For 2 variable-speed phono turntables, frequency recordings, muted piano and cymbal; To be performed as a recording or broadcast by 4 performers.
Cornish School in Seattle, performed by John and Xenia Cage, Doris Dennison and Margaret Jansen.
First presentation (as a recording, uncertain): December 9, 1939 at the Cornish Theatre in Seattle, performed by an unidenti
This is one of the earliest electro-acoustic works ever composed. (Some sources give it the credit of being the first ever, but there were earlier examples like Respighis Pini di Roma (1924), using pre-recorded sounds of birds).
Cage uses a muted piano, large Chinese cymbal and 2 variable-speed turntables. On the first of the turntables a Victor frequency record (84522B) and a constant note record (nr.24) are played, on the second is another Victor frequency record (84522A). It was premiered in a program together with his Marriage at the Eiffel Tower.
Sources: Leta E.Miller: Cage s collaborations in David Nicholls (Ed.): The Cambridge Companion to John Cage ; New York Public Library online catalog; Paul van Emmerik: Thema s en Variaties; David Revill: The Roaring Silence; Information provided by Ian Stewart