“Music and mushrooms: two words next to one another in many dictionaries.” –John Cage
Music + Mushrooms was a performance devised by members of my Electronic Chamber Music ensemble and members of Prof. Tim James’s mycology lab — The Mycotics — to celebrate John Cage’s 100th birthday. Cage was known as an avid mycologist and friend of renowned U-M mycologist the late Alexander Smith.
The first Music + Mushrooms event took place in Spring 2012, inspired by Cage’s affinity for storytelling and for mushrooms. Based on Cage’s piece Indeterminacy, performers prepared anecdotes and stories about mushrooms. During the foray, texts were spoken aloud such that one text would be read by one performer for each minute for the duration of the performance. Several morels were found, and hopefully eaten subsequently.