John Cage’s
Empty Words

Bard College

June 30, 7pm –
July  01, 8am, 2012
John Cage's Empty Words
John Cage’s Empty Words is a 12-hour, overnight event during which participants will collectively experience a rare recorded performance by John Cage of Empty Words (1974), a marathon text drawn from the Journals of Henry David Thoreau. Empty Words is one of Cage’s most sustained and elaborate moves toward the “demilitarization” of language, in four parts: Part I omits sentences, Part II omits phrases, and Part III omits words. Part IV, which omits syllables, leaves us nothing but a virtual lullaby of letters and sounds.
The Overnight Program *
7:00 pm Settling in/Meet & Greet (wine & vegetable crudite)
8:29 pm Part I
10:59 pm Intermission (garbanzo & lentil soup)
11:29 pm Part II
1:59 am Intermission (brown rice and vegetables)
2:29 am Part III
4:49 am Intermission (Bancha & Gen Mai Chai, w/seeds & nuts)
5:29 am Part IV
*A simple macrobiotic meal will be served at intervals throughout the night,
to Cage's specifications. Dusk & Dawn Music provided by Josh Quillen of 
So Percussion, in a program of works scored for amplified plant materials, water, conch shells, and burning pine cones.
Before You Buy

All participants must arrive for registration no later than 7:30 pm.
There may be videography and/or photography documentation of this event,
     in which case you will be asked to sign a release.
All participants must be age 16 or older.
Please do not bring alcohol, drugs, or outside food or drink into the venue.
All participants are asked to stay for the duration of the event.
     Those who elect to leave will not be readmitted between the hours
     of midnight and 4:30 am.

What To Bring
Please arrive dressed in clothing appropriate for sleep.
Please bring your own bedding
     (duvets, quilts, pillows, inflatable mattresses).
Please bring a flashlight and toiletries
     (restrooms are available, showers are not).
This event is part of the worldwide celebration of John Cage’s Centennial Year. It is a co-production of the John Cage Trust, New Albion Records, and the Fisher Center for the Performing Arts.

Tickets for this event are extremely limited and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, contact the John Cage Trust at
(845) 835-8022 or
If you are ready to order tickets for this event, which are $55 per person, please phone the Fisher Center box office at 845-758-7948. The box office is open Monday through Friday from 10am to 5pm.
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