The Perilous Night/Four Walls
Margaret Leng Tan, prepared piano, piano; Joan La Barbara, soprano
Tan brings out the sheer emotional and physical intensity of these works with her sensitive approach and faultless execution. Magnificent and necessary.
--Metro Times, Detroit
"The Perilous Night" was written for the prepared piano, John Cage's now classic invention from the late 1930's, where various objects inserted between the strings of a grand piano act as mutes which completely transform the timbral characteristics of the instrument. "The Perilous Night", one of Cage's more complex preparations, calls for a piano to be heavily muted with materials ranging from the standard bolts, nuts and weather stripping to bamboo slivers.
John Cage has mentioned that the idea for the title, "The Perilous Night", came from Joseph Campbell's recounting of an Irish myth concerning a perilous bed which rested on a floor of polished jasper.
Since 1982, Jasper Johns, a long-time colleague of Cage's, has created a series of "Perilous Night" works all of which contain a page from John Cage's score.
... the revelation of a masterpiece.
--Yorkshire Post UK
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New Albion Records, Inc.