• Why Teeny’s Hair?


    I don’t remember quite when I stumbled upon the chord sequence that constitutes the structure of this song, but it was long before I found an appropriate theme to write the lyrics around. There is an O. Henry "Gift of the Magi" quality to Teeny Duchamp’s donation of her beautiful tresses to the construction of her husband’s creation.

  • Flag of Ecstasy


    Charles Henri Ford (1913-2002) was a 20th century Renaissance man, admired for his literary criticism, editing and publishing, poetry, photography, film making, and visual art. “Flag of Ecstasy”, written for Duchamp, was the title poem of his 1972 poetry collection for Black Sparrow Press. Ford was at the epicenter of the art world co-authored and influenced by Duchamp.

  • Chance Operations / Limiting Frameworks: Sensitive Dependence on Initial Conditions


    The apparatus composing the piece is comprised of three parts: a funnel, several open top cars, and a set of numbered balls. … The placing of notes (numbers) in the score was determined by the way in which the balls came through the funnel and were taken out of the cars. … The composition itself was determined by Duchamp in his description of the system and his examples of musical scoring(1)

  • A Musical Happening or 33333333


    (The following example of Marcel Duchamp’s encounter with the mind of Leonardo da Vinci is excerpted from a longer essay. Duchamp discovered Leonardo’s anatomical writings and drawings, through photogravure reproductions, in the Bibliotheque Sainte Genevieve in Paris, first as a curious visitor in 1910, then as a professional librarian with a great deal of spare time, in 1913-14. Outside the library, the publication of a new French translation of Leonardo’s Treatise on Painting in 1910 aroused great interest among all three Duchamp brothers and their Cubist friends at Puteaux.)

  • Somewhere between Dream and Reality: Shigeko Kubota’s Reunion with Duchamp and Cage


    Born in Niigata, Japan, in 1937, Shigeko Kubota grew up in a monastic environment during WWII and the subsequent postwar period. She later studied sculpture in Tokyo in the late 1950s and early 1960s, during which Japan strived to reestablish its financial, political and psychological welfare from the devastation of the war. This period also offered a chance for Japanese artists to move away from fairly confined notions of presentation and cultural isolation from the global art community. Although such avant-garde group, as Gutai, began to evoke innovative ideas in the 1950s.

  • Orchestrating the Nude Descending


    Born in New York City and growing up in Germany, conductor and arranger Henri René received a thorough education in classical music at the Royal Academy of Music in Berlin. He moved to the U.S. during the mid-1920s, appearing with a variety of orchestras before returning to Berlin, he is appointed musical director of Electrola, a recording company, and UFA, the German movie studio at Babelsberg.

  • Erratum Musical, 1913


    “One way to study music: study Duchamp.” An impressive line John Cage once mentioned. The friendship between these two creative minds reveals their mutual concern with the conventional perception both on the artistic creation and the spectator’s expectation. To Cage, for instance, silence was a compositional tool, a vivid explanation of what can be music. For Duchamp, however, making music meant going beyond the technical exploration of musical composition. Duchamp explored whether one is able to visualize sound and combine it with language by playing music in a random kind of order, in other words, to create something artistic by chance.

  • Le Picadilly by Erik Satie (1866-1925)


    Satie, a French composer, studied music at the Paris Conservatory Schola Cantorum. He was the pupil of Vincent D’Indy and Albert Roussel. Against the romantic Wagnerian style which was incapable of expressing a French sensibility, Satie developed a controlled, abstract and seemingly simple style. His music, in general, features a removed, unaffected beauty. Although his early works anticipate the harmonic innovations of some impressionists, such as Debussy and Ravel, his later compositions foretell the neoclassicism of the early 20th century.