Middletown, CT: Wesleyan, 1961. First Edition. Beautifully and cryptically inscribed by Cage to longtime friend Ellsworth Snyder, on the printed front endpaper: "'for' Ellsworth Snyder [1] (and our shared devotion to Gertrude) 'in memory of my having ridden past there' in a VW microbus * 'when I was' 50** 'years old.' / John Cage / New Orleans 1963." Footnotes imbedded in the inscription above read as follows: "[1] Dr. Aurelia Henry Reinhardt, President of Mills College / * 'on a bicycle' / ** '13'." Additionally signed by David Tudor on the front pastedown, with a page of his holograph performance notes laid in. Also laid in is a two-page carbon typescript of composer Toshi Ichiyanagi's instructions for his composition, Sapporo.

Snyder performed the composer's work on many occasions, perhaps most infamously at Cage's much-protested 1965 appearance at the University of Illinois: "At one point [Snyder] crawled under the piano, made a show of carefully marking a precise point on the under-body of the instrument with a tape measure, then hit that spot with a mallet. Even more provocative for that particular audience, he had planted a loose piano string in the instrument, and after striking an unusually percussive chord he slowly pulled the ostensibly broken string out of the piano. By this time the audience was screaming and throwing objects at the stage." (Johanne Rivest, In Advance of the Avant Garde: John Cage at the University of Illinois, 1952-69, 1999). Snyder interviewed Cage, wrote the first doctoral thesis on him in 1970, contributed the Cage timeline to Richard Kostelanetz's monograph, John Cage, authored several other works on the composer, and was the dedicatee of Cage's piece, ONE. David Tudor was Cage's premiere interpreter and performer in the 1960s. He gave the premiere of Cage's Music of Changes, Concerto For Piano and Orchestra and the notorious 4'33." Cage said that many of his pieces were written either specifically for Tudor to perform or with him in mind. The two worked closely together on many of Cage's pieces, both works for piano and electronic pieces. Upon Cage's death in 1992, Tudor took over as music director of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. Among many works created for the company, Tudor composed Soundings: Ocean Diary (1994), the electronic component of Ocean, which was conceived by John Cage and Merce Cunningham.

At the time of this inscription (1963), Snyder was teaching music at Tulane University. Though not specifically dated, this book was almost certainly inscribed on April 8th, 1963 when Cage performed with Tudor (and others) at Dixon Hall Auditorium in New Orleans. Along with Ichiyanagi's Sapporo, Tudor that night also performed Cage's Atlas Eclipticalis with Winter Music, as well as Christian Wolff's For 5 or 10 Players. The page of Tudor's notes, however, seems to best refer to Cage's Variation II, which the pianist also regularly performed on tour in 1963. A superb association.

Fine in a Near Fine, price-clipped dust jacket. Jacket has just a touch of the usual rubbing.

[Book #101514]

Price: $6,500.00