john cage

Song Books


2CD digipack + 24 page booklet
(including photos, scores and exclusive texts)


The human voice is a magical instrument and John Cage's gargantuan opus, Song Books (Solos for Voice 3-92), is a magnificent homage. These performances by Lore Lixenberg, Gregory Rose, and Robert Worby are a stunning achievement, and this first complete recording makes a welcome (and long overdue) addition to the ever-expanding catalog of Cage's recorded works.
Laura Kuhn - The John Cage Trust

This year, 2012, John Cage would have been 100 years old. He defined experimental music in the 1930s and, since that time, his ideas, his music and his work have been copied by hundreds of other composers and musicians time and time and time again. Anybody who claims to make experimental music today has to acknowledge their debt to him.
Performed by Loré Lixenberg and Gregory Rose / vocalists, Robert Worby electronics

Song Books is a collection of 90 'Solos for Voice' that Cage composed in 1970. As a theme, he took a line from his diaries: 'We connect Satie with Thoreau'. Satie being the eccentric French composer Erik Satie, whom Cage greatly admired. And Thoreau, the American writer who lived alone in the woods writing about nature and his own type of anarchy.
Any number of the Solos may be performed by any number of people, in any order, selected by chance operations. Songs and theatre and electronics mash up Fluxus-like food events, amplified board games, electroacoustic voices, 'animal heads' and intense feedback. Cage says that 'a virtuoso performance will include a wide variety of styles of singing and vocal production.'

This is the first ever recording of all of the Solos for Voice contained in Song Books.

" ... to consider the Song Books as a work of art is nearly impossible. Who would dare? It resembles a brothel, doesn't it?" John Cage




CD 1
01 Solo for Voice No.17 4'00
02 Solo for Voice No.20 1'46
03 Song Books Mix 1 12'24
04 Solo for Voice No.65 4'36
05 Solo for Voice No.4 1'42
06 Song Books Mix 6 19'14
07 Solo for Voice No.3 2'37
08 Solo for Voice No.11 4'49
09 Song Books Mix 7 9'34
10 Solo for Voice No.79 3'30
11 Song Books Mix 3 14'28

CD 2
01 Solo for Voice No.47 3'13
02 Solo for Voice No.91 7'52
03 Song Books Mix 5 6'47
04 Solo for Voice No.5 9'04
05 Solo for Voice Mix 4 11'25
06 Song Books No.67 2'30
07 Solo for Voice No.21 0'45
08 Solo for Voice No.70 5'11
09 Song Books No.90 3'25
10 Song Books Mix 2 22'54