I want to say that I have enjoyed this experience with you and I'm grateful to Eva Soltes and to Eric Bowersfeldt and Randy Thom and Susan Sanders. And I'm about to be grateful to two others: Dennis Leonard and Bob Schumacher. I haven't known quite what to present to you but gradually what's going to be given has shaped itself. I am at a point of change. One thinks, I suppose, that he's always at a point of change and maybe it isn't true. And I've written down on these ten sheets of paper the things that I think are happening as I start whatever I do next.

Some of these sheets -- there are ten -- I've jotted down ideas that I've had for a long time. And others are things that -- most of them are things that have happened to me recently. I'm not going to read them in the order that I wrote them, nor am I going to read them. I'm going to use them as the basis for a kind of improvisation. Ordinarily when I give a talk, I prepare it. Only once before have I improvised it as I will today. I did that once on a roof in Ann Arbor for the Once Group. And while I was improvising, David Tudor was also improvising.

Today, Dennis Leonard and Bob Schumacher will collaborate to record what I improvise for the first sheet and then I'll wait a little bit and I'm going to use chance operations visibly for you so as to find out which of the next ten sheets I shall read or shall improvise on. And while I'm improvising on the second one, the first one will be played, so that you'll get to hear it for the second time. And that will continue until we get to the end (laughter)!

So, I have these print-outs of a program called IC, which is I-Ching for the numbers from two to ten. And I have ten sheets here, so my question is -- because I'm, well, -- I'll tell you that later probably. My question is: Which of these ten sheets I should begin with.

John Cage
Thursday, August 31, 1989