One of the great creative forces of our time died Sunday, choreographer Merce Cunningham. It would be almost disingenuous to call him one of the leading artistic revolutionaries of the 20th Century, if for no other reason than he remained choreographing past his recent 90th birthday and continued to the end a profound influence on our view of movement and time.

Photo (CC) yan.da.

From John Cage to Radiohead, there are few people in any medium so closely tied to the explorations of experimental music’s frontiers than Cunningham. To understand why music was so important to him – and electronic music in particular – we can listen to Merce himself. He explains that part of this shift in thinking about time came from the eradication of bars and beats in electronic music:

From an interview on UbuWeb.

(Thanks to Benjamin Dauer for the tip.)

That’s just one example, though; there’s quite a lot more we could talk about. I’d like to do a timeline of Merce’s significant sound collaborations and review some of the moments in electronic music history with which he was involved. On Create Digital Motion, we’ll look back at his LifeForms software and the work he did with motion. But I need your help: please send along resources you think may be helpful, any of your own experiences of the artist and his work, and other tips and questions.

On Create Digital Motion:
Remembering Merce Cunningham, Digital Motion, and Digital Portraits

Merce Cunningham Dies [New York Times ArtBeat]
Merce Cunningham Foundation

MCF and MCD will be receiving visitors today. (See site above.)