“Motor Vehicle Sundown –
(Event) To John Cage“
George Brecht, USA
Uraufführung, New Jersey, 1960
Performed by the Ensemble „die reihe“
George Brecht (1926 – 2008)
„Motor Vehicle Sundown“ is an event in the public space for motor vehicles.
Auszug aus den Anweisungen:
- Motor Vehicle Sundown is a verbal instruction piece scored for any number of motor vehicles arranged outdoors. For each vehicle, 22 auditory and visual events and 22 pauses are written onto randomly shuffled instruction cards. Beside ‘pause’, the events include: Headlights on and off, Parking lights on and off, sound horn, sound siren, sound bell(s), accelerate motor, radio on and off, strike window with knuckles, open or close door (quickly, with moderate speed, slowly), open or close engine hood, operate special equipment (carousels, ladders, fire hoses with truck-contained pumps and water supply), operate special lights (truck-body, safety, signal, warning, signs, displays). At sundown ‘(relatively dark/open area incident light 2 foot-candles or less)’, the performers arrive at the same time, seat themselves in the cars and start their engines at approximately the same time. They follow the instructions, substituting equipment for that which they do not have, and turn off their engines when they are finished.
George Brecht (August 27, 1926 – December 5, 2008), born George Ellis MacDiarmid, was an American conceptual artist and avant-garde composer as well as a professional chemist who worked as a consultant for companies including Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and Mobil Oil. He was a key member of, and influence on, Fluxus, the international group of avant-garde artists centred around George Maciunas, having been involved with the group from the first performances in Wiesbaden 1962 until Maciunas’ death in 1978.
One of the originators of ‘participatory’ art, in which the artwork can only be experienced by the active involvement of the viewer, he is most famous for his Event Scores such as Drip Music 1962, and is widely seen as an important precursor to conceptual art.
Ensemble “die reihe” Wien
The New Music ensemble “die reihe”, founded in 1958 by Friedrich Cerha and Kurt Schwertsik in Vienna, has since that time offered chamber music programs of all stylistic orientations, serving as champions particularly of the legacy of the Second Viennese School: the works of Schoenberg, Berg, and Webern. Since the early 1960s “die reihe“ has not only presented its own concert series in Vienna but has been invited to the foremost international festivals of avant-garde music: the Berliner Festwochen, Holland Festival, Warsaw Autumn festival, the Styrian Autumn, the biennales of Venice and Zagreb, musica viva München, Neues Werk Hamburg, and Musik der Zeit Köln. Since 1983 HK Gruber has been the Artistic Director of the ensemble, which is comprised of members of the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra.
Numbered among the guests who have collaborated with the orchestra are Dennis Russell Davies, John Cage, Ernst Krenek, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Johannes Kalitzke, Nicholas Cleobury, and Peter Rundel. Soloists have included Edita Gruberova, Alfons and Aloys Kontarsky, Marjana Lipovšek, Maurizio Pollini, Heinrich Schiff, and Wolfgang Schulz