Extended Lullaby, 1994


John Cage

© The John Cage Trust - Fondation Louis Vuitton / Marc Domage

Conceived in 1986, "Extended Lullaby" was created after the artist’s death in 1994 in accordance with his precise instructions, in response to an invitation to take part in "The Music Box Project" exhibition (The Equitable Gallery, New York, 1994).

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.

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