‘Six Melodies’ Published by Edition Peters!
Aaron’s Arrangement of ‘Six Melodies’ for violin & guitar by John Cage is now published and available through Edition Peters!
Written in 1955 and originally for violin and keyboard, Aaron’s arrangement is the first John Cage composition featuring the guitar to be published by Editions Peters, the official publisher of the music of John Cage.
For those not experienced in the early writing of John Cage, the Six Melodies are a wonderful introduction to a vibrant musical mind whose influence cannot be underestimated. The Six Melodies are quite approachable and audience friendly though their ability to transport listeners to other realms must be considered when programming. The arrangement explores and expands on the timbre (color) qualities of the guitar in place of the keyboard, and the guitar’s more intimate sound compliments the unique violin playing for a truly complimentary duo. Music progressions and hierarchy of pitches take a backseat to an expansive exploration of timbre and rhythm.
During this period of his composition, John Cage was greatly influenced by the I-Ching, Book of Changes, creating many works based on ‘chance-operations’ during the composing process. The influence of Asian music through rhythm patterns can be heard with the works written in rhythmic structures: 3½, 3½, 4, 4, 3, 4.
The work is not easy for violin with many harmonics and jumps due to the exact string indications given. Cage also asks for no vibrato and minimum weight on the bow. The guitar part is somewhat demanding with a few unusual chords, timbre directions and counting. As a duo there are some wonderful hockets especially in Melodies 3 and 4.
A recording of ‘Six Melodies’ is being planned for 2016-2017. Special thanks to Stephen Drury for the idea of this arrangement and to Sharan Leventhal in giving the first performance at the Boston Conservatory in 2012.
The score is available for purchase through the Edition Peters website: http://goo.gl/Lj3L8g
For those who do perform or hear it live, please let me know by commenting on this post or via my Facebook page: www.Facebook.com/aaronlcguitar