Composer George Cacioppo of Monroe was key figure in avante-garde music

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George Cacioppo was born on Sept. 24, 1926, in Monroe and became one of the most prolific post-World War II avant-garde musical composers – achieving international recognition as one of the co-founders of the ONCE group and the ONCE Festival, which was held in Ann Arbor from 1961 to 1968. The ONCE Festival, according to the Northwestern University Archives, was the single most significant focus for avant-garde, mixed-media activity in the Midwest during the 1960s. The ONCE Festival included jazz and rock performances of works from an entire range of Cageian and post-Cageian experimental American music. 

Cageian music was named after its leading promoter, John Cage, who is credited with pioneering electroacoustic music (the first use of musical technology, including synthesizers, reverb, and other enhancements) and indeterminacy in music (the random playing of notes – often considered the basis of modern jazz and other freeform musical genres). 

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Written by: Soft FM Radio Staff

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