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About this Piece

According to George Brecht (1926-2008), there is no wrong way to play an Event Score.

A student of Cage’s, the Fluxus artist and composer invented the “Event Score” as a composition. Brecht made art as a way of “ensuring that the details of everyday life, the random constellations of objects that surround us, stop going unnoticed.”

The instructions are simple and literal, a brisk and curious poetry. Haikus drawn not from nature necessarily but from life, each composition radically open to interpretation. The entirety of the instructions for Drip Music (1959) read as “a source of water and an empty vessel are arranged so that the water falls into the vessel.”

For his String Quartet, the sole directive is “Shaking hands.”

The trick here is not a virtuosity of technique or fidelity to notation, but how you wish to follow this humble instruction, the heart with which they perform, how they choose to perform.

Sweat dripping from the last vigorous piece performed, drying hands on dresses and trousers, do you just stop and shake each other’s hands? Do you play another song, refusing silent stillness, but with shivering over each note? Maybe you just give a sloppy grin and the shimmering fingers of jazz hands?

There is no wrong way to play an Event Score.

Anyone can do them whenever they want. Requiring no special training or permission, they are free, open, spacious.

Shake hands. Now this time with feeling.

— From an essay by Andrew Berardini