Fluxus artist George Brecht (born George MacDiarmid in 1926) has just died, aged 82. He was a student in the Experimental Composition class which John Cage gave at the New School in New York in the late 1950s; regretting that I was born too late to join this class*, I took the next best step, which was to track down a copy of Brecht’s notebooks in order to pore over his lecture notes taken in this class. His most recent exhibition was at MACBA, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona, in 2006.
The photo shows Brecht performing “Drip Music” (1959): “For single or multiple performance. A source of dripping water and an empty vessel are arranged so that the water falls into the vessel.”
* I did once take a composition class with Gentleman Jim Penberthy (1917-1999), which makes me a grand-pupil of Nadia Boulanger. That class focused mainly on Penberthy’s compositional method of expressionist serialism.