Cage Against the Machine

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A British group called Cage Against the Machine is promoting John Cage's famed "silent" composition 4'33" in an attempt to make it the top song (h/t: Bonnie Alter at TreeHugger) during Xmas this year. The Guardian has a nice article here, and a video of the entire recording session is here.

I have to thank Norman Lebrecht for mentioning the publication of the 4'33" score by Edition Peters. Leaving a copy of it on a music stand would be an interesting conversation-starter; interested parties can see images of it here without coughing up $5 for a copy:


Note: Since it's still Zappadan, I should mention that the 2-disc set A Chance Operation: The John Cage Tribute features a FZ rendition of 4"33".

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4'33" is one of my all-time favorite works. I've performed it and conducted it on a number of occasions. While often derided by those who aren't in the right mindset, it's a powerful piece for performers, which is why I use it at the high school level with some frequency. Active listening and active participation in silence are skills we nearly wholly lack in 21st century American society. A work of music is experienced through sound and the LACK of sound. ("Notes" and "rests" if you will.) While there are pieces that are composed of uninterrupted notes, this is the definitive piece that is composed of uninterrupted rests during each movement. I find it beautiful, introspective, and full of potential and power. Try sitting in absolute silence for a couple of minutes. You'll be stunned by what you hear, and if in the right mindset, perhaps even moved.

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on December 14, 2010 5:01 PM.

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