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The Dutch pianist Dante Boon performs his own works and those of John Cage at the Vang festival held in Madrid at CentroCentro.

The Dutch pianist Dante Boon (Haarlem, 1973) is a champion for experimental music in his country, both as a performer and as a cultural manager and organiser of concerts and festivals. Since 2012, Boon has also been a member of the Dutch composers’ collective Wandelweiser. Tomorrow Thursday, Boon is performing in Madrid, as part of the Vang festival programme at CentroCentro, with a concert entitled John Cage and Dante Boon – Etudes Australes, in which he will perform several of John Cage’s Etudes Australes (1974-1975), specifically numbers 1, 2 and 6 from Book I and a version of ASLSP (As Slow As Possible) (1985), also by Cage, which will not live up to its title, as there is an ongoing performance of the piece, in the church of St. Burchardi in the German town of Halberstadt, which began in 2001 and is scheduled to end in 2640, after a duration of 639 years. The usual length of the eight pages of the score is between 20 and 70 minutes, as playing “as slowly as possible” can involve, on a piano, and due to the natural decay of its sound, as long as the legato is sustained or as long as we are able to hear the vibrations of the strings…

The programme will be completed with Dreamings (2021), a cycle of seven piano pieces inspired by the Australian Aboriginal concept of “Dreamtime”, which treats the piano as an object of resonances capable of generating, even at very low dynamic levels, multiple new combinations of harmonics, crescendos and drones. The pianist simply sets the strings in motion unintentionally, then listens to the vibrations coming from the instrument.

© Photograph of Dante Boon downloaded from the CentroCentro website.