A Festival of Form: John Cage & the Infinite Human (March 7–9)


Bridwell Library & Perkins Sacred Music Program Present


John Cage & the Infinite Human

March 7-9, 2022



An avant-garde festival of music, sound, silence, art, and books 

at Bridwell Library and Perkins Chapel 



A 16-hour performance of Cage’s Organ2/ASLSP 

“As Slow as Possible”


Lecture and music by composer, music critic, 

and Cage scholar Kyle Gann


and viewing of Bridwell’s current exhibits




Theology and Art of the Score


Free and open to the public 

March 7-9, 2022 on the SMU campus 

 For registration details go to the

SMU Libraries Events Calendar


View the Program for the Festival of Form


DAY 1: Monday, March 7, 2022   (RSVP)

Welcome to A Festival of Form at Bridwell Library, Blue Room

5:00PM Light Refreshments

5:30PM Introductory Remarks: Dean Sam Holland (SMU Meadows School of the Arts) and Dean Holly Jeffcoat (SMU Libraries)

5:45PM Lecture: “Infinite Sound, Infinite Human: How Form in Arts, Theology, and Music Strengthen our Understanding of the World” by Anthony Elia

6:15PM Panel Discussion on John Cage and his Legacy by SMU Meadows Music Faculty

6:35PM A Sonic Welcome to A Festival of Form with Dr. Courtney Brown (“John Cage & the Dinosaur”)


DAY 2: Tuesday, March 8, 2022  (RSVP)

6:00AM-10:00PM Performance in Perkins Chapel of Organ2/ASLSP  ~  “As Slow as Possible” – Christopher Anderson, Marcell Steuernagel & Ruth West

View Live-Stream Performance

*This work will be performed continuously and will be open to the public beginning at 6AM. As it is comprised of both long intervals of sustained notes on the organ and short stretches of silence, visitors may enter the chapel and experience the sound (or its absence) within the space over those 16-hours.  Student assistants will meet visitors at the entrance of the chapel and guide them to seats inside.  We offer and recommend the use of blindfolds (which you may keep), in order to allow visitors to focus on the sound of the space only, but this is not required for entrance. 









DAY 3: Wednesday, March 9, 2022

1:00PM Custer and Sitting Bull, opera by Kyle Gann. (RSVP) Film screening in Perkins Chapel with Q&A with Mr. Gann to follow

2:30–3:45PM (RSVP) Lecture: “John Cage in Dallas and Beyond” by Kyle Gann Bridwell Library, Blue Room      

3:45–4:00PM Break

4:00–4:30PM Interlude: Microtonal works on altered electronic piano in Bridwell Library, Blue Room (Anna Bulkina, piano)

4:30–5:00PM Lecture on Nothing by John Cage (Introductory Comments by Kyle Gann). Performed by SMU Music students in Bridwell Library, Blue Room

5:00PM Reception & Exhibition Viewing at Bridwell Library

6:00PM (RSVP) Concert in Perkins Chapel ~ Cage’s World of Musical Form: Ancestors, Cage, and Gann



A Concert of 20th & 21st Century Works

Perkins Chapel, March 9, 2022 ~ 6PM


Introductory Video Montage                       


PART I: Ancestors

Arnold Schoenberg, Sechs kleine klavierstücke, 1913  

Leo Ornstein, Suicide in an Airplane, 1918-19

Igor Stravinsky, Rag-Dance-Music, 1919  

Henry Cowell, Three Irish Legends, 1922  

George Antheil, Piano Sonata No. 2 “The Airplane,” 1923 

Lazare Lévy, Berceuse, 1955  


Short Break


PART II: John Cage

Three Pieces for Two Flutes, 1935 

In a Landscape for Piano, 1948 

4’33”, 1952

Dream for Vibraphone, 1948


INTERMEZZO: George Brecht, Drip Music, 1959 


Part III: Kyle Gann

Siren for Five Flutes, 1978   

Summer Serenade for Organ, 2014

Olana for Vibraphone, 2007 

Kierkegaard, Walking for Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Cello, 2007

Leave a Reply