John Cage Centennial Cookbook

@ 8:00pm

This fall Western Front New Music marks composer John Cage’s 100th birthday with a celebratory performance featuring sound, silence, food and film, “As Slow As Possible”, with special guests Robin Hayward (microtonal tuba) and Christopher Williams (contrabass).

8:00pm Concert
Door: $5

Entrance includes a tasty treat of Marvelous Mushrooms, John Cage’s favourite food.

Radio Music

Cage’s 1956 work “Radio Music”, is written for multiple parts ‘playing’ the volume and tuning controls of AM radios. Cage provides the players with a list of frequencies to be tuned to in sequence, while also controlling the volume of the radio. The audience hears rhythmic patterns of static, voice, and music as the players tune into and out of different stations, with unpredictable, humorous, or dramatic results.

Arcanum 17

Reidemeister Move is Christopher Williams and Robin Hayward, a duo dedicated to exploring and expanding the possibilities of sustained-tone music in just intonation for their instruments. Hayward’s microtonal tuba designed and developed together with the instrument manufacturers B&S, and Williams’ previous work with Charles Curtis and LaMonte Young’s legendary Theatre of Eternal Music, provide the backbone for a performance practice based on purely tuned intervals, noise, corporeal rhythms, and spatial resonance.

Their contribution to Cage’s celebration will feature “Arcanum 17″, a new multimedia performative installation created by Christopher Williams and Charlie Morrow after texts by André Breton.

More information available here


As Slow As Possible
9:15 pm Screening FREE

As Slow As Possible, a film directed by Scott Smith, documents Vancouver writer Ryan Knighton’s travel to Halberstadt, Germany for an event in the world’s largest musical performance—a Cage piece projected to last 600 years.


Radio Music Workshop
September 5th, 7pm-10pm

In this three-hour session, participants are encouraged to try different interpretations and approaches to “Radio Music”, concluding in a public performance on September 6th. The workshops will be facilitated by Robin Hayward and Christopher Williams.

“Radio Music” reflects a pragmatic, democratized approach to creativity typical of Cage’s work. The piece uses a complex compositional structure, but can be performed without any formal musical training, effectively demystifying the creative process behind an avant-garde work. Bring your own radio.

Register for the workshop by emailing

Artists for John Cage Centennial Cookbook

Christopher Williams

Christopher Williams is a Berlin-based composer, contrabassist, organizer, and researcher originally from San Diego (California), where he studied at the University of California with Chaya Czernowin, Bertram Turetzky, Charles Curtis, and others.  He is currently completing a PhD at the University of Leiden (Holland) under the supervision of Richard Barrett and Marcel Cobussen on the subject of notation for improvisers.

He has performed with Derek Bailey, Justin Bennett, Charles Curtis, LaMonte Young’s Theatre of Eternal Music, Robin Hayward, Hans W. Koch, Maggie Nicols, and dancer Martin Sonderkamp, as well as collaborated with composers such as Chris Adler, Benjamin Carson, Yoav Pasovsky, Benjamin Patterson, Ana-Maria Rodriguez, Marc Sabat, James Saunders, and Erik Ulman.  Current projects include COG, with drummer Andrea Belfi and Atari ST player Nat Fowler; and Nidus Nodus, a phonographic project with members of French collective Ouïe/Dire and woodwind performer Chris Heenan.

Williams’ compositions include conventionally notated chamber music, radio art, and collaborations with dancers and other improvisers.  Performers include ensemble chronophonie, Patrick Crossland, Ferran Fages, Mary Oliver and Rozemarie Heggen, Barbara Held, trigger ensemble für aktuelle musik, NOISE Ensemble, and Sabine Vogel.  His work with visual artist Tanja Smit has been shown at the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art, and his radio work has been broadcast on VPRO Radio 6 (Holland).

His publications on experimental music have appeared in Open Space Magazine, The Improvisor, and Critical Studies in Improvisation, and he has presented at conferences and universities in Europe, the US, and India.  Williams has been the curator of over 70 concerts of contemporary and experimental music in Barcelona between 2003-2009 with Associació Musical l’Embut, and currently of Certain Sundays, a monthly salon in Berlin.

