Sunday, January 01, 2006

wonderfully cacophonous

How could i be so ignorant? i didnt realize existed till three days ago, but hey, its the new year- let me start off again fresh.

2006? madness. I remember in elementary school writing the date- 1991 -on my papers and getting upset because it had just become 1992 and i had to then erase my mistake.

Its amazing how John Cage's story from living room music sounds like modern beat box and late 80s rap. Weird, i wonder what the actual score looks like, as it could just be the current interpretation (doubtful). I do not deny that i am hostile to much of cage's approach, (pretty much anything post 4'33"), but this piece and his construction #2 shocked me simply because of their date- the internet tells me the year for both these pieces was 1940.


David W Barber wrote a wonderful bit in his wonderful book Bach, Beethoven and the Boys:

What is there to say about Cage's music? In keeping with his own philsophical approach as a composer, I could very well say nothing at all. "I have nothing to say " he says cryptically, "and i am saying it and that is poetry". Are you following this?

So, would it be fair in modern music to treat him as he treated the piano in 4'33"? He thought statements of non-statements were poetry, so if we say nothing about cage except "i have nothing to say about John Cage" then we've done his art justice, by his own definition. Does that strike you as wrong?

This is why people like me object to Cage's approach, there is nihilistic element in it that is much more than unsettling, a love of an artistic-nihilistic paradox... but im rambling and this argument is much more involved than i have energy for.

Another day.

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