John Cage – Quartet (1. Moderate) To test extension
John Cage is, unfairly but inevitably, most closely associated with his 1952 composition 4’33”, which is performed in the absence of deliberate sound. But his achievements as an avant-garde composer and theorist extend well beyond the the thick end of five minute’s-worth of non-participation by musicians.
Some of his more fundamental ideas of indeterminant and aleatoric music are demonstrated in this piece – and, as an examination of your system’s high-frequency extension, it’s as useful as it is challenging. Built exclusively from percussive hits, clangs, strikes and clonks, it not only tests your set-up’s ability to reach up towards the limits of human hearing but also your hearing’s ability to tolerate five minutes'-worth of unpredictable repetition.
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