|Leandra Augustin, Alsana Rahaman, and Judit Mathew|
In addition to their "rock drawings," the students listened to recordings of Cage's music and watched films about his life (sending special thanks to Brian Brandt/Mode Records). They also wrote mesostic poems using the 50% rule on the string JOHNCAGE. The poems came neatly bound in a little book, and without exception are incredibly beautiful. Here are two, selected at random:
junk fOod makes
but, Go out
and Enjoy mushrooms!
(Judit Mathews & Leandra Augustin)
Jumbled sentences that i
struggle tO understand - i begin to
tHink that his thoughts are
somewhere iN neverland, trapped in his
own enClosure. struggling to
escApe reality, to some, his
poems are just a Gag. but
othErs find them not too bad.
(Transcribing mesostic poetry into Blogger is an exercise in near futility. I assure you theirs were letter perfect, if mine haven't fared so well!)
~They also wrote me letters, all 29 of them, sharing a bit about themselves, their experiences with their projects, and finishing up with a few words about their overall impressions of John Cage:
"I enjoy reading through his history. One thing I know about him that he would never give up of what people say about him. I am really thankful that we were learning about him." (Trizhel Amon)
"I found that John Cage's art was interesting and kind of hard. I hope to learn more about Cage's beautiful and strange art." (Joseph Kalavi)
"I think that John Cage is an interesting guy because of how he looks at the world. I want to read more of his mesostic writings." (Ivan Evangelista)
"I think Cage was a very creative man. But what he called music: I found that quite weird. It sounded as if someone was screaming in my ear. The only music I liked of his was the prepared piano. It sounded very nice. I also enjoyed his mesostic poems and the way he painted." (Sharon Peterson)
"I find John Cage's work very interesting and I agree with him that all sounds in the world are music." (Isaac Rebello)
"I think that John Cage was an interesting man whose music is difficult to understand." (Nikko Eichler)
"If someone came up to me and asked me who John Cage was and what I thought of him, I would say that he was a poet and musician of sorts, some might say a chip off the old block. But I think he was a brand new block, different from anything else." (Benjamin Urquhart)
"The music sounded awful and it displeased my ears. If I were a bit older I think I might have liked it." (Ivan Harris)
"We learned that John Cage was a determined man, and kept doing what he liked even though people rejected him." (Mary Aguilar)
"My personal opinion of John Cage is that to say he was a free spirit wasn't enough, he's a pioneer in the way he thought about art, and created a new medium of art. I might not be the biggest fan of Cage, but I respect him as a person, and as a star." (Aidan Samasoni-Tukuitonga)
Barry Moffatt, their teacher, is an equally interesting fellow. Here he is outside Vesuvio's in San Francisco, a favorite travel destination.
|Hasley Stephens, Gadesvy Andrades, Joelle Moriah Reid, and Edgar Varona|
Thank you one and all* for sharing your wonderful work.