Solo Wall Piece

Yoko Ono’s 1964 book Grape­fruit: A Book of Instruc­tions and Draw­ings has been reis­sued. I’m not a big Yoko fan, myself. I remem­ber her chiefly for her half of the Dou­ble Fan­ta­sy album by her and John. John’s half was excel­lent. Yoko’s half unlistenable.

But to the book! A Matthew Slaugh­ter has post­ed a review of the book on Ama­zon. His review includes this:

Grape­fruit” is filled, for the most part, with short, koan-like “pieces” such as “Wall Piece for Orches­tra.” Yoko directs the piece as fol­lows: “Hit a wall with your head.”

This imme­di­ate­ly brought to my mind a class I had in high school. I sus­pect it was the only class I had in four years in which I sat in the very last row. The back of the chair was up against the paint­ed con­crete block wall. I dis­cov­ered that if I moved my head away from the wall just an inch or so and then quick­ly moved it against the wall I was reward­ed with a very low tone that emanat­ed from the entire wall. And, most impor­tant­ly, it did not hurt (I guess I have a hard head.) Through the year I per­formed occa­sion­al­ly, suc­cess­ful­ly not doing it so often that I would be discovered.

Some­times my Solo Wall Piece seemed to go com­plete­ly unno­ticed, but there were times when I could tell that the teacher heard it and was look­ing around try­ing to see where the sound was com­ing from (fun­ny that I have no idea who the teacher in this class was, or which class it was!).

I always won­dered what kind of reac­tions, if any, where tak­ing place in the next room.

I had no idea I was fol­low­ing the instruc­tions of Yoko Ono!

Hat tip: Ann Alt­house

One thought on “Solo Wall Piece”

  1. It’s like­ly you’d have bet­ter luck with remem­ber­ing the class and teacher if you had­n’t spent so much time bang­ing your head on a con­crete wall… ;)

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