reading john cage - silence

"...composition which is indeterminate with respect to its performance. That composition is necessarily experimental. An experimental action is one the outcome of which is not forseen. Being unforseen, this action is not concerned with its excuse. Like the land, like the air, it needs none. A performance of a composition which is indeterminate of its performance is necessarily unique. It cannot be repeated. When performed for a second time, the outcome is other than it was. Nothing therefore is accomplished by such a performance, since that performance cannot be grasped as an object in time. A recording of such a work has no more value than a postcard; it provides a knowledge of something that happened, whereas the action was a non-knowledge of something that had not yet happened".

"Structure in music is its divisibility into successive parts from phrases to long sections. Form is content, the continuity. Method is the means of controlling the continuity from note to note. The material of music is sound and silence. Integrating these is composing".

"Music means nothing as a thing.
A finished work is exactly that, requires resurrection.
The responsibility of the artist consists in perfecting his work so that it may become attractively disinteresting.
It is better to make a piece of music than to perform one, better to perform one than to listen to one, better to listen to one than to misuse it as a means of distraction, entertainment, or acquisition of "culture".
Use any means to keep from being a genius, all means to become one".

"I am here, and there is nothing to say. If among you are those who wish to get somewhere, let them leave at any moment. What we require is silence; but what silence requires is that I go on talking".

(Lectures and writings by John Cage. Silence. - Wesleyan Univ.Press, Middletown, Connecticut, 1973)

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