Reunion - SOLD OUT
ThursdayMay 15
Reunion - SOLD OUT

World Chess Hall of Fame
Saint Louis, Missouri

Eldon Garnet, Reunion. Ryerson Theatre, Toronto. March 5, 1968. Photo © Eldon Garnet

Eldon Garnet, Reunion. Ryerson Theatre, Toronto. March 5, 1968. Photo © Eldon Garnet

John Cage’s Reunion brought together the composer’s passions—his friends, experimental music, chess, and art—for an evening of innovative entertainment.

Join the World Chess Hall of Fame for a performance of the piece, which centers upon an electronic chess board that randomly plays music from four musicians as two players move the pieces. Artists Dove Bradshaw and William Anastasi, friends and chess partners of Cage, will play the opening game of the evening as musicians Nathan Cook, Greg Farough, Adaron Jackson, and Mark Sarich perform.

6:00 p.m. Reception
7:00 p.m. Reunion 

Admission is free and open to the public. Reservations highly recommended.
Complimentary valet. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.


About Reunion

John Cage’s 1968 Reunion piece was a “reunion” of the things Cage loved most: chess, performance, and music. He used it to reunite and work with the artists and musicians he most admired by transforming a chess game into a work of performance art, with a musical electronic chess board at its center. The content and length of the piece is determined by the pace of a chess game played on an electronic board. Each chess move triggers electronic circuitry to play a randomly selected segment of electronic music by one of four composers through one of four randomly selected speaker systems in different spatial locations until the next piece is moved. The performance concert is concluded with checkmate.

About the Participants

Dove Bradshaw

Born in New York in 1949, pioneered the use of Indeterminacy in 1969 in the visual arts by enlisting the unpredictable effects of time, weather, erosion, and indoor and outdoor atmospheric conditions on natural, chemical, and manufactured materials. She has created chemical paintings that change with the atmosphere, erosion sculptures of salt, stone sculptures that weather, and, worked with crystals that receive radio transmissions from weather stations, local and short wave, along with radio telescope signals from Jupiter. Body works include presenting the 23 elements in proportion by weight in glass flasks, transforming into Partial Portrait casts of her face, hand, and foot emerging from a wall. She helped developed the Art Science Movement. In 1975 she was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Grant for Sculpture; 1985 the Pollock Krasner Award for Painting; 2003 a Furthermore Grant for her monograph; in 2006 The National Science Foundation for Artists Grant for gathering salt for Six Continents. She was Co-Artistic Advisor along with William Anastasi of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company from 1984–2011, the demise of the company, creating décor and costumes for stage and film around the world. John Cage championed her work in his 1991 Carnegie International, his 1993 Rolywholyover Circus, that toured the us and Japan and discussed her work with art historian Thomas McEvilley for her monograph. Her work has been shown regularly in the US, Europe, Korea and Japan, appearing in the 6th Gwangju Biennale, South Korea, she is represented in the permanent collections of many major museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, The National Gallery, The Art Institute of Chicago, The British Museum, Centre Pompidou, and the Russian State Museum, Marble Palace, St. Petersburg.


William Anastasi

In 1964, Philip Guston recommended that Betty Parsons view the work of an exciting new artist named William Anastasi who had recently arrived in Manhattan from Philadelphia. He exhibited publicly for the first time in her space and later that year in a solo show at the Washington Square Gallery where he displayed cardboard collages and his now legendary floor sculpture, Sink. From 1966 to 1970, Anastasi was at the forefront of conceptual art in New York with four landmark exhibitions at the Dwan Gallery. It was during these critical years that his blind draw-ings, pioneering Sound Art and in situ paintings and displace-ments debuted. The scope of his influence—whether in spirit or directly—is hard to understate: Urs Fischer, Richard Serra, Matthew Barney, Eva Hesse, Carl Andre are just a few contemporary artists echoing elements that Anastasi initiated. He traces his first exposure as a teenager to works by Marcel Duchamp encountered in the Arensberg collection. His most recent retrospective, at Hunter College, New York, was Sound Works 1963–2013. Currently the photographs, paintings, sculptures and abstract drawings of William Anastasi are in many museum’s permanent holdings including that of The Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Walker Art Center, The Art Institute of Chicago, The Guggenheim, The Whitney, the Brooklyn Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Foreign museums include The British Museum, Kolumba Museum and Museum Ludwig in Cologne, the Kunstmuseum, Düsseldorf, and the Statens Museum, Copenhagen. He received the John Cage Award in 2010 and served as Co-Artistic Advisor along with Dove Bradshaw for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company from 1984–2011 at its closing creating décor and costumes for stage and film.


Nathan Cook

As a member of the Close/Far Family artist collective, multi-disciplinary sound artist and graphic designer, Nathan Cook runs the experimental music label Close/Far Recordings. He performs solo and actively seeks out collaborations as N.N.N. Cook. Recently he installed a 4-part conceptual sound suite in the elevator of the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis as part of their Audible Interruptions series. As of late he has completed a performing arts residency at High Concept Laboratories (Chicago) as a sponsored artist for their 2014 winter program. The Wire magazine said this of his latest release, (Bl)end User: “Regarding the latter (analogue electronics), Nathan Cook is a distinctive voice in this crowded field.”


Greg Farough

A performer of quiet and largely static music. He a composer in the oldest tradition. Self-taught in acoustics and electronics he has been most influence by the work of Sachiko M and Michael Pissaro. His academic work has been in Philosophy and Literature having done the summer course at St. John’s College and receiving a degree in both from Webster University. He specializes in Classical and Continental Philosophy. Pharough work focuses on pure waveforms which interact with the natural resonance of rooms to form and slowly transform complex sonic relationships.


Adaron Jackson

Pianist, arranger and composer Adaron Jackson has performed as a sideman as well as with his own ensembles throughout the U.S. and Europe. “Pops” as he is known locally as well as nationally has performed and worked with such diverse artists as Ron Carter, Conrad Herwig, John Riley, Harry Allen, Frank Morgan, Victor Mendoza, Steve Houghton, Clay Jenkins, Tom Kennedy, Kim Richmond, LaVerne Butler, Red Holliway, Ellis Marsalis, Arturo Sanndoval, Greg Tardy, Slide Hampton, Wallace Roney, and Dave Scott.

Adaron has also toured throughout the U. S. with Grammy award winning Motown legend, The Temptations and with I Get A Kick Out Of Cole a Live Onstage Production. The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra has featured Adaron on its Powell On Stage Series concerts as well as through Out-Reach performances. Adaron has performed at the Chicago Jazz Festival, the St. Louis Blues and Heritage Festival, the Smoky Hill River Festival, and the Kansas City Blues and Jazz Festival.


Mark Sarich 

A composer and improviser whose work had been strongly influenced by Morton Feldman, the Wandelweiser composers and lowercase improvisation. A student of Herbert Brün, he has viewed his work from the perspective of designs to inform a social change. He holds degrees in both composition and performance. As an improviser, his epicycle project invites the audience into an intimate encounter through events “on the threshold of silence”. Sarich is also the founder and Director of the Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center which has for 20 years brought experimental musicians and the newest of new music to St. Louis. He works both with acoustic instruments and electronically manipulated sound in his compositions and remains dedicated to the notion that music which embraces silence, subtle sounds and draws an awareness of the space in which the performance occurs will empower the listener to consider the effect their presence makes in their world.