Cue From Cage: Designing ‘Ragaslendro’
Keywords:John Cage, ragaslendro, oriental philosophies, raga, gamelan
Asian cultures and aesthetics of music and music making were significant influences on Cage’s ideas on indeterminacy and chance-controlled music. His interest in Indian philosophy and Zen Buddhism in the late 1940s paved the way for his creative output a decade later. It also changed the way in which music composition is perceived, constructed and received, influencing the direction and craft of new music. Drawing common ground with Cage, this paper reflects on how the author embraces oriental philosophies in her compositional approach. Applying practice-led methodology, it extrapolates the manner in which elements of Hindustani and gamelan music have been applied in the creation of ‘Ragaslendro’, a work which has lent itself to multiple transformations in different performance settings in (re)presenting time, space and musical shape.