Extended Lullaby

  • 1994
  • John Cage
  • Acrylic, spruce, brass. Twelve 36-note Reuge music box mechanisms
  • 17,8 x 182,9 x 12,7 cm
Made in collaboration with the Swiss watchmaker Reuge, it is composed of 12 music boxes housed in a transparent acrylic cylinder, which acts as a sound box while leaving the mechanism visible. The sound is made up of fragments of Vexations (1893) by Erik Satie. An admirer of the French composer, who he considered a constant inspiration, John Cage extracted notes from this well-known piece by following chance-determined indications from the I Ching or Book of Changes, an ancient Chinese divination text. Played together or separately, each music box can be activated by the viewer, producing a unique and random composition.

© The John Cage Trust. Photo © Fondation Louis Vuitton / Marc Domage © The John Cage Trust. Photo © Fondation Louis Vuitton / Marc Domage


John Cage

A major figure of 20th century avant-garde music, John Cage produced experimental works, invented the prepared piano, introduced silence as a compositional element, developed the ideas of chance and indeterminacy, and made use of electronic devices.

In the late 1960s, Cage widened his practice to the field of the plastic arts. His first work, Not Wanting To Say Anything About Marcel (1969), paid homage to his friend Marcel Duchamp, who had died the previous year, and marked the start of a highly productive period of pieces ranging from graphic art and poetry to installations and sound sculptures

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