Culture

Cage of Silence

Thaddeus and Max discuss 4’33”

Zeitgeisters, most of us don’t know who John Cage is (sure, I knew YOU would know). In fact, if, like me, he’s a ‘name-check’ to you; “ Yeah John Cage experimental musician”; then you’ll probably only know one particular, peculiar factoid.

Let’s Wikipedia!

John Milton Cage (September 5, 1912 – August 12, 1992) was an American experimental music composer, writer and visual artist. He is most widely known for his 1952 composition 4’33”, whose three movements are performed without playing a single note.

Not a single note.

I was walking on the South Perth foreshore when suddenly it hit me. I had never actually heard 4’33”

Which led me, inexorably to this paraphrased gag, which you are welcome to crack out next time you are backstage at Wembley Stadium with The Pussycat Dolls.

Q: Have you heard John Cage’s 4’33”?
A: Neither has he!

Sit back in your chair quietly and bask in the laughter and joy you have perpetrated.

Elevate The Insignificant,

Mr Trivia

0 thoughts on “Cage of Silence

  1. Did you know that John Cage and Merce Cunningham were life long partners, both romantically and artistically? I’d just written on my blog about how I don’t like Cunningham’s choreography and I have to say that whilst I haven’t heard a lot of his music, I feel the same way about Cage.

  2. I didn’t, and your comment sent me back to the net to suss out more Cage info. Depending on where you go – The Wikipedia for instance is quite coy about that romantic partnership – this information might or might not be on-line depending on the site.

    As for Cage’s music, my experiences attempting to learn semitoics in the 1980s and my attempts to understand writers like Foucault have left me with quite the aversion for anything which has as its mission the apparent obfuscation of a message, meaning or story.

    In my own area, few things annoy me more than experimental film. However many minutes an experimental film might take – four minutes and thirty-three seconds – or longer, is time wasted as far as I’m concerned.

    Many of the experimental films I have seen, break a cardinal rule of filmmaking; you cannot bore the audience – they can stay at home and get boredom for free.

    Some of Cage’s musical concepts – in the reading of them – affect me similarly. The self-concious bid to get the audience to consider form – a very post-modern idea – seems terribly Art School to me. But as I haven’t listened to the music, any commentary I have is flawed.

    Time I tracked down the stuff and gave it a spin, it seems. Will I come back a convert?

    Time will tell.

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