Saturday, November 03, 2007

Not Liking John Cage All That Much

Silence is deafening. (Even more than motos.) It's true, and I've decided that I do not like it, not one bit. Silence avoids sense. Silence avoids meaning. Music creates meaning. Music separates the sense from the nonsense. Silence drives me to craziness, sometimes, to impulsive, foolish behaviors. I blame Cage. I blame him for allowing the modern ear to think silence is music, to think silence speaks, to think silence is beauty and truth. Oh, John...did you not hear enough Bach as a child, did you not?

4 Comments:

Don't blame Cage, Heather. His point was that even in the most "silent" place, there is always sound, always something to hear.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:02 AM  

I think I read somewhere that Cage did not hear Bach's music until he was about 17 or 18. Could be apocryphal, though.

By Blogger Kyle, at 12:19 AM  

Not til 17 or 18!?! That is amazing, if true... And you all know, right, that this is just a mini tantrum? I love that it generates a buzz though...

By Blogger Heather, at 6:59 AM  

Ah, but Heather ...

John would have said that actually there is no such thing as silence. Stop playing, and there still is something to listen to.

John tried to find silence. He even went to an anechoic chamber, where there is supposed to be NO sound at all.

Still, what he heard was his own blood stream pulsing in his ears, and the high pitch of his own nervous system.

Point being, those silences in Cage's music (of which there are actually very few) are interludes where one may focus on the sounds not being performed.

There is no silence.

--Richard Friedman

By Blogger Heather, at 2:21 PM  

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