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Category:    Home > Reviews > Music > Concert > Rock > Instrumental > Avant Garde > The Works Of Percussion 4: Bonnie Whiting (2017/John Cage/Naxos/Mode Records Blu-ray)

The Works Of Percussion 4: Bonnie Whiting (2017/John Cage/Naxos/Mode Records Blu-ray)

Picture: B Sound: B Extras: B Main Program: C

Bonnie Whiting is no doubt talented, but the job of a 'speaking percussionist' is definitely not a style of music for everyone. Mixing odd percussion with fast speaking lyrics, Whiting performs the vintage works of musician John Cage on stage a unique sound that is at times impressive and other times a bit tiring. You have to wonder how many cups of coffee she must have drank to have so much energy for so long, as she performs with boundless amounts of creativity and effort using traditional instruments and found objects as well to add to the unique nature of the music. While not this reviewer's cup of tea, per say, I'm sure some classical and experimental music lovers will get something more out of The Works Of Percussion 4 than me.

Contents on the disc are...

A Flower (1950).

The Wonderful Widow of Eighteen Springs (1942).

51'15.657'' for a speaking percussionist (2010) - a solo-simultaneous realization of 45' for a speaker (1954) and 27'10.554'' for a percussionist.

(1956). Realization by Bonnie Whiting.

Music for Two (By One) (2011), a solo-simultaneous realization of Music for _____ (1984-1987) for solo voice and solo percussion. Realization by Bonnie Whiting.

ALLEN OTTE (b. 1950) / JOHN CAGE Connecting Egypt to Madison through Columbus Ohio, Cage, and the History of the American Labor Movement (2011) incorporating Music for Marcel Duchamp and Variations 2 Allen Otte, voice, prepared piano & frame drums.

Total runtime is 152 minutes and is presented in 1080p high definition with a 48kHz/24-bit PCM Stereo track that looks and sounds fine for the Blu-ray format. The show isn't too impressively filmed, but natural, with Whiting's colorful clothes popping out of the dark background of the stage. I'm surprised a CD wasn't also included in this release (a separate CD is available), but the idea is to attract audiophiles here..

Special Features...

73 minute video interview with Whiting and Otte, discussing Cage and his processes, the works and how they assembled them.

Collectible Insert booklet.

- James Lockhart



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