In 1959 John Cage was in Italy. Some Italian composer friends suggested him to partecipate as a mushroom expert to the popular tv quiz “Lascia o raddoppia” led by Mike Bongiorno. For the occasion he wrote and premiered “Water Walk” and “Sounds of Venice”, for solo television performer. One year later he performed Water Walk again in United States, at the TV show “I’ve Got A Secret” – with some last-minute changes in the original score due to a trade union strike.
Unfortunately the video of Radio Televisione Italiana with the first performance is not available anymore.
In 2018 I performed in Venice and then in Art Park Verzegnis both “Water Walk” and “Sounds of Venice”, in collaboration with the European project Ecouter le monde, led by RFI and an international network of cultural stakeholders. This repertoire sounds very appropriate for a project that “has an ambition: to develop the practice, the meaning, and the pleasure of listening.”
Below are the two video documentations of the pieces.
with Veniero Rizzardi – direction, Paolo Zavagna – sound projection, Claudio Bellini, Giovanni Dinello and Riccardo Sellan – technical and logistic support
Many thanks to Alberta Ziche for the video editing and Claudia Chiggio and Roberto Tonon for the video shooting.
A.Toniutti – J. Cage, Water Walk, for solo television performer (1959)
A.Toniutti – J. Cage, Sounds of Venice, for solo television performer (1959)