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To mark the 50th anniversary of the Fluxus movement, the Graham Foundation is pleased to present The Thousand Symphonies, a seminal work by Fluxus artist Dick Higgins. In 1962, Higgins wrote a series of events called Danger Music, which were designed to alternately put the body of the performer, composer, or audience member at risk. In 1968, he realized one of these pieces by having a New Jersey police officer fire a machine gun at a few hundred sheets of orchestral music paper. An ensemble later played the holes. An act of simultaneous destruction and creation, the gesture emphasized the use of guns for a purpose other than killing Viet Cong and scattering protestors.
Recently, Dennis Rosenthal, the director of Higgins’s estate, arranged with the City of Chicago to have four Chicago Police officers shoot new notation paper. On September 18 at the Graham Foundation, a live orchestra led by Stephen Burns will play the new sheets following the presentation of a short film documenting their creation. The ensemble will borrow the form of Stravinsky's L'histoire du Soldat (The Soldier’s Tale), with instruments from every section of the orchestra, plus electric guitar, which effectively updates the orchestration.
The sheets will be packaged as an edition with the film and a recording by Dennis Rosenthal Fine Art and Galeria Moises Perez de Albeniz.
Special Thanks to the Chicago Police Department and to the Fulcrum Point New Music Project ensemble:
Stephen Burns, artistic director/conductor
Janice Misurell-Mitchell, flute
Lewis Kirk, bassoon
Jim Gailloreto, saxophone
Andy Baker, trombone
Jeff Handley, percussion
Alison Attar, harp
Steve Roberts, electric guitar
Alexander Belavsky, violin
Collins Trier, bass
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