John Cage: Fontana Mix (1958)

Realization by Volker Straebel (1994)

Review by René van Peer

"Friday evening opened with two John Cage pieces, both realized by Volker Straebel. The first work, Fontana Mix, used recorded bird soundings as source material. Not only was this in keeping with one of the undercurrents in the whole festival […], it proved to be an ideal choice for this composition. Straebel featured twenty species on the resulting tape, the calls and songs of which he had processed according to Cage‘s score. Some were filtered, others were speed up or slowed down, durations were fixed. He ended up with a thrilling work. Recognisable soundings at the core proceeded in and out of beautiful densely layered clouds and wisps of warbles, trills, curiously slurred half-melodies – all with an unfamiliar tone quality."

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René van Peer: Whistling in the Dark. A festival in Podewil, Berlin (Germany), Sept. 9 to 18, 1994, in: MusicWorks 61 (Spring 1995), 66-68
Volker Straebel, kein Abdruck ohne schriftliche Genehmigung des Autors / no reprint without author's written permission