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Performances celebrate John Cage's 100th birthday

John Cage
August 30, 2012

A celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of influential avant-garde composer John Cage is planned for 7:30 p.m., Sept. 5, in the Kiva Lecture Hall on ASU’s West campus, 4701 W. Thunderbird Road in Phoenix. The event is free; visitor parking on campus costs $2 per hour.

The event will feature performances of Cage’s works, including “The City Wear a Slouch Hat,” a radio play that will be performed by four narrators, sound effects artists and the ASU Percussion Ensemble; his infamous piano work “4:33;” and a unique work for five boom boxes titled “Radio Music.”

Also on the program is one of Cage’s “Variations,” performed by students in the interdisciplinary arts and performance (IAP) degree program and led by faculty member Barry Moon. The IAP bachelor’s degree is offered by ASU’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, the core college on the West campus.

Video clips providing insights into Cage’s life and showing him at work also will be part of the evening.

“John Cage is among the most creative and influential artists of the 20th century,” said Arthur Sabatini, an IAP faculty member in New College. “His work and ideas on sound, music, and performance underscore trends in the arts and popular culture today – and they are directly the basis for ASU's IAP program. In fact, the founders of the degree knew and worked with Cage. It is an honor to celebrate his birthday with some fun performances and a chance to eat cake.”

The B.A. degree in interdisciplinary arts and performance is a study of the arts and digital media with an emphasis on 20th and 21st century arts, performance, technology and practice. The program, offered by New College’s School of Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies, encourages practical application of theory and content area knowledge with the integration of skills and performance. IAP courses highlight creativity, innovation, integration and presentation. For more information about the degree program, call 602-543-4444, email, or visit

For more information about the John Cage celebration and other arts events this fall at the West campus, call the arts line at 602-543-2787 or visit