81 min. / color / HD / 5.1 surround sound

…with Francesco Tristano, Bruce Brubaker, Brandt Brauer Frick and the Symphonic Orchestra Muenster.

Summer, 2015

Hello, my name is Sandra Trostel. I’m the producer, director and editor of EVERYBODY’S CAGE. There is very little space for purposeless thought and activity in today’s highly efficient, tightly scheduled life routines. John Cage’s special perspective on social and philosophical issues made me realize how fruitful and inspiring it can be to explore structures by just taking them in, not only in art, but in all aspects of life. So in retrospect my last 4 years have not just been filled with work on an interesting movie, encountering John Cage was a actually liberating experience. If, as the buddhists say, “the mind is a restless monkey”, EVERYBODY’S CAGE is an invitation to drink some water and listen to the sounds of the jungle.
When John Cage (1912-1992), one of the most influential composers of New York’s 20th century avant-garde, was asked to summarize himself in a nutshell, he said humorously:  „Get out of whatever cage you‘re in.“  Cage scrutinized the underlying principles of the arrangements in music and society systematically. He developed musical forms free of hierarchy and traditional relations on the base of social and philosophical questions – on education, work, government, the process of inner development, on the freedom of movement of a society and its individuals. His compositions are independent from judgmental structures and the individual taste of the composer.

EVERYBODY´S CAGE, an imaginative conversation with John Cage, connects his musical work with his philosophical thoughts and confronts them with our present. Together with pianist and composer Francesco Tristano and a small team, we carried out a test assembly on the base of chance, an experiment in four movements. That made a lot of surprising things happen. We interpreted John Cage’s VARIATIONS IV, one of his scores without notes, played in the public environment of New York City. We were granted access to the sanctified Steinway basement where all their best pianos are stored to play an experimental performance. By chance we met a cab driver living in Greenpoint, who explained to us what silence means to him and who turned out to be one of our most important protagonists. We witnessed a private concert with open windows. We travelled through Germany to explore the reception techniques of classical music in today’s Europe. We played with Mozart, Schumann and Brand Brauer Frick, became a composition and places became music. And we came across a lot of birds.
Shot mainly in NYC, the city in which John Cage spent most of his life, EVERYBODY’S CAGE is an essayistic documentation of a musical approach to the soundscapes of our surroundings, an expedition to places of tranquility in one of the world´s busiest cities.

“Everything causes everything else, everything results from everything else.” John Cage

Francesco Tristano is a pianist and composer who is constantly moving between the worlds of classical and electronic music. Experienced concert audiences and classical music lovers may feel equally baffled when they hear a pianist blend and mix his own composition – just like a DJ – for example into a piece by baroque composer Girolamo Frescobaldi. A lover of music who is at odds with the attributions and exploitation of the culture business in his own way, as also his collaborations with musicians like Carl Craig, Derrick May, Moritz von Oswald, Alice Sara Ott, Brandt Brauer Frick or Bruce Brubaker show. http://www.francescotristano.com/

Bruce Brubaker is a New York based musician, concert pianist, a visionary virtuoso, an artistic provocateur and writer. Once named “Young Musician of the Year” by Musical America, Bruce Brubaker performs Mozart with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Philip Glass on the BBC. Profiled on NBC’s Today show, Brubaker’s playing, writing, and collaborations continue to show a shining, and sometimes surprising future for pianists and piano playing. He was one of Francesco Tristano’s teachers during his classical training at Juilliard School in New York. Today they collaborate in a project called SIMULCAST, where they perform two repertoires at the same time, without any rehearsal or arrangement. http://brucebrubaker.com/

Brandt Brauer Frick is a project of three musicians from Berlin, which formed this group to develop a new form of contemporary, partially hand-played dance music sometimes described as “Kraftwerk in reverse”. No matter whether they perform with a chamber orchestra or as a trio, their confrontation of classical music and electronic dance music techniques is always interesting to listen to. http://www.brandtbrauerfrick.de/

“Get out of whatever Cage you’re in” John Cage