HPSCHD@50 Festival

February 28 – March 4, March 19, 2020
Chicago, Northwestern University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Immerse yourself in sound and light and celebrate the 50th anniversary of John Cage and Lejaren Hiller’s HPSCHD with NON:op Open Opera Works.

Originally conceived for 7 harpsichords and 52 tape recorders, HPSCHD premiered at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign on May 16, 1969, and along with the sound components, it featured forty films and over six thousand slides, screened with 8 movie projectors and 64 slide projectors.

For this 50th anniversary celebration of HPSCHD we are remaking, reusing, and reimagining Cage’s visionary performance for 21st-century Chicago featuring a diverse group of artists and scholars. While HPSCHD allowed Cage to explore the idea of abundance through the vastness of the universe, HPSCHD@50 explores Chicago’s long history of diversity and community with a transformative, immersive environment, and examines the social and artistic history, impact, and continuing relevance of Cage and Hiller’s monument to abundance and diversity in the current era of austerity and exclusion.

HPSCHD@50: Every Neighborhood Is a Universe
50th Anniversary Celebration of John Cage and Lejaren Hiller’s HPSCHD

February 29-March 1, 2020, 1 – 4 PM
Preston Bradley Hall @ The Chicago Cultural Center
78 E Washington Street, Chicago, IL 60602

Reimagined for 21st century Chicago, the two afternoon HPSCHD performances feature a diverse group of local artists, 7 harpsichords, 52 channels of computer-generated sound, and hundreds and hundreds of still and moving images. Building on the abundance embodied by its predecessor, MUSICIRCUS, Cage drew on the cultural currency and imagery of the NASA space program’s promise to discover new worlds in the vastness of the universe. Now, after 50 years, we turn our attention to the vastness of ourselves in our own worlds in their possibilities, abundance and complexities. HPSCHD@50 combines Cage’s original images with historical and current imagery from Chicago neighborhoods to create a transformative environment where audiences and artists co-create an experience that brings us all together. 

Performers: Billie Howard, Alvin Waddles, Svetlana Belsky, Shi-An Costello, Francis Yun, Martha Stiehl, Amy Wurtz
Crew: Stephan Moore, sound; Theo Economides & Ilse Miller, video; Christophe Preissing, direction

FREE – Registration Recommended:   Saturday   Sunday

HPSCHD@50: Abundance Diversity Austerity Exclusion

February 28, 2020, 9:30 – 4:00 PM
Northwestern University Deering Library, Room 208
1979 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208

Experts on HPSCHD, Chicago, and the 2020 production, will discuss the social and artistic history, impact, and continuing relevance of John Cage’s monument to abundance and diversity in the current era of austerity and exclusion. Hosted by the Northwestern University Music Library.

Panelists:  Sara Haefeli, Deniz Ertan, Martha Stiehl, David Eisenman, Ann Warde, Bill Brooks, Neely Bruce, Joel Chadabe, and Christophe Preissing.

FREE (includes lunch) – Registration Required by February 19

HPSCHD@50: Then and Now

March 3, 2020, 4:00 PM
University of Illinois School of Music
1114 W Nevada Street, Urbana, IL 61801

Neely Bruce, David Eisenman, William Brooks, Joel Chadabe, Martha Siegel, Deniz Ertan, Ann Warde, and Christophe Preissing discuss HPSCHD, Then and Now.

FREE – No Registration Required

HPSCHD@50: In Collaboration with Illinois Modern Ensemble

March 4, 2020, 9:00 PM, Illinois Modern Ensemble 7:00 PM
Foellinger Great Hall and Foyer, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
500 S Goodwin Ave, Urbana, IL 61801

Join us at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts for the final performance of the HPSCHD@50 Celebration. A “do-it-yourself” production featuring four harpsichord solos, smart phone audience-selected sound, and iPad video, with the Illinois Modern Ensemble, libations, and lots of fun! 

TICKETS – $10 single ticket to both events, $7 for seniors, $4 for students

FEED: HPSCHD@50 => indeterminEAT

March 19, 2020, 6:30 – 9:30pm
High Concept Labs @ Mana Contemporary, 5th Floor Cafe
2233 South Throop Street, Chicago, IL 60608 

Join NON:op, HPSCHD performers and scholars, and High Concept Labs, on Thursday, March 19, at Mana Contemporary for the final event in our 50th anniversary celebration of John Cage and Lejaren Hiller’s HPSCHD. With food by Eric May and Easy Eats, brews by Whiner Beer, political satire and songs by John Cage sung by Bill Brooks and Harrah Friedlander, video by Theo Economides and Ilse Miller, and other indeterminEAT shenanigans, it’s sure to be a memorable evening.

TICKETS: $30 with a pay-what-you-can option to donate to support the HPSCHD@50 Festival
(includes regular and vegan options, libations, and performances)

Performers: William Brooks & Harrah Friedlander, voice; Theo Economides & Ilse Miller, video; Carrie Sandahl, what is a HPSCHD?