Press information - March 1, 2013


CAGE100 goes global -


LEIPZIG: In a few days the international concert series Water Music Project starts to present the music of John Cage in a very special way. The project is part of the large festival CAGE100 that is initiated by the Forum of Contemporary Music Leipzig [FZML] and inhabits more than 100 international events in one year. Today the press conference took place. The artistic director of the FZML Thomas Christoph Heyde and Dr. Gabriele Goldfuß, head of the Department of Internationale Relations of the city of Leipzig, presented the Water Music Project to the public.

Played by 9 pianists Cages early performance piece »Water Music« will be heard in 9 cities in 9 countries from the 8th to the 22nd March. Each of the concerts will be recorded and streamed live or within 24 hours on the web page of the festival. The Water Music Project, as Thomas Heyde says: »marks the beginning of the second and international part of the entire festival CAGE100, the worlds largest and longest honor of the composer John Cage.« Due to the support of the Department of International Relations 9 sister cities of the city of Leipzig could be won as performance venues. They are spread from Leipzig to all over Europe and even to the African continent.

Participating cities are Travnik [Bosnia and Herzegovina], Kiev [Ukraine], Brno [Czech Republic], Thessaloniki [Greece], Birmingham [England] and Addis Ababa [Ethiopia], Lyon [France] and Bologna [Italy]. In Leipzig the performance will take place within the famous book fair in front of a large audience. Immediately after this concert the performance from Lyon will be presented on the same stage via Livestreaming. Mrs. Goldfuß emphasized that she was thrilled by the project from the beginning: »It underlines Leipzig's role as a music city in the world in a very special and unique way.«

Sebastian Vaske, dramaturg and coordinator of the project accentuated during the conversation that »Water Music« is not only a spectacular extraordinary audible experience for the audience but also a visual highlight because of two important aspects. First of all the score has to be presented at a place where it can be seen completely by the audience and the pianist and furthermore the piano has to be prepared during the concert, water bowls are filled and emptied again, the pianist also plays lots of different whistles and even a card deck is thrown into the instrument. At last the pianist has to use a radio during the performance via tuning it from one frequency to another.

This virtuosic performance is a challenge for each instrumentalist as Sebastian Vaske explained: »The tones and actions have to be done during time periods of milliseconds.« Another special feature of »Water Music« is that its title is changing depending on the place and the venue where it is performed. So each concert is unique and because of the local differences you will never exactly know what to expect.

After all the concerts have taken place all the streams will be available on Then each user will be able to play each concert stream alone or together with all the others. In this way each listener can compose his own individual multiphonic sound event consisting of all the single piano performances in the world – exactly what Cage would have wished!


March 8 Musikschule Travnik [Travnik]
Darius Dujmusic
March 10   Goethe-Institut Ukraine [Kiew]
Alexey Shmurak
March 11   Villa Tugendhat [Brünn]
Jaroslav Šťastný
March 13 Thessaloniki Concert Hall [Thessaloniki]
Rigas Karagiannis
March 14 Ikon Gallery [Birmingham]
Christopher Hobbs
March 14 Yared School of Music [Addis Abeba]
Girma Yifrashewa
March 15   Leipzig Book Fair [Leipzig]
Jan Gerdes
March 15  Conservatoire de Lyon [Lyon]
Manuel Schweizer
March 22  Teatro Comunale [Bologna]
Giancarlo Cardini



»Water Music« was composed in spring 1952 and premiered by David Tudor in May 1952. The piece is one of the first performance works of John Cage. As in many of his pieces Cage does not divide the music into bars and measures but he gives a timeline as orientation for playing.