Cage at the Hammer    

On 2 December 2012, members of the Vir2Ual Cage team performed Song Books at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles during a day-long conference on John Cage’s legacy, sponsored by the Herb Alpert School of Music at UCLA. The city associated most often with Cage is probably New York, where he lived for nearly five decades and created most of his work. But he was born in downtown Los Angeles, graduated as a valedictorian from Los Angeles High School, lived in Long Beach and Santa Monica, and attended Pomona College in Claremont. His early career included a stint at UCLA, where during the 1930s he studied with Arnold Schoenberg, worked as a dance accompanist, taught a course, and began experimenting with unorthodox instruments. Click here to see an interactive timeline of Cage’s history in Los Angeles, including several rare photos. Performing a 50-minute rendition of Song Books on a rainy afternoon in the Hammer Courtyard were vocalist and UCLA musicology professor Nina Eidsheim, Vir2Ual Cage colleagues Paul Berkolds, Jacqueline Bobak, and Mark Bobak, and CalArts graduate students Katie Gardner and Kirsten Ashley Wiest. 

Photos by Mark Bobak