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December 5, 2012

TMU to perform concert on Dec. 11


Temporal Mechanics Union, the percussion ensemble resident at Cowley College, will present a tribute to American avant-garde composer John Cage, capping a year-long observance of the 100th anniversary of his birth.  The concert will be held 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, December 11, in the Robert Brown Theatre on the Cowley College campus in Arkansas City.

After their customary program of traditional rhythms, including a collection of dances from West Africa, the ensemble will perform Cage's Rocks. The hand-written score calls for sound sources such as radios, TVs, tape players and “machines emitting fixed sounds” to be played in turn without overlapping.  This is, according to the ensemble’s research, only the third time this piece has been performed since its debut in 1986---the second performance was also by TMU at Playing for Change Day at Cowley this past September.

The concert will conclude with a tribute composition to Cage, entitled "Chance Structures," by TMU’s musical director Chris Mayer. This piece intertwines the two essential but themes of Cage's works: the complexity of formal structure, and the uncertainty of his 'chance operations,’ random events within the parameters of instructions to the performers. This piece also features recitation of passages of Cage's Silence, a collection of essays and lectures on the subject of experimental music, the creative process and musical aesthetics.

For those who can't be in there in person, the concert will be carried live on TMU’s Livestream channel:

Temporal Mechanics Union is an all-ability, community based ensemble. Anyone may join, no matter what his or her previous musical experience. More information on this concert, and on the ensemble, can be found at, or by calling 620-441-5229. TMU also have a YouTube channel and a Facebook page. The members of Temporal Mechanics Union are Mike Fell, Lynne Hunter, Bryan McChesney, and Chris Mayer.