September 30, 2011 – January 14, 2012

Opening Reception

Friday, October 7, 2011 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Free for BMCM+AC members + students w/ID, $3 non-members


We need not destroy the past. It is gone. John Cage
Ideas are one thing and what happens is another. John Cage
There is no such thing as an empty space or an empty time. There is always something to see, something to hear. In fact, try as we may to make a silence, we cannot. John Cage


The Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center is pleased to announce theupcoming exhibition, John Cage: A Circle of Influences focusing on the amazing life and work of this artist, musician, composer, philosopher, poet, music theorist and amateur mycologist. The exhibition will open at the museum in downtown Asheville on September 30th with a reception to be held on Oct. 7th in conjunction with ReVIEWING Black Mountain College 3, a weekend gathering of scholars, performers and artists coming to Asheville to present ideas and perform works related to John Cage, undoubtedly one of the most famous and influential figures associated with Black Mountain College. Cage taught at BMC in the summers of 1948 and 1952 and was in residence the summer of 1953.

This exhibition explores multiple aspects of Cage’s work from his important time at Black Mountain College to his later collaborative projects including the Mountain Lake Workshop in Virginia and Crown Point Press and includes some of the unusual materials he used in his work like stones, feathers and a very large custom-made brush along with the oversized trough that held paint.

John Cage (1912-1992) was a man of many interests: music, mushrooms, Zen Buddhism and Eastern Philosophy, visual art and dance. He pioneered the practice of “preparing” the piano by inserting objects into the strings, thereby altering the sound of the instrument in radical ways. He worked collaboratively for many years with choreographer/dancer Merce Cunningham and with fellow musician David Tudor (both of whom were also at Black Mountain College). Cage’s most famous (and infamous) composition is 4’33”, first performed by David Tudor in August of 1952. The piece lasts for precisely 4 minutes and 33 seconds during which time the pianist sits at the piano, consults a stopwatch and turns the pages of a score, but never strikes a note on the piano. This courageously conceptual work confused and outraged audiences and established Cage as an iconoclast and radical thinker. While at Black Mountain College in 1952, he staged the first “Happening” in the United States, a multi-layered performative event that changed modern theater completely.

John Cage’s influence in multiple fields is a reason for his enduring legacy and contemporary relevance. As a musician, composer, philosopher and visual artist Cage’s work continues to inspire others. ReVIEWING Black Mountain College 3 will celebrate this enormously far-reaching influence through a mix of performances and presentations that address the many aspects of this visionary artist and thinker.

The keynote address will be given on Saturday, Oct. 8 from 5:00 – 6:00 p.m by Laura Kuhn, the Executive Director of the John Cage Trust. ReVIEWING Black Mountain College 3 takes place primarily at UNC Asheville with additional locations around town. It is co-sponsored by UNC Asheville and the John Cage Trust.



John’s friend Lou

Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011 – 3:00 pm
John Cage recommended Lou Harrison to Black Mountain College to help his friend recover from the stress of living in NYC. The idyllic setting inspired Lou’s interest in Asian music and sounds. Come explore his exquisite music and more performed by Pan Harmonia director and flutist Kate Steinbeck and percussionist Byron Hedgepeth.
$12 / $10 for for BMCM + AC members / Students FREE
Limited seating


Variations on the Long Note

Saturday, December 3, 2011 8:00 p.m.

This performance will feature seven musicians accompanying the Long Note from the John Cage Halberstadt Project in Germany, based on a piece titled Organ2/ASLSP for organ that Cage wrote in 1985 with the recommendation that it be played as slowly as possible. It began in 2001 and is slated to go on for 639 years ending in 2640.

Performers include: Jason Scott Furr, Ross Gentry, Tom Pazderka, Shane Perlowin, Chandra Shukla and Vincent Wrenn.

$7 / $5 for for BMCM + AC members and students w/ID

The Black Mountain College Museum & Arts Center preserves and continues the unique legacy of educational and artistic innovation of Black Mountain College for public study and enjoyment. We achieve our mission through collection, conservation, and educational activities including exhibitions, publications, and public programs.