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Daniel Blake\'s Portfolio
 

Daniel Blake\'s Portfolio

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Portfolio of some of Daniel Blake\'s work.

Portfolio of some of Daniel Blake\'s work.

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    Daniel Blake\'s Portfolio Daniel Blake\'s Portfolio Document Transcript

    • CLIENT: TRIPADVISOR.COM [CAMPAIGN LOGO/TAG LINE ]
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    • ND IN ROU AL ST RG TIV AU DE ES UN M F OC IL TO F BE R2 01 0 N SS U A R TH IE S GM ER IL M .C OM NA W I CA F ND IO T UTS H O O OU OT WI R L TH O RG EV D TO O DE SH R E NU N US W ST I O N EY . A U TH W W WCLIENT: AUSTIN UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL [ POSTER]
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    •                                       CLIENT: HOLY CACAO [ BILLBOARD CAMPAIGN ]
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    • john cage was born in los angeles in 1912. the picture he gave of his father was an inventor of ingenious but not quite useful devices, and his mother was “never happy” despite being “right even when she was wrong.” when he returned to california in autumn 1931, after eighteen months in europe, he began to study composition. going, he said, to “the president of the company,” he approached arnold schoenberg, who, he frequently related, charged no fee on condition that he would “devote” his life to music. cage championed the musical use of noise, which led him to write some of the earliest concert works for percussion, including the three constructions (1939-1943), and explore the possibilities offered by early electrical instruments. in march 1940, cage was asked, with three days’ notice to provide music for a dance performance. the theatre in which they would perform had insuf- ficient space for a percussion ensemble. there was a piano, but the character of the dance made a twelve-tone piece inappropriate. tellingly, cage concluded that “what was wrong was not me, but the piano.” he had the idea of inserting various objects between the strings— weather stripping, bolts, screws, bamboo—which meant one pianist piano became one of his key musical resources into the next decade, by the mid 1940s cage was deeply troubled by the unreliabilty of musical communication. “when i conscientiously wrote something sad, people and critics were apt to laugh,” he recalled. “i determined to give up composition unless i could find a better reason for doing it than communication.” cage found that “better reason” in eastern philosophy, specially in his study of zen buddhism. zen’s interest, insofar as it can be stated, is in unmediated experience, which appears only when one’s tastes and preconceptions are suspended. musical rules and aesthetic standards, cage concluded, bolster our tasted and preconceptions; for music to help us toward pure experience we need to give them up. beginning with works such as music of changes (1951) and 4’33” (1952), cage started to compose his pieces through recourse to chance operations, “making my responsibility not the making of choices, but the asking of ques- tions”. chance, he maintained, was a way to rid his music of likes and dislikes an thereby to make a discovery, “a leap”, as he wrote, “out of reach of one’s grasp of oneself.” in the forty years which followed, cage devised a variety of chance techniques, and began to introduce indeterminate nota- tions, which emphasize the individual preparation decisions of the player and the uniqueness of the performance moment. by the 1970s he was applying chance methods to other arts. “discovery never stops” cage said. he was always more interested in the pieces he was about to write than in what he had already written. the sonatas and interludes constitutes john cage’s most ambitious work for prepared piano, composed between february 1946 and march 1948. they were first performed by maro ajemian on 11th january 1949 and became a staple of cage’s own performance repertoire until arthritis stopped him in the early 1970s. the term “sonata” is used loosely; to the extent there is an historical reference, it is to the eighteenth century ratherthan romantic form. the various movements feature the blend of oriental and occidental allusions that is characteristic of cage’s early work. “there aresome pieces,” he said, “with bell-like sounds that suggest europe, and others with a drum-like resonance that suggest the east. the last piece is clearlyeuropeans. it was the signature of a composer from the west”. the piano is prepared more extensively than ever before, cage calls for screws (with towor more nuts added, on some strings), small, medium and large bolts and furniture bolts (sometimes with one or two nuts), rubber or plastic strips—ascrew and rubber combination is requested on a low D— and a pencil eraser (under one string, over another and back under the next; cage even speci-fies the brand). more than forty notes are prepared, many twice, some three different ways. “where mutes are placed only between the second and thirdstrings,” cage wrote, “two different sounds are available, one produced with the soft pedal ... the other without.” like most of his pieces at the time, thesonatas and interlude shows his new interest in eastern thought, which at the time was focussed on hindu aesthetics (having read the works of anandak. coomaraswam), particularly the indian theory of the nine permanent emotions. there were the “white” emotions (the heroic, the erotic, the mirthfuland the wondrous) and the “black” ones (fear, anger, sorrow, and disgust), with tranquility at the centre, to which the others all tended. cage was seek-ing to express this theory in music. as his creative focus was timbrel innovation, conventional harmony not only held little interest; it had little to offeras a structional means. in a music of noises, duration —time — was much more useful. cage’s structural basis since the late thirties had been what hecalled “micro-macrocosmic rhythmic structures,” in which the grouping of units of time was the same on the small and large scale. having sketchedthe structure of the sonatas in this way, cage knew, he said, “the length of the phrases of the pieces from the beginning to the end”. there then followedwhat cage dubbed “considered improvisation”, trying out preparations on his steinway and adjusting their position as effects suggested themselves. “itwas as though i was walking along the beach finding shells i like. having those preparations and playing with them on the keyboard in an improvisatoryway, i found melodies and combinations of sounds that worked with the structure.” it was around the time of the sonatas and interludes that cage beganto pay attention to the different effect a given preparation would have on different instruments. this variability might have encouraged him to note whathe wanted in even more exacting detail. it is revealing, though, that instead it contributed to the snowball of realisation that what for him was interesting(and more disciplined) was to abandon control, purpose and intentionality. creativ work produced when a method reaches its apogee shwas that meth-od in its fullest form, butalso tends to betray both its senescence and the germ of what is to come next. the sonatas and interludes constitute the highpoint of cage’s early work, but drew his attention to matters which suggested to him, and show us in retrospect, where he would go next. -david reevesCLIENT: JOHN CAGE [CD PACKAGING]
    • CLIENT: GEORGE SAUNDERS [ BOOK COVER]