Plants collected by local children will quite literally be ‘instrumental’ at a concert celebrating American composer, John Cage this Saturday. Composer and educator, Karen Power's novel concept will see nature objects used as instruments as part of an educational workshop for children aged between six and nine years, based on the idea of exploring our sonic environment.
Quiet Music Ensemble’s artistic director, John Godfrey who is conducting the Cage tribute at the Triskel Christchurch from 6pm explains that the children will be collecting sonorous plant materials for use in the concert. “There will be one piece, called Child of Tree, which is played on plant materials and whatever the children collect is what we will use to play it,” says Godfrey. “The children will see the instruments they've collected being used in the concert, and the performers will not know what they are going to play until just a few moments before they have to perform. It should be fun for all concerned.”
Highlighting Cage’s later works to mark the centenary of the composer’s birth, the premise behind the concert is for the audience to draw their own conclusions about his music- from outrageous to contrary or crazy to profound. “I’m looking at Cage’s late pieces for the concert, in the last 20 years of his life from 1972 to 1992. His later pieces are beautiful and gentle and have a meditative experience. Many people would feel like it’s prayer so the Triskel is ideal," highlights Godfrey. “And you’ll never know what will happen exactly. The chords could be played together or at any time. On top of this, some pieces will be played simultaneously with others. As the conductor, I’m putting it together but even I won’t know what will happen. This means that we could suddenly have 10 minutes of silence or we might finish up with an hour to go! It’s all about experimenting. In the end it will be something very unique, never to be repeated. And it will also be unique for every person, depending where they are and what they hear.”
Admission to the Child of Tree concert at the Triskel is free and the event begins at 6pm. It will be recorded for broadcast on Nova, RTÉ Lyric FM’s new music programme presented by Bernard Clarke on Sundays from 9pm.