Robin Hayward

The tuba player and composer Robin Hayward, born in Brighton, England in 1969, has been based in Berlin since 1998. He has redefined the tuba’s potential both in the areas of noise and microtonality, and his compositions for other instruments reflect a similar experimental, medium-specific approach. He has toured extensively both solo and in collaboration, and been featured in such festivals as Maerzmusik, Fri Resonans, Donaueschingen, TRANSIT festival, Ghent Festival of Flanders, Ostrava New Music Days, Sound Symposium, Kiele Tage fur Neue Musik and Wien Modern. Collaborations include such luminaries as Charles Curtis and Roberto Fabbriciani along with leading composers such as Christian Wolff and Alvin Lucier. His approach to the tuba has been documented in the solo CDs Valve Division and States of Rushing, as well as various collaborative releases. In 2005 he founded the ensemble Zinc & Copper Works to explore brass chamber music from an experimental music perspective.

In 2009 Robin Hayward developed the first fully microtonal tuba together with the music instrument manufacturers B&S, and in 2011 published an extensive article on this new tuba in the Galpin Society Journal, tracing its history back to the original tuba patent of 1835. He has lectured at such institutions as Stuttgart Musikhochschule, the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, UDK Berlin, Dartmouth College and Wesleyan University, and is currently doing a doctorate on the acoustics of the recently developed microtonal tuba at the Technical University in Berlin.

Charlie Morrow 

Charlie Morrow (b. 1942 in Newark, New Jersey, USA), is a conceptualist whose music and sound work explores many styles and forms, from events for media and public spaces to commercial soundtracks, new media productions, museum installations and programming for broadcast and festivals. Assembling expert project groups, Morrow employs a collaborative style that fuses arts, artists, and environment. Technological expertise creates the basis for much of his work, which often combines newest and oldest technologies.

Throughout his career, Morrow has sought to bring experimental sound and music to a wider audience. His works have ranged from massive free public events, such as Toot’N Blink for Chicago’s Lake Michigan and Fanfare in the Air for New York Harbor to innovative installations for the world’s leading institutions, including the Kennedy Space Center, the Empire State Building, and the American Museum of Natural History.

Taking sound to the next level, Morrow most recently created MorrowSound, a state-of-the-art technology at the forefront of the rapidly-expanding field of 3D sound. The first technology to use a real sound source, MorrowSound projects sound above and below the listening plane, creating the illusion of an expanded space where sound moves up, down and around. It has been showcased at major venues and events around the world, including the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, the 2006 Torino Winter Olympics, and 2009 Design Week Helsinki.

A prolific composer, Morrow’s numerous credits include a Cannes Awards-winning campaign for Diet Coke and the feature film soundtracks for Moonwalk 1 and Altered States.

Scott Smith

Born in Edmonton, Alberta, and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia, Scott is a graduate of the film program at Simon Fraser University (1994), and in 1995 was invited to attend the Canadian Film Centre as a Director Resident. His resulting short film, Sshhh, was screened at several international festivals and won the prize for Best Short Film at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival in the Czech Republic. In 1997, Sshhh was nominated by the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television for a Genie Award for Best Live Action Short.

As Slow as Possible marks Scott’s first foray into feature documentary. It combines his first love of camera with an interest in following real characters into real situations. Scott continues to develop both drama and documentary projects through his production company Giraffe Productions.

Ryan Knighton

Ryan Knighton was born on September 19, 1972, in Langley, British Columbia. On his eighteenth birthday, Knighton was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa (RP), a congenital disease marked by a progressive pathology of night-blindness, tunnel vision and eventually total blindness.

In 1995 he completed a B.A. (Honours) in English at Simon Fraser University. Abandoning graduate studies, he moved to South Korea and became one of the country’s many poverty jetset English teachers (a bad one, too).

When he returned to Canada, Knighton resumed his MA, again at SFU, and completed it in 1998. In 2001, Anvil Press published his first book, Swing in the Hollow. The following year he co-authored Cars with George Bowering, Canada’s first poet laureate (Coach House Books). Since then, Knighton has written numerous satirical and comic essays for The Globe and Mail, The Vancouver Sun, the Montreal Gazette, and for such popular magazines as Self, The Utne Reader, Saturday Night and Geist. He has also contributed to CBC radio’s celebrated pop-culture show, “Definitely Not the Opera”, writing and performing radio monologues and documentaries. His darkly comic memoir 
about going blind, entitled Cockeyed, was released in April 2006 by Penguin Books

For more information:


Thanks to Hamber Foundation