Reunion by John Cage (& Marcel Duchamp)

First Latin American performance of Reunion by the North American composer John Cage, celebrating his centenary. This version included 16 musicians and 16 professional chess players, who played 15 games in a row at the Central Hall of the National Museum of Fine Arts, all day Sunday, November 4, from 10:00 to 19:30. Admission to the museum was free.

Reunion was first performed in 1968 in Toronto, Canada. On that occasion John Cage invited Marcel Duchamp to play a few games of chess on an electronic board with photosensors which activated electronic music performed live by six musicians. Duchamp defeated Cage easily, despite having one knight less. This would be Duchamp's last public appearance before dying a few months later. Duchamp "retired" from the art world at age 31 in 1918 and devoted himself to chess, playing championships, Olympics and publishing a book about a very unusual endgame position. Duchamp taught Cage how to play chess during the 60s in New York.

In this new version of Reunion technology was updated with an electronic board connected to a computer, senging the sounds to a speaker system surrounding the players and audience, making music travel from one end of the Central Hall to the other. Each chess piece by every player had a musical structure which had been previously recorded by each musician, and as the games went on several unpredictable musical combinations were heard. More information on the hardware and software used at Resist.


Chess players and musicians

1. Alfredo Farfán, Olympic Trainer & Daniel Mendoza with prepared violin

2. Marcelo Llorens, MF y Olympic Player & Andrés Chinchón with his voice

3. Pedro Díaz, Chilean sub 12 Champion & Rodrigo Castellanos with electroacoustic

4. Valentina Jorquera, International Master & Sebastián Jatz Rawicz with accordion

5. Emilio Alvarez, Spanish Stadium Champion & Christian Delon with water

6. Walter Cuevas, FIDE Master & Marcelo Maira with Hulusi

7. Luis Almarza, General Secretary of the Chilean Chess Foundation & Lukax Santana with glass

8. Julio Silva, Vicepresident of the Bishop Club of Iquique & John Saylor with Nintendo 3DS

9. Gabriel Ferrer, Spanish Stadium Chess Master & Daniel Tirado with granular synthesis

10. Cristóbal Rossel, Saint Gabriel Infant Series & Alejandro Palacios with Bb trumpet

11. Damaris Abarca, Female National Champion &  Fernando Godoy with soundscape

12. Rodrigo Rubio, Chess Player & Renzo Finilich with sine waves

13. Josefa Yáñez, Chess Player & Raúl Díaz with quotidiophones

14. Jorge Egger, International Master & Edén Carrasco with alto saxophone

15. Mauricio Carvallo, Chess Journalist & Rodrigo Ríos with Chladni plates

16. Juan Carlos Mundaca, AJEFECH General Secretary & Juga di Prima with her voice  


First Round

10:00 – 10:30  1. Farfán/Mendoza vs Llorens/Chinchón

10:40 – 11:10  2. Díaz/Castellanos vs Jorquera/Jatz

11:20 – 11:50  3. Alvarez/Delon vs Cuevas/Maira

12:00 – 12:30  4. Almarza/Santana vs Silva/Saylor

12:40 – 13:10  5. Ferrer/Tirado vs Rossel/Palacios

13:20 – 13:50  6. Abarca/Godoy vs Rubio/Filinich

14:00 – 14:30  7. Yáñez/Díaz vs Egger/Carrasco

14:40 – 15:10  8. Carvallo/Ríos vs Mundaca/di Prima

Second Round

15:20 – 15:50  9. Llorens/Chinchón vs Jorquera/Jatz

16:00 – 16:30  10. Cuevas/Maira vs Almarza/Santana

16:40 – 17:10  11. Ferrer/Tirado vs Abarca/Godoy

17:20 – 17:50  12.  Egger/Carrasco vs Mundaca/di Prima


18:00 – 18:30  13. Llorens/Chinchón vs Cuevas/Maira

18:40 – 19:10  14. Ferrer/Tirado vs Egger/Carrasco


19:20 – 19:30  15. Llorens/Chinchón vs  Egger/Carrasco


Juan Ignacio Bello - Video document
Pablo Contreras - Sound technician and recording 
Andy Dockett - Chess board and pieces design
Sebastián Jatz - General Producer
Gonzalo Ramírez - Electronics and programming


Francisca Fischer - María Ignacia Hojas - Marisa Niño - Alexandra Ginesta -
Pablo Viojo - María José Balmaceda - Antonia Peón Veiga - Marilen Corbalán - 
Zachary Gvirtzman - Heidrun Breier - Camila Marty - Bárbara Martínez - 
Michael Quigley - Ximena Acevedo - Leslie Prida - Cristián Damiani - Eileen Bertie
- Alexia Muñíz - Pablo Cárcamo - Leonardo Soto - Andrés Chinchón - 
Patricio Velasco - Tomás Usón - María Teresa Petric - Christine Stockins - 
Leonora López - Claudia Perera - John Saylor - Martín Bacigalupo -
Blas Troncoso - Fundación Chilena de Ajedrez - Beatriz Pulido 


Reunion was funded by different people through a crowd funding campaign, who received in exchange for their contribution a number of objects associated with the event: CDs, DVDs, collectible poster, and a vertical board and pieces designed by Andy Dockett.


Photographs by Marisa Niño using a Mamiya C330