PRIMETIME 5881 is a musical performance, producing an event with a theatric feel. It takes place as a spatial environment in which the audience may arrive after the piece has begun and leave before it ends, wandering freely around the auditorium in the time for which they are there. The multiplicity of simultaneous visual and audible events, all going together in one's experience, will produce excitement.

A prime number is a positive integer, which can only be divided with no remainder by itself and one. While some prime numbers occur consecutively, such as 29 and 31, in other instances, there are long stretches of whole numbers in which no primes appear. These stretches are known as prime deserts. The biggest desert-gab in Primetime 5881 is number 34, appearance following prime 1327.


Primetime 5881 is a composition on the subject of the summation of the gab-numbers between consecutive primes, the measure between one prime and the next prime, until prime number 5881 is reached, after approximately 1 hour. The sequence is based on the sum of the open spaces between prime numbers, which is far from simple randomization. The composition uses two tracks of computer-generated voices (master and slave) listing prime-numbers by adding the gab numbers, what is meant to be perceived as part of consisting sounds of the environment that the listeners hear during the live-performance.

The overture starts counting from zero and has the next set of different numbers to add: 3x #1, 144x #2, 141x #4, 192x #6, 62x #8, 75x #10, 54x #12, 30x #14, 19x #16, 22x #18, 6x #20, 10x #22, 6x #24, 3X #26, 3x #28, 4x #30, 1x #32, 1x #34.


The numbers can be assigned to a Quintet as follows:

A (stringed instruments?) presents 144x #2

B (wind instruments?) presents 141x #4

C (percussion instruments?) presents 192x #6

D (keyboards?) presents 191x #8-10-12

E (singing voice?) presents 105x #14 to #34

Other elements of the composition are left to chance or to the determination of its performers. This allows the players to use their numbers in different manners, to improvise a passage or to play ad libitum. The audience is obliged to listen to the counting voices from the computer. The rhythmic of the performance seems to be subject to an element of chance. However, the content is meant to be perceived as part of the sounds of the environment that the listeners hear, rather than merely as one hour of counting numbers.


a composition inspired by John Cage.

The Anarchy of Silence -

John Cage and Experimental Art

The inspiration of this composition is the exhibition titled The Anarchy of Silence - John Cage and Experimental Art in SCHUNCK* in Heerlen. During the exhibition, SCHUNCK* will organise an accompanying programme in collaboration with Cultura Nova titled John Cage Of what is and what might have been.

Of what is and what might have been

As a musician, writer and philosopher, John Cage strove to push back the boundaries of the acceptable - not only in music but in other disciplines too. This approach formed the cornerstone for a philosophical exploration free of disciplinary conventions, free of taste and of traditional models of aesthetic experience. Present-day artists give their interpretation of Cage's oeuvre in a series of concerts, installations, lectures and performances: they show what is and what could have been.

John Cage was and is a source of inspiration for artists due to his commitment to everything new, the non-subjective and the changeable. Words as a non-intention and indeterminacy are an essential part of that. Cage composed his first works in 1951 including Music of Changes, with help from games of chance. He changed the mental models surrounding 'compositions' and embraced technology, which redefined the effect of art on sensory perception. He used his work to break the existing, traditional boundaries within and between various forms of art, as well as the common ways of showing and exhibition.

With The Anarchy of Silence John Cage and Experimental Art, not only is SCHUNCK* presenting the largest exposition dedicated to the composer since his death in 1992. It is also presenting the first exhibition to place John Cages’ work in the context of music history and the history of the visual and performing arts.

The exhibition follows Cage's career in chronological order from 1930 until the late 1980's. It includes over two hundred works, including original scores, paintings, noise works, films and multimedia installations by not only by John Cage himself but also by Marcel Duchamp, Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol, La Monte Young, Nam June Paik and Fluxus, and others. Cage put a bomb under the artistic conventions of his time. As John Cage Of what is and what might have been shows, his influence is still felt today. The retrospective, put together by Julia Robinson and realized in co-production with the Henie Onstad Art Centre in Norway and MACBA Barcelona, presents John Cage as an all-round innovator.