John Cage: STEPS + Fontana Radif

John Cage’s STEPS: A Composition for a Painting to be Performed by Individuals or Groups (1989) receives a rare performance and Seattle premiere thanks to important performance notes provided by Ray Kass and the Mountain Lake Workshop where Cage created the original realization in 1989. This performance of STEPS is a collaboration of Seattle artists Jarrad Powell, Beth Graczyk and Robert Campbell, with assistance from Reilly Sinanan, Danielle Allinice, Matthew Matsuda, and dancers Corrie Befort, Shannon Stewart, Alia Swersky, Mary Margaret Moore.

Fontana Radif, created and performed by Jessika Kenney, is a vocal realization of Cage’s graphic score Fontana Mix. Cage originally used Fontana Mix in 1958 to create a tape piece of the same name, but subsequently used the score to create several other pieces. Here Cage’s score provides a lens through which to experience in a new way the memory and practice of the classical Persian musical system known as radif or “row,” consisting of over a hundred melodic patterns which express and symbolize an ancient tradition of the art of mode and melody.