On Make Music Day, 21 June 4.33pm (UK Time), Beyond Skin, John Cage Trust and Make Music Day UK with musicians from around the world premiered a special collaboration performance video of the John Cage piece 4’33”. Mexico, Poland, England, China, Scotland, Portugal, Northern ireland, South Africa, Colombia, Wales, Rajasthan, Costa Rica, Singapore, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, USA, Kenya, Japan, Zambia, Brazil, Germany, Isle of Man.
4’33” is a three-movement composition by American experimental composer John Cage (1912–1992). It was composed in 1952, for any instrument or combination of instruments, and the score instructs performers not to play their instruments during the entire duration of the piece throughout the three movements. The piece consists of the sounds of the environment that the listeners hear while it is performed, although it is commonly perceived as “four minutes thirty-three seconds of silence”. The title of the piece refers to the total length in minutes and seconds of a given performance.
“This has been an idea that has gone way beyond what we expected. The video footage coming in is spectacular, some groups and musicians have been able to travel to beautiful and iconic places to film. Visually it is stunning, and you can feel the environment of each place. The starting point of Gary Coey’s video representing Northern Ireland is simply a recording of him in his front room. We were going to film again on a scenic location but then we thought there is something move powerful and moving that an idea with a musician in their own house can trigger a global movement.” Darren Ferguson, Beyond Skin
Complimenting the 4’33” collaborative video is a theme of loss.
John Cage was influenced by Zen Buddhism and 4’33” was intended to also be a moment of reflection and mindfulness. Due to the CoVid pandemic the world has experienced loss. Not just in lives but also our loss of touch, connecting with each other and the natural world, our loss of our personal spaces as they became workplaces, and our loss of trade and business.
Belfast is currently biding for UNESCO City of Music Status. This project is a perfect example of the innovative, aspirational and influencing character of Belfast and indeed Northern Ireland as a vibrant diverse & creative music beacon on the global landscape.
The final production will be released on 21st June 4.33pm (UK Time) as part of a Make Music Day online broadcast and will also be available on YouTube and Facebook.
The project has been grant a special synchronicity licence through the Edition Peters Group in association with John Cage Trust as 4 ‘33” like any other professional composition has intellectual property rights.
Additional support towards the project has come from Belfast Music (Belfast City Council), Arts Council Northern Ireland, Edition Peters Group, and British Council.
Make Music Day
Music Day began in France 1982 (Fête de la Musique). Over the years the idea spread globaly with the 21st June recognised internationally as Music Day
Make Music Day first came to the UK in 2012 and the number of gigs taking place has been growing year on year. 2017 was the first UK-wide coordinated event with support and funding from national organisations resulting in 147 performances. In 2020, there were 1,739 performances live and online.
Beyond Skin Make Music Day Webpage
Gary Coey (Teacher Glengormley High School)
Setúbal Youth Ensemble
Associação Festival de Música de Setúbal
Rita Dogot, Sara Gramaço, Alexandre Sousa, Andreas Coster, Gonçalo Baião, Gonçalo Carrega, Martim da Silva, Tomás Silva, Miguel Rangel, Ana Marques, Luís Piçarra, Rita Cavaco, Beatriz Afonso, Constança Pereira, Joana Poupinha, Leonor Carrega, Maria Madalena, Mariana Pais, Matilde Abreu.
Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama
(Guitar and Percussion department)
Make Music Day Mexico Team
Marco A. Guzman R.V. Rodolfo San Roman Judith Arellano
Musicians and Dancers ONKA YOLOTL Company
Shane Daniel EsparzaMarko Mazatl Teo, Ignacio Giovanni Llorente, Miriam Paola Hernandez, Dante Izcoatl Nieves, Salvador Nieves Morales, Ivan Camacho Ramos, Alejandro Manuel Oropeza,
Director of Filming
Jorge García Alonso
Roberto Gutiérrez Carreón
DHOAD Gypsies of Rajasthan
Isle of Man
Isle of Man Wind Orchestra
Blessings Mwamba (Bhule Arts Centre), Sylvia Chisanga Luo (University of Zambia), Memory Mayuya (Zambia National Dance Troupe)
Logistics – Chali Mulenga, Pamela Kapekele
Cameraman – Heartwell Hamilimo
Minjie Ding (Qinghan Hutong Academy of Traditional Chinese Studies)
Fusion Ensemble of Afghanistan National Institute of Music
Amanullah Noori, Ali Sina Hotak, Rohullah Satanikzai, Roheed Barna, Shogufa Khan, Anita Alimi, Yosof Nazari, Yasar Mohammadi.
Directed by Dr Ahmad Sarmast
Witch 'n' Monk (Mauricio Velasierra and Heidi Heidelberg)
City of London Sinfonia at Southwark Cathedral
Curated by Alison Porter (Make Music Day UK)
Liboi (Sharon Liboi & Evans Mutanduki)
Curated by Smart talk Café (Robbin Nyakundi & Andanti Moris)
(Filmed in Shetland Islands
Curated by Ruta Vitkauskaite (CoMA Glasgow)
Timothy Topalian (aka Lucky T)
Davi Cardim Santos