Games of John Zorn

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with Acoustic Masada, 2006
with Acoustic Masada, 2006
Photo by Bruno Bollaert (CC BY NC-ND)

John Zorn doesn't describe rules of his games in writing and it's his purposeful decision which we are going to respect. We will follow that as long as the games are still restricted to oral tradition, but on a more general level there is much to be said (for example from the perspective of game design) about approaches displayed in the famous game pieces. A lot of information is also given in interviews and we can base on that.

There is a stated purpose of high skill floor of these games for example, that is something to talk about for ages. ;)

Before we tackle this topic thoroughly, let's just have an overview of John Zorn's games in one place.
If you have a link to a performance, please add (it don't have to be the versions with John Zorn involved in the performance)

Klarina (1974)
Baseball (1976)
Lacrosse (1976) —
Dominoes (1977)
Curling (1977)
Golf (1977)
Hockey (1978) —
Cricket (1978)
Fencing (1978)
Pool (1979)
Archery (1979) —
Tennis (1979)
Track and Field (1980)
Jai Alai (1980)
Goi (1981)
Croquet (1981)
Locus Salus (1982) — (?)
Sebastopol (1983) —
Rugby (1983)
Cobra (1984) — the most famous game piece ever? here with some added explanation:
Xu Feng (1985)
Hu Die (1986) —
Ruan Lingyu (1987)
Hwang Chin-ee (1988) —
Bezique (1989)
Que Tran (1990) —

Most of the list is from a footnote in Audio Culture: Readings in Modern Music edited by C. Cox and D. Warren, where you can find also an interesting interview with John Zorn himself.

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