Six performers from The Boston Conservatory (Andrew O’Shanick, Lauren Cook, Natalie Logan, Tzytle Steinman, Rachel Barg, Simon Dyer) create a unique and exciting happening of John Cage’s large collection Song Books in the MFA’s Chinese Galleries. Heavily influenced by the Chinese divination text the I-Ching, which he was given in late 1950, Cage produced many works in his life that were largely chance based.

The collection consists of songs 3-92, each of which fall under one of four categories; song, theatre, song with electronics, and theatre with electronics. Cage asks the audience and performers to liberate themselves from the pressures of likes and dislikes and purely experience with an explorative mind.

By the use of chance operations to determine every possible indeterminate outcome, the performers will create a happening, responding to the magical surroundings of the MFA, that is not just musically stimulating, but also theatrically. Observers are invited to meander through the performance and engage with as many or as few moments and performers as they wish and experience this rarely immersive work first hand.

This event is free with admission. Admission to the MFA is by donation only after 4pm on Wednesdays.

Above: Oscar Mestey-Villamil, En ocasión del 70 cumpleaños de John Cage, 1985 (Poster proof), 1985. 2000.594. Silkscreen, proof before title. Gift of Efraín Barradas in honor of Luis Aponte-Parés. © Oscar Mestey-Villamil.