Strange, zany, and still at points incredible and amazing, John Cage and Sun Ra performed this concert in 1986. Sun Ra steals the show, improvising amazingly on his Yamaha synthesizer and simply mesmerizing anyone who hears the music.
These facts about these two men are essential to understanding this live performance. Without this information, the 45 minute performance seems terribly odd and zany. Sun Ra’s spastic, heavy synthesizer matched with Cage’s minimalist, sparse vocal noises seem all too much for a stable, sane human mind. On this recording, there are literally minutes of absolutely no music going on at the time. Cage showcases his “chance music” theory on this live recording, and the crowd apparently knows his ideas well. However, the recording quality diminishes from the chance music theory. Either the crowd kept incredibly silent or the recording did not pick up the sounds coming from the crowd. Overall, the recording quality of the performance is quite poor, often sounding like an old 50s movie.