By Richard Kostelanetz
Speaking with Cage attracts on over a hundred and fifty interviews with John Cage carried out over 4 a long time to attract an entire photo of his lifestyles and artwork. jam-packed with the witty aphorisms that experience made Cage as well-known as an esthetic thinker as a composer, the booklet bargains either an advent to Cage's frame of mind and a wealthy amassing of his many ideas on artwork, existence, and music.
John Cage might be this century's so much radical classical composer. From his well-known "silent" piece (4'33") to his proclamation that "all sound is music," Cage stretched the classy obstacles of what might be played within the glossy live performance corridor. yet, greater than that, Cage was once a provocative cultural determine, who performed a key function in inspiring ratings of alternative artists-and social philosophers-in the second one half the 20 th century. via his existence and paintings, he created revolutions in considering paintings, and its dating to the area round us.
speaking with Cage is the perfect advent to this international, providing within the artist's personal phrases his principles approximately lifestyles and artwork. it's going to entice all enthusiasts of this mythic determine at the American scene, in addition to an individual drawn to higher knowing twentieth century modernism.
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Extra info for Conversing with Cage
He had an enthusiasm for Ives. What had put me off Ives was all the Americana business. I didn’t like that. You see, in modern painting I was devoted to Mondrian; just as I had chosen Schoenberg in music, so I chose Mondrian in painting. And it was not through my own inclinations but through the excitement and work of Robert Rauschenberg that I came to be involved in representational work. If, then, I could accept representation in painting I could, of course, accept the Americana aspect of Ives.
That was very important to me, to hear through him music from all the various cultures; and they sounded different. Sound became important to me—and noise is so rich in terms of sound. Surprisingly, you can even read statements in the early fifties from young composers in Europe, who are otherwise revolutionary and adventurous, to the effect that sound has no importance in music. Do you realize that? They tended to think that the thoughts, the constructions, the ideas that form the relationships of sounds were important, but that the sounds themselves were of no importance.
You mean interested in the construction of it? And all of the ideas and everything. Otherwise, I don’t think it’s that -48seductive. Certainly some pieces are not at all. Whereas Satie is. The fact that he’s interesting even though he is charming makes him for me still very lively. I think he’s one of the liveliest musical figures, certainly of this century. Long ago I wrote that text comparing him with Webern. Maybe if I paid more attention to Webern now I would like him again, but I don’t feel any need for it.