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John Cage's Musicircus @ Melbourne Recital Centre

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by Charlotte Nicdao (subscribe)
I'm a Fitzroy resident (read hipster) that knows about a lot of interesting gigs, delicious cafes, and useless ways to pass time should have been spent productively. Read about the things I'm angry about here:
I always say you're more likely to remember the decision to go to an avant-garde gig, than the decision to spend the time doing almost anything else. How do you think about music? I'll be honest - I've spent a lot of my life, as a music student, being pretty analytical of everything I hear. I mean - everything I hear. But recently I've sort of stopped to smell the daisies (or roses - or whatever it is) a little more - and my reactions to music have been dramatically different. Suddenly pop songs make me feel cheerful rather than sickened, I'm singing along to indie tunes rather than picking them apart, I'm letting myself enjoy the jazz record I put on, rather than whatever the bizarre over-the-top thing I usually do when I listen to jazz is.

This Saturday the 5th of May sees the talented students of the Australian National Academy of Music (or ANAM) join with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra to perform John Cage's Musicircus at the Melbourne Recital Centre. It's a free event that's likely to be one of the most memorable of your week - no matter how you choose to experience it.

Even if you don't recognise avant-garde composer John Cage's name, you're probably vaguely familiar with his work 4'33" in which musicians present an "absence of sound" - i.e. nothing happens for 4 minutes and 33 seconds. Or maybe everything does? If there is such a thing as "nothing happening", his work Musicircus is just the opposite. Essentially consisting of any number of musicians (though it is assumed the more the better) performing anything they like (though in this case I believe we'll be treated mainly to John Cage pieces) in the one space at the one time. The musicians at this particular performance will be positioned in front of the bar and in the foyers as well as in the halls of the Melbourne Recital Centre, and the audience is free to roam and discover. Sounds pretty crazy? But can you imagine anything more exciting? (Okay, yes, I realise I'm getting quite worked up here about a bunch of instrumentalists making a bunch of sounds - but really - how awesome).

The wonderful thing here, is that this work - which I admit could get unpleasant under certain circumstances - is being performed by some of the country's most skilled musicians, both younger and established (also to see some of the country's most skilled musicians, both younger and established, perform on less than mainstream "instruments" such as radios). It's an opportunity to see some really fantastic artists play, and (here, I'd say "best of all", but I really think there are other aspects of this event which top this particular feature - which for a cheapskate like me says a lot) it's free!

Experience something totally unique this weekend.
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Why? Because it'll get you thinking!
When: 5.00pm
Where: Melbourne Recital Centre
Cost: Free
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