John Cage

8 Posts
On This Day
12 August: John Cage Died
One of the most influential composers in the second half of the twentieth century, John Cage (1912-1992) was a leading figure of the post-war avant-garde. A pioneer of indeterminacy in music, electroacoustic music, and non-standard use of musical instruments, he
Read more
Why Is John Cage So Fascinating?
There is something about the American artist and composer John Cage that I find fascinating. Something that transcends his works, his music — in fact, many seem to know the man better than the music, thanks to his groundbreaking approach
Read more
How Influence Carries
Perilous Night From Cage to Johns to Crumb
In 1944, John Cage wrote a work for prepared piano that reached beyond the sound into emotion. The Perilous Night takes its title from Arthurian legend, where the knight Gawain, in the Marvelous Castel, encounters a bed on ruby wheels
Read more
The Sound Alternative
Alphonse Allais, Erwin Schulhoff and John Cage
Although his piece is the most famous, 4’33” by John Cage wasn’t the first silent piece to be written. There are at least two earlier works that also take up the sound of silence. Alphonse Allais (1854-1905) wasn’t a composer
Read more
Playing With the Piano
Henry Cowell and John Cage
For American composer Henry Cowell (1897-1965), the piano wasn’t just an instrument where you sat down at the piano stool and played the keys. He used the pianist as the sound generator for all kinds of sounds on the piano.
Read more
Musicians and Artists: John Cage and Robert Rauschenberg
Usually when we write about musicians and artists, we write about how one inspires the other, either how an artist might choose a musical work as the inspiration for his work or how a composer might choose to portray a
Read more
Sounds of Silence: thoughts on John Cage’s 4’33”
The other day I was talking about John Cage’s infamous work 4’33” with one of my students, while giving the student an overview of music history. When we got to 20th century music, it was the student, not me, who
Read more
John Cage and his Magic Mushrooms
John Cage, the legendary composer of experimental sounds and silences was utterly fascinated by mushrooms. Apparently, Cage’s fungi obsession originated during the Depression. “In California, I had no money. I was living in Carmel and around my shack grew mushrooms,
Read more