Tuesday, March 28, 2006


A friend of mine today asked me what avant-garde meant. i explained that it is when some art form tries to push or break explicit or implicit rules in the art, stuff that pushes boundries. I used Picasso as an example of Early 20th century avant garde and the impressionists before him as well as John Cage, who she was unfamiliar with. I used 4'33" as an example. "because non-statements are statements, and music is expression, and non-music is a statement" i think is what i said, or something to that effect.*

"Huh" she replied "I guess that makes sense" she seemed very accepting of the concept. "but i dont think i'd want to listen to four minutes of silence, i'd get bored"

same here, same here.


*i cant help but feel full of myself when i resort to quoting myself.


docker said...

4 minutes of silence is one thing, but 4 minutes (or so) of 4'33" by John Cage is something else. It is not a silent piece. Instead it is a piece in which the performer makes no sound. The sounds come from elsewhere.

You can perform 4'33" anytime you want. The quality of performance is determined by the place and time you choose. If you play it well you won't be bored. You might well be surprised by what you hear around you. Well, maybe someday.

Just my opinion.

M. Keiser said...

right right.

Well, i'd prefer to fill my 4'33" with some prokofiev, stravinsky or michael gordon, if that just happens to be on while 4'33" is playing.

Dont get me wrong, i appreciate the gesture, but the music bores me.