In this performance I use a Black Box as my instrument. Since the audience is listening to the sound within the box via headphones, the box itself becomes an auditorium; a tiny concert venue, if you will. Following David Tudor's world premiere of the piece with piano on August 29th, 1952, I indicate the beginning of each movement by closing the lid. The lengths of the movements (I ~ 25", II ~ 157", III ~ 91") have been determined by chance procedures based on two versions of Cage's original score (30/143/100 and 33/160/80).
The location is particularly significant to those who remember Holbeck before the M621 was built, but the road continues to have a major impact on the way Holbeck is experienced. When Leeds aspired to be ‘motorway city’ in the late 1960s, the M621 (completed 1972-75) carved a swathe through Holbeck. Alongside the destruction of many houses, shops and pubs, several non-places were constructed throughout the area, by-products of development – generally unfrequented, unnoticed and unloved. In its short history, the Underpass has often felt unsafe to residents, and consequently avoided – particularly at night. Although Holbeck extends both sides of the motorway here, this area is usually characterised as a 'no-man's land' between Holbeck, Beeston, and Hunslet.
Audio recording for the piece started at fifty three minutes past one on the 11th of December, 2012. The section chosen for this version is comprised of a single take with no edits or additions to the sound in the box. The internal dimensions of the box are 14" x 24" x 10". The moving images were captured by two cameras, echoing the two microphones within the box. Avoiding the split-screen option, we tried to follow the action as it unfolded.. I would like to thank Phill Harding for being the audience and sound consultant; and Ross Kinghorn for his camerawork and editing. Finally, a huge thank you to all the passersby, who were perfect in their timings and trajectories.