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John Cage is 100

5 Sep

John Milton Cage Jr. (September 5, 1912 – August 12, 1992) was an American composer, music theorist, writer, and artist. A pioneer of indeterminacy in musicelectroacoustic music, and non-standard use of musical instruments, Cage was one of the leading figures of the post-war avant-garde. Critics have lauded him as one of the most influential American composers of the 20th century.[1][2][3][4]

He remains a palpably vivid presence, still provoking thought, still spurring argument, still spreading sublime mischief. He may have surpassed Stravinsky as the most widely cited, the most famous and/or notorious, of twentieth-century composers. His influence extends far outside classical music, into contemporary art and pop culture.

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He was the ultimate free thinker, the ultimate opener of doors and minds, the ultimate American maverick.

John Cage’s 100th birthday is happening all over Seattle

Official website here.


‘Where the Heart Beats,’ John Cage Biography, by Kay Larson

23 Jul

“Where the Heart Beats” is a book about a man learning to use and trust the void. It’s a kind of love story about overcoming the need for love.

“Cage’s music and his interactions have been documented in many other books, but what makes “Where the Heart Beats” different is that it centers first on the ideas behind the work: why he sought them, when he came upon them, and where and how he used them. Only secondarily is it about his notated and copyrighted scores, and Cage’s place within the history of music (if indeed that is the place he ought to occupy).”

Visualizing Music Part 2

10 Jul

Notations 21: 165 Musicians Visualize Sheet Music in Unusual Ways

Currently this volume is quite expensive.

How Do We Visualize Music?

10 Jul

In this short film from Streaming Museum’s John Cage Centennial Tribute, Theresa Sauer captures the essence of the project beautifully:

I believe that to be an artist, you must immerse yourself with great passion in all that surrounds you. We can decide if our communication, experiments, processes, and risks that we take have the courage to face being different. But I ask, in my work, the questions — and, as John Cage said, it is about whether the questions are good ones.