Friday, September 01, 2006


John Cage is one of my favorite composers. It's too bad all most people know of him is something about something vaguely somthing related to "4'33". Admittedly, as compositions go, it's just too easy a target for comedy.

This past week marked the work's 54th birthday. Here's a tasty link that leads you to all and many varied things on the web related to Cage's infamous work. Includes a link to a website where you can even spend 5 bucks or so to own the "score".


Ferre said...

It's a piece that most people hates. They holds it as the ultimate example of negative and pernicious "modern art". They see 4'33'' as an art work instead of an experimental work, which it's more correct, in my opinión. They hear the orchestra instead of hearing the non-orchestra; that's the error.

And its very strange nowadays, when silence doesn't exists (we are invaded by sounds every where every moment). I thought that people may miss the sound of silence, but maybe that's not right and people love sounds (music, noise, talking,...) and they unconciously think that silence it's something

I've watched the video of the BBC Symphony Orchestra performance at the Barbican, directed by Lawrence Foster, and I've discovered another aspect of the work: the theatrical aspect. I saw it as if a great group of people (musicians, audience, TV narrators, lectricians, all of them) it's performing comedy for themselves; a giant joke, a modern-happening (just the happenings in the Cage years).

Finally, I've experience this piece live several weeks ago, in the 2006 Mozart Festival in Coruña. And there was an "ambient sound", a cell phone tone, which was very appropiate this year (link)



antonie said...

4'33" is a piece that had to be composed some time. It is similar to and has, because of the audience, more meaning than the blank canvasses one can admire in a museum of modern art. In each case the reaction of the public is interesting.