ONLY CONNECT FESTIVAL OF SOUND 2017
John Cage + Arditti Quartet
Four was written by John Cage (1912-1992) for the Arditti Quartet in 1989. The work is part of Cage's 'number pieces', named after the number of performing musicians, and composed during the last six years of Cage’s life. The vast majority of these works were composed using his time bracket technique: the score consists of short fragments and indications, in minutes and seconds, of when the fragment should start and when it should end.
Widely known for their energetic and technically refined interpretations of contemporary music, the Arditti Quartet has had hundreds of works written for them by pioneers such as John Cage, Elliott Carter, Karlheinz Stockhausen and Iannis Xenakis. The ensemble was founded by first violinist Irvine Arditti in 1974. With a self-proclaimed mission of "attacking the future" they currently cooperate with young, radical composers. The quartet is: Irvine Arditti, Ashot Sarkissjan, Ralf Ehlers and Lucas Fels.
John Cage (1912 – 1992) was an American composer, music theorist, writer, philosopher, and artist. A pioneer of indeterminacy in music, electroacoustic music, and non-standard use of musical instruments, Cage was one of the leading figures of the post-war avant-garde. Critics have lauded him as one of the most influential American composers of the 20th century. Cage is perhaps best known for his 1952 composition 4′33″, which is performed in the absence of deliberate sound; musicians who present the work do nothing aside from being present for the duration specified by the title.