Varispeed’s Empty Words by John Cage
Roulette (509 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn)
Varispeed commences Part I of their 12-hour arrangement of John Cage’s Empty Words, a landmark text-based work from the mid-70s that transforms speech into music and brings to light the beauty and power of the human voice. In Part I, Cage’s text establishes a distinctly non-syntactical speech rhythm with words and phrases arranged through chance operations from Thoreau’s journals. The vocalist-performer-arrangers of Varispeed (Aliza Simons, Dave Ruder, Paul Pinto, Brian McCorkle, & Gelsey Bell) and special guests augment their voices with a bevvy of electronics, while spatializing sound and action into a Cagean feast for the senses.
Empty Words will continue in three more installments. Parts II & III will be performed at nearby Exapno (33 Flatbush Ave, 5th floor) at 11 PM and 2 AM, respectively. Part IV will be a sound walk across the Brooklyn Bridge at 5 AM. All parts are free and open to the public.