• Corrina Crazie Espinosa

Exquisite Corpse Soundscape

Updated: Feb 22

Exquisite Corpse Soundscape - Each of you will be responsible for recording 5 random sounds from your life (10-60 seconds). It can be anything from coffee brewing, or birds chirping to noisy neighbors or chatty roommates DO NOT EDIT THE SOUNDS. Title your sounds and place them in our shared folder on Google Drive. Using a minimum of 10 sounds from the folder, create a sound composition with the software introduced in class. For your individual composition you may edit the sounds, or use them as they are. Make sure to include a wide variety of noises so that there is a diverse mixture of sounds in your composition. Composition length is 4:33, can you guess why?

John Cage

Imagine it's 1952. Before DJs before Remix, before raves and lofi beats, right before the King of Rock and Roll (Elvis Presley) started gyrating his hips and a handful of years before the Beatles started making young girls scream at the very sight of them, before the Doors, Led Zeppelin, Johnny Cash, Pink Floyd, and Frank Zappa-- Long before House, and Techno, and EDM there was John Cage. Take yourself back before music became what it is today, and imagine you are going to a concert. You don't go out much, and you paid a pretty penny for these tickets, you are excited to see and hear a real good musical showcase. Perhaps you have a date, or you are attending with friends and family. Imagine you walk into the theater, take your seat... and this is the show that unfolds before you. What is your reaction. What do you do? What is this all about?

"Everything we do is music." JC

John cage did for music was Marcel Duchamp did for art. He opened the doors for remix, electronic music. Without John Cage music would not be what it is today.

John Cage (September 5, 1912 – August 12, 1992) was an artist, composer, music theorist, and philosopher. He was a pioneer of indeterminacy in music (a composing practice in which some parts of a musical work are left up to chance or to the interpreter's choice. John Cage explained it as "the ability of a piece to be performed in substantially different ways"). Cage was also a pioneer of electroacoustic music, and the usage of musical instruments in a non traditional manner. Critics have credited him as one of the most influential (and controversial) composers of the 20th century.

Cage is most famous for his 1952 composition 4′33″, which is performed in the without the use of deliberate sound; musicians who perform the number don't actually play any notes, but simply sit for the duration specified by the title (4:33). The "song" is not "four minutes and 33 seconds of silence," as is often assumed, but is made up of the sounds of the environment heard by the audience during the performance. The piece challenges the assumed definitions of what makes music and made it a popular and controversial topic both in musicology and the broader aesthetics of art and performance.

"In 1952, it was performed first at Woodstock, N.Y. and many in the audience were indignant. It was in a hall called the Maverick Hall, which is out in the woods near Woodstock, and one could hear the wind in the trees during the first movement - there are three movements altogether. In the second, you could hear some raindrops - it began to rain - and in the third movement, you heard only people who were indignant, and many of whom were walking out. So it made a three movement sonata."

Get the 4'33 App on you phone:


Cage was also a pioneer of the prepared piano (a piano with its sound altered by objects placed between or on its strings or hammers), for which he wrote numerous dance-related works and a few concert pieces. The best known of these is Sonatas and Interludes.

In a 1957 lecture, Experimental Music, he described music as "a purposeless play" which is "an affirmation of life – not an attempt to bring order out of chaos nor to suggest improvements in creation, but simply a way of waking up to the very life we're living".

Take inspiration from Water Walk for this assignment. Create a composition using only the sounds in our shared folder, and what you record with your mic. We will use Adobe Audition for this assignment, your final project should be an art piece, a soundscape, and audio experience and should not sound like popular music that you hear on the radio, at a bar or club, dance to or listen to for entertainment. It should be an auditory adventure, a story told through sound.

You final project must:

  • Be 4 minutes and 33 seconds long (in honor of John Cage).

  • Include at least 10 clips from our shared folder.

  • Use a wide variety of effects.

  • Have a clear and consistent theme, concept, mood, feeling or emotion.

  • Have a title which describes this theme.

  • Not be too repetitive, must have variety.

  • Have shifts, changes, with a beginning, a middle, and an end.

  • Be posted on your blog to be graded.

Reading Assignment - Due Monday Oct. 5

Read the following article and respond in a blog post using 250 words, 5 images minimum. Use gifs and vids for a more dynamic aesthetic.