Time of Music Festival and Summer Academy 2023

John Cage: Song Books, with Joan La Barbara


Submission period

Sun Feb 5 at 05AM UTC

End of submission period

Sun Apr 2 at 09PM UTC

Results date

Sun Apr 16 at 04PM UTC

Entry or Course Fee

Course fee 340 €


Age limit: Born after 1.7.1991
Extended deadline: April 2nd

Time of Music Festival and Summer Academy 2023 will take place on 4-10 of July 2023 in Viitasaari, Finland. Time of Music Summer Academy offers unique opportunities to study contemporary music with the world’s first and foremost composers, pedagogues and musicians in an inspiring environment with colleagues from all around the world. Application to the courses is now open. Young professionals and advanced students are welcome to apply for the courses.

Summer Academy teachers and ensembles participating in the Composition course are artists-in-residence during the festival. Summer Academy 2023 offers three courses: Composition Course by Liza Lim, Contemporary Piano by Marilyn Nonken, and John Cage: Song Books course by Joan La Barbara.

John Cage: Song Books, with Joan La Barbara

Course Description

John Cage: Song Books is a performance-based course for singers, instrumentalists, actors, composers, and those working with electronics. Song Books (composed in 1970) is a large-scale theater-work consisting of 90 “Solos” which is put together by the performers who choose which Solos they will perform and map them over an agreed-upon duration timeline.The cycle includes: songs, songs with electronics, directions for a theatrical performance, and directions for a theatrical performance with electronics. The Songs can be performed on their own or other indeterminate pieces by John Cage.

In addition to conventional musical notation, we will cover aspects of interpreting graphic scoring during the course, text-based instructions, entrance and exit movements and stage directions. Cage indicated specific “Solos” to be altered electronically which poses a challenge for real-time processing at specific microphone stations. The class will culminate in a public performance of John Cage´s Song Books.

The course fee (340 euro) includes participation in the course, open lessons and workshops, and free entrance to all of the festival concerts.

JOAN LA BARBARA’s career as a composer/performer/soundartist/actor explores the human voice as a multi-faceted instrument expanding traditional boundaries in developing a unique vocabulary of experimental and extended vocal techniques: multiphonics, circular singing, ululation and glottal clicks that have become her “signature sounds”, influencing several generations of composers and singers. Creating works for multiple voices, chamber ensembles, music theater, orchestra and interactive technology, her work in U.S and Europe include amongst others: Foundation for Contemporary Arts John Cage Award (2016); Guggenheim Fellowship in Music Composition (2004); DAAD Artist-in-Residency in Berlin; 7 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships in Music Composition.

The age limit for the course is 32 years (born after 1.7.1991). The course is taught in English.

Details are available at web pages: