Guitarist Lee Ranaldo, an alum of XPo Fest ’12 and a founding member of Sonic Youth, performed a program of John Cage pieces last night as part of the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Dancing Around the Bride exhibition. On display since the fall, the interdisciplinary exhibit celebrates the work and interactions of 20th century artists Cage, Marcel Duchamp, Merce Cunningham, Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg.
Ranaldo has long drawn influence from Cage – read Elliott Sharp’s interview with him here – and last night performed several abstract guitar pieces while dancers from Cunningham’s dance company performed on the stage in front of him. The sound was imaginative and somewhat mystical, mixing in audio from radio and a player piano with Ranaldo’s exhilarating guitar work. He suspended his guitar from the ceiling and played it with a bow, waved it atop his upturned guitar amplifier, swung it like a propeller around the room and allowed the air and motion the shape the sound how it would. Ranaldo performs again today and tomorrow, beginning at 1 p.m.; more information can be found at the museum’s website.
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