Music and Not Music


I found this the other day, Parishioners

The Colonization of Silence by Andrew Waggoner

The colonization of silence is complete. Its progress was so gradual that even those who watched it with alarm have only now begun to take stock of the losses. Reflection, discernment, a sustainable sense of tranquility, of knowing where and how to find oneself—these are only the most obvious casualties of marauding noise’s march to the sea. Much more insidious has been the loss of music itself.

But wait, this can’t be: Music is everywhere; we have more of it, available in more forms, more often, than at any time in human history. I can go to the web and find O King of Berio, Baksimba dances from Uganda, something really obscure like Why Are we Born (not to have a good time) of the young Buck Owens, even Pat Boone’s version of Tutti Frutti; I can find all of the same at the mall. Surely this is a good thing. I can find renewal of spirit in Sur Incises of Boulez or stand aghast at the toxic grandiloquence of Franz Schmidt’s Book of the Seven Seals. Music is everywhere. Long live it.

Just give me five minutes without it; that’s all I ask…

the score for 4′33”

John Cage was also a philosopher, writer, printmaker and avid amateur mycologist – JUST LIKE ME!!!

Guide to the John Cage Mycology Collection, 1873-1994

4′33″ A short version, lasting only a few seconds, by punk band Benny was included on the Boss Samplerage 3 compilation

A performance on YouTube comes in at 9:32…

cookan’ with John Cage!

Here’s another from a short excerpt from Nam June Paik’s “Tribute to John Cage“on OpenVault

The material of music is sound and silence; integrating these is composing. I have nothing to say and I am saying it.” – John Cage

One may purchase the album from Amazon

one WHOLE album!

A John Cage Web Reliquary
Peer into Cage’s World through the Power of the Internet

And here’s the counterpoint:

Cage speaks faster when the street gets noisy

Long before I knew anything about new music I fell in love with sound. “Suppose I listened to the sounds around me as if they were music,” I wondered 16 years ago, unaware that John Cage had ever thought anything similar. But Cage and I had opposite ideas. He wanted his music to be like the sounds around him, proceeding from one moment to the next without order or intention. I thought the sounds around me might be as coherent as the music I’d always known.

One day I started to listen, and decided I was right. People talking in restaurants echoed the rhythm and intensity of conversations on the other side of the room, and filled in the pauses of the conversation at the next table. Sounds that reached my window from the street below seemed linked in a loose but unshakable web, no part of which could change without tugging, however slightly, on the rest.

Sounds are music, I thought, but with a subtler rhythm, more changeable flow, and more profound counterpoint, in which – like lovers whose thoughts are always of each other, even though they’re far away – two or more independent parts move forward together without ever marching in step.

Mr John Cage

Published in: on September 30, 2007 at 8:42 AM  Leave a Comment  

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