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Musicircus

Conduct and create your own one-off musical experience.

In the 1960s, American composer John Cage began organising ‘happenings’ under the title Musicircus, where musicians, speakers and dancers would give different performances at the same time, very close to each other.

Audience members would wander around the space, gradually making sense of what seemed like chaos as the performances overlapped to create a spectacular range of sounds. In the words of Cage, “you won’t hear a thing. You’ll hear EVERYTHING.”

The Space partnered with Aldeburgh Music to to build an online tool that lets you create your own musicircus online. You can choose from over 40 performances to listen to two, three or four at a time, and explore different combinations of sights and sounds.

This is a digital version of a performance that took place on 22 June 2014 at the 67th Aldeburgh Festival, where 1000 musicians came together for two hours to create their own Musicircus. Together, they turned the town into a huge resounding mass.

This artwork is no longer available online

About this Artist

Musiccircus was commissioned by The Space and Aldeburgh Music, and built by AVCO. It features performances from the Musicians of An Aldeburgh Musicircus, including Aldeburgh festival Artistic Director Pierre-Laurent Aimard, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Suffolk folk bands, school choirs and a bellydance troupe.


Aldeburgh Music is an international performance centre set in a stunning landscape on the Suffolk coast. Its year-round programme has grown out of the Aldeburgh Festival, founded in 1948 by Benjamin Britten, Peter Pears and Eric Crozier.