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Spring Symposium on UR and Community Engagement has ended
Tuesday, April 24 • 10:00am - 11:30am
Musical Experimentalism at UNC Asheville, Copernican Music with Black Mountain College Legacy Fellow, Jonathan Keats

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At Black Mountain College in 1952, John Cage staged his first multimedia happening based on chance. Fifty-nine years later, conceptual artist and experimental philosopher Jonathon Keats began a different set of experiments with randomization in art and musical composition. On the surface, the motivations were unrelated. For Cage, chance was a manifestation of I Ching, an undertaking he described as "imitating nature in its manner of operation". Keats, on the other hand, was attempting to foment a Copernican revolution in the arts, which he believed was still Ptolemaic five centuries after Copernicus. One element of his Copernican revolution entailed decomposing music to have the entropy of the universe, initially by randomizing Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier. For all their many differences, there are deep connections between Keats’s project and Cage's in terms of the imitation of nature. In this course inspired by Cage's work at Black Mountain College, Keats has worked closely with UNC Asheville students to take this imitation further. Using resources available in UNCA's STEAM and Bob Moog Studios, students in this class created instruments for a Copernican orchestra at UNCA, for which truly Copernican music has been composed by UNCA students.



Tuesday April 24, 2018 10:00am - 11:30am
018 Lipinski Hall