Skip to comments.John Cage Centennial Festival: Will it silence critics?
Posted on 09/02/2012 4:05:30 PM PDT by Borges
To many artists, he was one of the most inspiring figures of the 20th century. To some musicians, he is underrated: branded, unfairly, more important as a thinker than a composer. And to a large segment of the public, hes a charlatan: a man who convinced some people that sitting onstage in silence for four minutes and 33 seconds could be construed as performing a work of music.
John Cage composer, philosopher, visual artist, mushroom enthusiast would have been 100 years old on Wednesday. This week Washington, usually somewhat conservative in its musical tastes, is challenging its own image with an eight-day celebration, opening Tuesday and spread throughout some of the citys flagship arts institutions, that may be the largest Cage centennial in the country.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
Yesterday I played a John Cage piece at full volume.
The mime next door went crazy.
You gotta watch the tempo in 4’33”. Too fast and it’s...well, it’s 4’32”.
Oh, can’t you be quiet for a minute or... uh, four and a half?!
I had a girlfriend that I wished would do an a capella version of that.
Use philistines just don’t get it! Don’t get it!
Silence as music.....interesting.....modern American poets should try that concept.....a blank white page.....the Atlantic would pay big money for it.....here’s my poem for the Atlantic about an albino deer peeing in a snowstorm
Where’s my check?
That’s my other poem.
Actually he was bringing attention to the "white noise" that music exists along with, i.e. the sounds of the audience. It was quite clever, and only one of his many explorations. Not all geniuses make you tap your toes.
BTW, the proper visual for an albino deer peeing in a snowstorm is:
I’m sorry, but your deer should see a urologist. That is an indicator of bladder problems.
Well, if I was in the audience, I’d want union scale for making white noise as a performer. You don’t even want to know how much they would have to pay me to sit there and be quiet.
Einstein makes me tap my toes.
“E=mc2....shangalanga ding dong.....”
Hard to dance to, though.
isn’t he a character in CONAIR or EMERGENCY?
Many moons ago, when I was young and a student at the Univ. of Illinois-Champaign/Urbana, I had a part-time student worker job at the Music Library in the Music building on campus. I would check out books, music manuscripts, etc. This was the time when John Cage was a professor of music at U of I, and he would come into the library frequently. I would check books, etc. out for him many times. He truly was into mushrooms, and his books would be interspersed with mushroom factoids. I still have one of his books somewhere.
Cage was a flaming gay who struck poses a lot. He was a little guy and smoked cigarettes using a fancy cigarette holder. Very witty. There was a cadre of professors into the atonal, and performance art music scene at U of I just as it was coming into full blossom. I went to a performance art show that Cage put on at the University Assembly Hall, that was shaped like a giant mushroom (right up Cage’s mushroom alley). Or a giant flying saucer if you prefer. As you went in, there was psychedelic multi-colored gauze hangings w/strobe lights flashing everywhere that you walked through, and in various places you’d trip across harpsichord players (one was some famous female from France that he had imported, can’t remember her name). And in the upper reaches of the hall, up in the rafters (last row of seats) were placed assorted tape machine recorders blaring forth weird music, a combination of humans and machines making noise, err, music. This was of course, back in the Hippie Days, and I would estimate that three quarters of the inhabitants therein were thoroughly stoned before getting there for this psychedelic experience. And an experience it was. Actually, it was a lot of fun. Cage was a real character.
Actually, I shouldn’t have said little guy above as much as a leprechaun type of guy, reminded me of a leprechaun, only taller. I went to one of his performances of the “prepared piano” where he was sticking stuff (objects) under, over the piano strings. Interesting.