4'33" by John Cage:
A pianist comes on stage
Sits at a piano, plays nothing
(for 4'33") then leaves.
``If something is boring after two minutes, try it for four...
``If something is boring after two minutes, try it for four. If still boring, then eight. Then sixteen. Then thirty-two...
``If something is boring after two minutes, try it for four. If still boring, then eight. Then sixteen. Then thirty-two. Eventually one discovers that it is not boring at all."
A) My grandmother was sometimes very deaf and at other times, particularly when someone was talking about her, not deaf at all...
B) One Sunday she was sitting in the living room directly in front of the radio. She had a sermon turned on so loud that it could be heard for blocks around. And yet she was sound asleep and snoring...
C) I tiptoed into the living room, hoping to get a manuscript
that was on the piano and get out again without waking her up.
I almost did it...
D) But just as I got to the door, the radio went off and
Grandmother spoke sharply: ``John, are you ready for the second
coming of the Lord?''
``Which is more musical: a truck passing by a factory
or a truck passing by a music school?"
``The strings, the winds, the brass know more about music
than they do about sound. To study noise they must go to the
school of percussion. There they will discover silence, a way
to change one's mind.
``Percussion is exemplified by the very next sound you actually
hear wherever you are, in or out of doors or city. Planet?"
``I certainly had no feeling for harmony, and Schoenberg thought
that that would make it impossible for me to write music.
He said, 'You'll come to a wall you won't be able to get through.'
So I said, 'I'll beat my head against that wall.'"
``The first question I ask myself when something doesn't
seem to be beautiful is why do I think it's not beautiful.
And very shortly you discover that there is no reason."
``As far as consistency of thought goes, I prefer inconsistency."
``I have nothing to say
and I am saying it
and that is poetry
as I needed it."
``I was to move from structure to process, from music as an object having parts, to music without beginning, middle, or end, music as weather."
``My favorite music is the music I haven't yet heard. I don't hear the music I write: I write in order to hear the music I haven't yet heard."
``Nothing is accomplished by writing, hearing or playing a piece of music."
``A Chinaman (Kwang-tse tells) went to sleep and dreamed he was a butterfly. Later, when he awoke, he asked himself, `Am I a butterfly dreaming that I am a man?'"
Joan LaBarbara to Cage: ``With all the chaos in the world, why do you make more?"
Cage's reply: ``Perhaps when you go back out into the world it won't seem so chaotic anymore."
1) ``Years ago in Chicago, I was asked to accompany two dancers who were providing entertainment at a business women's dance party given in a hall of the YWCA. After the entertainment, the juke box was turned on so everybody could dance...
2) One of the arms in the juke box moved a selected record on to the turntable. The playing arm moved to an extraordinarily elevated position...
3) After a slight pause it came down rapidly and heavily on the record, smashing it. Another arm came into the situation and removed the debris...
4) The first arm moved another selected record on to the turntable.The playing arm moved up again, paused, came down quickly, smashing the record...
5) The debris was removed by the third arm. And so on. And meanwhile all the flashing colored lights associated with juke boxes worked perfectly, making the whole scene glamorous."
``I believe that the use of noise to make music will continue and increase."