by Yoko Ono
Georgia Stone was Yoko Ono's contribution to The John Cage Tribute, A Chance Operation (1993).
Georgia Stone was also the score to a stage production by the same name in 1987, when the piece was originally written.
Notes by Yoko Ono:
1st movement: Darkness
2nd movement: Mommy, Where Are You?
3rd movement: Light
1st movement: The first statement “Be Not A Cancer On Earth…” is a direct quote from the message carved on the Georgia Guidestones in in Elbertson, Georgia. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgia_Guidestones)
The statements following that are by John Lennon, Martin Luther King and a survivor of Auschwitz, in that order. The cries intercut with the bass guitar accompaniment are those of an elephant.
2nd movement: This section starts with the First World War and ends with the Third World War. The moan you hear underneath is that of whales.
3rd movement: The monk’s chanting with a chime accompaniment in the beginning and the end of the piece is a wake-up call for the monks in the temple of China. The statements are made by children who belonged to the “Children of War” organization. They come from Namibia, the Philippines, Guatemala, Lebanon and South Africa. All of them are saying “I remember my country. My country was beautiful,” in their own tongues.
Even as a small child, Yoko Ono was writing musical scores and plays as an escape from her tumultuous childhood. Going against the wishes of her traditional family, who wished her to become a classical pianist, Yoko joined a group of daring artists in the then thriving avant-garde art world of New York. Eventually, she went on to form the Fluxus movement with George Macuinas, a movement that wished to do away with the restrictions of formal art teachings.
By the end of the 1950’s, Yoko had established herself as one of the most original artists in the movement. Her work was so unique that she was often left out of group shows. “That is how I became famous not as a group but as Yoko Ono,” she recalls. From 1959 to 1968, Yoko’s art appeared in many galleries and performance halls in New York, Tokyo and London. Billed as a multi-media artist, Yoko stressed that each art form was merely a part of the whole, a kind of autobiographical puzzle. In 1967, her film “Bottoms,” which consisted of 365 famous backsides, gained her instant notoriety, and it was this humor and the positive nature of Yoko’s art that attracted John Lennon to her show at a London gallery.
John Lennon and Yoko Ono were married in 1969 and instantly became the most famous and symbolic couple of the peace and love generation. John and Yoko collaborated on a number of experimental albums, which they called “Unfinished Music.” These included Two Virgins, Life with the Lions, and Wedding Music. In 1970, Yoko released her debut solo album on Apple Records, Yoko Ono/ Plastic Ono Band, followed by the double-disc Fly in 1971. These two works, consisting mostly of avant-garde jams, were far ahead of their time, and didn’t find an audience until years later, when they were recognized as major influences of the New Wave music of the 1980s. Through the seventies Yoko’s music evolved into lyrically structured rock and roll. Her albums Approximately infinite Universe (1972), and Feeling the Space (1973), captured the struggles and triumphs of the then blossoming women’s government.
From 1975 to 1980, John and Yoko took a break from the public to raise their newly born son, Sean. They finally reappeared n 1980 with the Grammy award-winning Double Fantasy. Since the Tragedy of 1980, Yoko has continued soul-search through her art; the albums Season of Glass (1981), It’s Alright (1983) and Starpeace (1986) al dealt with personal growth, loss, anger and world affairs.
In 1986, Yoko undertook a worldwide Starpeace concert tour, and in 1988, thanks to a showing at New York’s prestigious Whitney Museum, there was a resurgence of interest in Yoko’s conceptual art. From that point on, Yoko’s old and new art pieces have been continuously shown in museums and galleries around the world. In 1992, Onobox, a six CD collection of music spanning Yoko’s entire recording career was released to raves from critics. Reflecting on her own reputation for being outrageous, Yoko smiles and says, “I do have to rely on my own judgment, although to some people my judgment seems a little out of sync. I have my own rhythm and my own timing, and that’s simply how it is.”