From the latest edition of Perfect Sound Forever:

“….in Cagean spirit, the following is a series of aleatoric impressions of the ideas and music of John Cage…”


This might be a good time to put in a mention of Kyle Gann’s No Such Thing as Silence: John Cage’s 4’33”, which I read a couple months back, and, for the most part, enjoyed tremendously. (My one disappointment: a bit too much focus on the man rather than the song.) There’s a good interview with Gann (by John Ruscher) here:

“I think that as many other composers have taken environmental sound into their aesthetic, the actual impact of ‘4’33″‘ will become a little diffuse; it was revolutionary at the time, but in young people’s hindsight it appears to seem more and more obvious and necessary. It will always pinpoint a crucial historical step, but like Columbus’s egg, it seems less and less surprising that someone thought of it. One student in Serbia mentioned to me recently that he thought the only real performance was the first one, a total surprise, and that the ‘aura’ of the work could never really be recreated again. Cage, who kept redefining the work for himself, would have disagreed, but for most people I think there’s some truth to it. By now, almost anyone who hears it live has an idea what will happen and how to think about it.”


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