Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Happy 100th birthday, John Cage

It is the 100th birthday of composer John Cage (1912), who might have perpetrated the greatest hoax on the music world with his best known work, 4'33" (1952), except that he was perfectly serious. For four minutes and 33 seconds, the orchestra sits silently, playing nothing. What the audience experiences is the sounds of the environment—people rustling, coughing, breathing. (Here's a recording of a performance by the BBC Orchestra.)

When he was in high school in 1928, Cage gave a speech in which he suggested a national day of silence. "By being hushed and silent," he said, "we should have the opportunity to hear what other people think." (In this election season, what a marvelous thought!)

Though his consideration of silence as music came to him early, he may have been spurred to act on his idea after reading the I Ching, the Chinese classic text that helps identify order in chance events. Also, Cage is said to have viewed a series of paintings by his friend Robert Rauschenberg called White Paintings in 1951. They were four canvases covered with white house paint. Cage thought they were like looking at silence. In different light they appeared differently. Shadows and dust changed them, too. Cage seems to have translated the idea to his own medium.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Our specialties

Our specialties include Floridiana (Florida History, Florida Authors, Florida Related Ephemera), American History, Literature of the South, Military History (including, but not limited to, Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, Vietnam, Korean War), Children’s Literature, Maps, Leather Bindings and Rare & Unusual items.

We also have a wide variety of general stock, including a large Landscape/Gardening section, a great selection of Christian/Church History/Bible Study titles, Beat Literature, and much more. Please browse our extensive category list.

Appraisal service

Michael F. Slicker, is one of about 450 qualified members of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America, Inc., and its affiliate the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers.

Condition of the book, demand for it and history of comparable sales are among the factors considered in evaluating the value of a book. Other factors may apply as well.

Please contact us for more information regarding our certified appraisal services. We encourage you to visit our website, Lighthouse Books, ABAA

Florida Antiquarian Book Fair

Michael Slicker was the founding president of the Florida Antiquarian Booksellers Association and has served as chairman of its annual Florida Antiquarian Book Fair since its inception.

The 36th annual book fair is set for April 21-23, 2017 at The Coliseum in St. Petersburg.

The fair is the oldest and largest antiquarian book fair in the Southeast. Learn more about the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair and the Florida Antiquarian Booksellers Association.

  © Blogger templates Newspaper II by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP