An original handbill announcing a performance of 'New Music' by The Audio-Visual Group at the Living Theatre, 530 6th Ave., New York City, August 1, 1960. THE NEW YORK AUDIO-VISUAL GROUP.

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An original handbill announcing a performance of 'New Music' by The Audio-Visual Group at the Living Theatre, 530 6th Ave., New York City, August 1, 1960.

Attractively designed and nicely printed in red and black on cream coloured stock. 28x21.8cm. Lists composers Al Hansen, Dick Higgins, Jackson MacLow, Reginald Daniels, Larry Poons, La Monte Young and Ray Johnson. Fine.


Founded in 1959 by Dick Higgins and Al Hansen, the Audio-Visual Group was intended as a continuation of the experimental composition classes taught by John Cage at the New School for Social Research, New York, between 1957 and 1959, attended by both Higgins and Hansen. They met weekly at the Epitome Café on Bleecker Street, run by Larry Poons (another attendee of Cage's classes), and developed a performance programme and wrote experimental notated music on everyday objects ('Tennessee', a piece by Poons, employed a motorcycle, electric guitar and a basketball). La Monte Young, who arrived in New York from San Francisco in September 1960, was also influenced by Cage and during the summer he wrote a series of musical compositions relating to chance and audience involvement, some of which were probably performed at this concert. Ray Johnson, another artist whose work was informed by Zen philosophy and the role of chance, had his compositions performed only occasionally (the best known of which is 'Funeral Music for Elvis Presley'), and his mention on this handbill is a scarce appearance.

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