Moorman Literature Review Assignment

Each of you will take a close look at different works performed by Charlotte Moorman and present them to the class next week, starting Tuesday. 

Give us a clear understanding of each work: what would be seen, what would be heard, how the performance was structured over time, what concepts are behind the creation or structure of the work. Discuss what each work has in common with a traditional classical cello performance, what is different, and the impacts of those differences. How is it relevant to the cello—does it need to be “for” cello?

Share the most helpful information, images, sound clips, and video clips you can find to get these ideas across. Keep it focused to a total 15 minutes. You won’t find the same amount, kinds, or formats of information for each piece, but see what you can find.


For the books, check the index for the composer name, work title, and under Charlotte Moorman

  • Rothfuss, Joan. Topless CellistThe Improbable Life of Charlotte Moorman—on library reserve
  • Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art. A Feast of Astonishments: Charlotte Moorman and the Avant-Garde, 1960s–1980s—on library reserve
  • Moorman, Charlotte. Cello Anthology—CD box set with large booklet on library reserve; see Charlotte Moorman Resources post for MP3s of the anthology and the booklet and a very useful index (thanks, Grant!)
  • Charlotte Moorman Resources for videos, sound clips, and related materials
  • Try some web searches too, and see if you find any other useful materials

Assignments, for each student:

Blake: Cage, John. 26’1.1499”


  • Beuys, Joseph. Infiltration Homogen für Cello
  • Higgins, Dick, Cello Sonata
  • Paik, Nam June. Variations on a theme by Saint-Saëns


  • Chiari, Giuseppe, Per Arco
  • Moorman, Child of the Cello (and all pieces included in it)


  • McWilliams, Jim. Ice Music (any/all versions: “…for London“, “…for Washington“, etc.)
  • Jeanrenaud, Joan, Ice Cello


  • McWilliams, Jim (sometimes credited to Jean Dupuy). C. Moorman in Drag, sometimes only described as performing in a Pablo Casals mask
  • McWilliams, Jim, Sky Kiss
  • McWilliams, Jim. Flying Cello
  • McWilliams, Jim. Music for Helicopter and Cello

Leon: Paik, Nam June. Opera Sextronique

Michael: Paik, Nam June. TV Cello and Concerto for TV Cello and Videotapes

Wes: Paik, Nam June, TV Bra for Living Sculpture  and TV Bra sculpture