Sound Projection

John Cage: Diary

MON 23 Mar 2015, 15:30-23:30



© Christian Gahl

Past Dates

“Diary: How to Improve the World (You Will Only Make Matters Worse)” is among legendary artist, thinker and composer John Cage’s large-scale, unfinished projects. A mosaic of ideas, observations, statements and short stories, three decades of history are reviewed in Cage’s six-hour self-spoken text composition. This unique document can be experienced in the Liquidrom’s cupola hall, which opens the spirit and expands the senses.

Cage wrote about his project: “I began the Diary optimistically in 1965 to celebrate the work of R. Buckminster Fuller, his concern for human needs and world resources, his comprehensive scientific designs for making life on earth an unequivocal success, his insistence that problem solving be continuously regenerative … This text is a mosaic of ideas, statements, words and stories. It is also a diary. For each day, I determined by chance operations how many parts of the mosaic I would write and how many words there would be in each. The number of words per day was to equal, or by the last statement written, to exceed one hundred words.”

During the recording in the studio each change of typography in the printed text of the “Diary” corresponded to a change in the stereophonic position and a simultaneous change in the volume of John Cage’s voice. Each of these changes was determined by a random process brought about with the help of the old Chinese oracle book “I Ching”.

John Cage
Diary: How To Improve The World (You Will Only Make Matters Worse) (1965-1991)
Sound projection

John Cage, text and voice
Klaus Schöning, producer
Etienne Bron, sound direction

In cooperation with Liquidrom