Updated blog is now at Interference Patterns. Sorry for the inconvenience.
History of the Williams Mix
Saturday, March 22, 2003, marks the 50th anniversary of the premiere performance of John Cage's Williams Mix (1951-53) for eight monaural magnetic tapes, the first octophonic tape music composition in the world, created and performed with eight speakers surrounding the audience.
To celebrate this historic piece and its first performance 50 years ago, Austin will create the Williams [re]Mix[...stallation], a continuously performing octophonic sound installation to be installed at Engine 27, implemented with Austin's recently developed Williams [re]Mix[er] (1997-2001), an interactive I Ching composing program. The program, in operation, creates ever-newer versions and realizations of Cage's original work, calling on a recorded sound library of hundreds of sounds. The program's functionality is modeled on the compositional processes used by Cage to create his Williams Mix, these processes extrapolated and applied from Austin's analyses of Cage's 192-page score, his sketches, and the eight monaural, analog tapes for the piece.
From February 14 to March 16, 2003, everyone is invited to upload soundfiles via the web for inclusion in the library to be used during the new multiple Williams [re]Mix[ed] realizations to be played during the installation.
Some good resources
Essay on the aesthetic behind the "silent" composition 4'33"
British composer charged with copyright infringement over silent track
John Cage is one of those figures that generates great love and great hostility. I don't know that I understand but a fragment of what he was all about, but he was a big influence on my work and thinking.