To John Cage, avant-garde American composer (1912-1992) there is no such thing as silence. Music is a succession of sounds and the composer the “organizer of sounds.” So he asks….
Music, what does it communicate?
Is what’s clear to me clear to you?
Is music just sounds?
Then what does it communicate?
Is a truck passing by music?
If I can see it, do I have to hear it too?
If I don’t hear it, does it still communicate?
If while I see it I can’t hear it, but hear something else, say an egg-beater, because I’m inside looking out, does the truck communicate or the egg-beater, which communicates?
Which is more musical, a truck passing by a factory or a truck passing by a music school?
-John Cage, Silence
Be sure to attend this year’s performance of 4’33” on August 29th, 6 PM at WAAM. Performed by Clear Light Ensemble, and come listen to Kay Larson, acclaimed art critic, speak on Cage’s role in the creation of post-modernism.