the strings. It’s a musical instrument that requires at least one trip to the hardware store. This Saturday on Second Inversion, we take a peek inside Cage’s prepared piano.

To listen, tune in to Classical KING on Saturday, May 25 at 9pm PT.

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