the human race has one really effective weapon

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The Beautiful Sound of… Bird Droppings

detail from a page og Cornelius Cardew's "Treatise"

detail from a page of Cornelius Cardew’s “Treatise”

Most people are familiar with the use of chance operations in music. John Cage used the I Ching to compose his Music of Changes. Xenakis used probabilities and statistical mechanics for Pithoprakta. Stockhausen, Cardew, Feldman, Wolff, and numerous others all wrote indeterminate music of some form or another. But I doubt any of them imagined using bird shit to write music. Continue reading