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Joan La Barbara Performs "Music for Merce" in Minneapolis & Chicago

Joan La Barbara began working with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company in the early 1970s, and has had a celebrated career of collaborations with dozens of other musicians, composers, and choreographers in the millieu of Cunningham, Cage, and other mid-century experimentalists. Now La Barbara is participating in a concert series that pays tribute to Cunningham by bringing together a stunning program of composers and performers who are connected through their collaborative links to the Cunningham Dance Company. From February 23rd through the 26th, La Barbara will be participating in "Music for Merce," which also includes performances by Christian Wolff, Philip Selway, Ikue Mori, David Behrman, George Lewis, Zeena Parkins, and more. Premiering at Minneapolis' Walker Arts Center, and moving to Chicago's Musuem of Contemporary Art, this program features La Barbara performing her own Solitary Journeys of the Mind, a 2011 work for solo voice, as well as her performance of John Cage's "Fontana Mix", Earle Brown's "November" and "December", George Lewis' Shadowgraph, 5", and an untitiled "event" that will bring together all performers. 

The Walker Art Center has published an extended interview with La Barbara, who notes:

"What was astonishing, which is something that happens very often in the Cage/Cunningham simultaneities, is that you get things happening that seem so absolutely right, seem absolutely to have to have been planned, but they weren’t. It’s a kind of magic, and I don’t know if it’s something that’s because of our perception that we deal with it that way, or if it’s this kind of magic [that happens] when two artistic collaborators are true to their own art form, their work flowing together in a remarkable way. "

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