Cage-the-Jaula: Interpretations and Resignifications of John Cage in Mexico

The Graduate Music Society at BU invites to the Spring Zoom Colloquium Series. Abstract: Mexican artists, writers, and composers were fascinated by John Cage’s philosophy, which became available in Spanish through a myriad of translated texts in circulation from the early 1970s. His visit to Mexico in 1976 fueled this interest, drawing attention from afficionados and sceptics. To composer Mario Lavista (b. 1943), Cage’s visit was an opportunity to develop interdisciplinary projects that would place him at the forefront of Mexico’s experimental scene. A closer look at Lavista’s adoption of Cage’s philosophy allows us to see that, through performative processes of interpretation and resignification, Cage becomes a jaula—a container that, far from being restrictive, allows for multiple permutations. In this lecture, I pay attention to the ways in which Cage’s thought was interpreted by Lavista and his collaborators. Their performative translation of Cage’s aesthetics exposes the complex asymmetries and the shifting conditions of empowerment and disempowerment in experimental practices. Through engaging with processes of cultural crossings and resignifications, Lavista and other composers throughout Latin America shift the center of gravity of modernist discourses and offer counternarrative discourses to the dominant canon, which has been crumbling for quite some time now. Meeting ID: 924 9038 6968, Passcode: 212121.

When 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm on Thursday, February 18, 2021
Contact Name Sebastian Wanumen Jimenez
Contact Email
Contact Organization Graduate Music Society
Fees Free
Speakers Ana R. Alonso-Minutti