Cage of Trans(il)ience

Isaac Leung (website)
Brighton School of Architecture
Third Year Final Project
Brief: Four theatres for John Cage
Faculty: Stefan Lengen (website), Kyriakos Katsaros (website)


TRANSIENCE: The state or fact of lasting only for a short time; transitoriness;
RESILIENCE: The ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity;
SILENCE: Complete absence of sound(?)

The building is essentially an architectural performance platform and outdoor theatre for the music and art of conceptual musician John Cage. Inhabiting the flint wall remains of the ruins of Tide Mills in Newhaven, East Sussex. The theatre adapts and records the sound of the surrounding landscape and responds according for the Cage-esk performance.

  1. Origin of Sound
    Arriving at the Bishopstone Halt Rail Station, entrance of the Four Theatres for John Cage, stepping into the Silent Passage, while you can just about to hear the sound wind blowing through the marshes. You can choose to enter the contemplative Anechoic Chambers to experience Cage’s famous silent piece, 4’33’’. You will then interpret the actual notion of ‘silence’.
  2. Landscape Theatre
    The main stage will accommodate an orchestral-scale performance. You as an audience can choose to sit anywhere walk on the ramps, stairs, vantage point or hide behind the remaining walls of Tide Mills to experi- ment with your own musical experience.
  3. Sound Tower
    Records and archives the sound of the surrounding landscape, you can engage with the process in the viewports with vistas of the Newhaven Fort on the West or the Beachy Head Cliff on the East.
  4. Tidal Theatre
    Experience the choreograhpical performance of Cage and Merce Cunningham, you will occupy a floating struc- ture responds to the tides of River Ouse.
  5. Blazing Theatre
    You are arriving at the final sequence while you’re given chance to take part in the performance. You will be one of the 20 musicians holding a portable radio that tunes in to your chosen channel to perform Cage’s Radio Music.


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