Avant-garde: John Cage – Ryoanji

Avant-garde 50 is a Spotify playlist that present avant-garde music composed after 1945.

Ryoanji is a piece by John Cage written between 1983 and 1985. It is named after a rock garden in Kyoto Japan. In the garden there are 15 stones placed in white sand. In the score, Cage drew the contour of the stones and directed that it should be played as glissandi. Other then that the piece has a unison played rhythm. The instrumentation both for the glissandi parts and the percussion parts is free.

Ryoan Ji, Kyoto zen garden

Because the score is very free in its directions the performance of the piece is very important. My favorite recording is the Hathut recording from 2011.

Enjoy!

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