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John Cage «Variations VII»
John Cage, «Variations VII», 1966
Photography | ©

John Cage «Variations VII»John Cage «Variations VII»
New York | United States | 18 microphones, 20 radio bandwidths, 2 TV bandwidths, 10 telephone lines, geiger counter, oscillators, pulse generator, 30 photocells and lights | Concept: John Cage

 John Cage
«Variations VII»

For «Variations VII» John Cage wanted to «use sounds available at the time of the performance.» 10 telephone lines were installed in the Armory by New York Telephone Company. He had lines open in various places in New York City including Luchow's, the Aviary, the 14th Street Con Edison electric power station, the ASPCA lost dog kennel, The New York Times press room, and Merce Cunningham’s studio. Magnetic pickups on the telephone receivers fed these sound sources into the sound manipulation system. Cage also had 6 contact microphones on the performing platform itself and 12 contact microphones on household appliances such as a blender, a juicer, a toaster, a fan, etc. He also had 20 radio bands, 2 television bands, and 2 Geiger counters. Oscillators and a pulse generator completed the sound sources. Thirty photocells and lights were, mounted at ankle level around the performance area, which activated the different sound sources as the performers moved around. Cage invited the audience to move around freely and many stood near the performance area.