John Cage’s 4’33” to be performed at WAAM 8/29 at 6 pm FREE

John Cage portrait

John Cage portrait


Woodstock, NY, August 29, 2013  –  Paul McMahon will perform John Cage’s famous composition 4’33” at the Woodstock Artists Association Museum (WAAM) at 6 pm on Thursday, August 29, 2013. With brief remarks and Q&A provided by Kay Larson.  Free. WAAM is located at 28 Tinker St. in Woodstock and can be reached at (845) 679-2940.

Cage’s piece was composed in 1952 for any instrument (or combination of instruments).

The score instructs the performer not to play during the entire duration of the piece.  It was first performed in Woodstock on August 29, 1952, presented by The Woodstock Artists Association at the Maverick Concert Hall. This will be the 61st anniversary of that performance.

4’33” is an enormously influential piece in the world of art and is considered by many to be the perfect minimalist creation.

Norm Magnusson

Norm Magnusson

Norm Magnusson, who is producing this concert, saw it performed years ago by composer, percussionist, and avant-guardian David Van Tieghem and recounts that he was surprised at how deeply moved he was by the purity of the work.  Magnusson adds: “4’33”, on one level, seems to be as close to artistic perfection as an artist can get.”  After hearing it performed, Magnusson researched the piece, discovered that it had debuted in Woodstock, and decided to put on an anniversary concert.  This is the third year in a row that it has been presented at WAAM.

Paul McMahon

Paul McMahon

Paul McMahon is a Woodstock resident, fine artist, raconteur, bumper sticker maker and amazing musician. His appetite for artistic expression is insatiable; this will be his first performance of Cage’s piece. More on Paul can be found at

Kay Larson is a longtime art critic for New York magazine, a practicing Buddhist and recently wrote a biography of John Cage, “Where the Heart Beats”, which is now out in paperback. More on Kay can be found at

After the performance of the Cage piece, there will be a Q&A with Kay Larson and after that, McMahon will play one or two of his own pieces.

Kay Larson

Kay Larson

The Woodstock Artists Association & Museum was founded in 1919 to exhibit and collect work in all media by area artists and to support the tradition of Woodstock as the “Colony of the Arts.”  According to Magnusson “It is a super awesome place that has attained even higher levels of awesomeness by agreeing to host this concert.”

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