«I am here, and there is nothing to say»: so John Cage greeted his listeners with extreme understatement in his famous «Lecture on Nothing». So, what can one learn from this «inventor of genius» (as his teacher Arnold Schoenberg described him), born 100 years ago in Los Angeles? Quite a lot – the calm of a Zen master, for example, or the mischievous-childish smile (imagine «nothing» as the emphatically innocent answer to the question,
boy prodigy putting the serious European avant-garde into a tizzy, the seriousness of a quirky researcher successfully transforming cacti into musical instruments, the joy of a winner casually answering the decisive question on a television show, and a maximum of openness to all of life’s surprises. What exactly you are going to hear in the rainy days 2012, there is still nothing to say about (allowing for a certain degree of understatement) – for some of the strikingly varied works that countless musicians will present, concentrated into four days (and supplemented by participatory workshops etc.), require, first of all, the consultation of chance. And of course the rainy days would not be one of the most celebrated festivals of new music if we were satisfied simply with a major Cage retrospective: in 2012 you will be treated to the first «Toy Piano World Summit» with toy piano soloists from New York to Luxembourg and premieres of works by Vadim Karassikov, James Clarke, Bernhard Lang, Marcel Reuter, and many others.