4:33 - True Minimal, or the most absurd thing ever?

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shlomo
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Post by shlomo » Sat Oct 04, 2008 6:54 pm

basically , you cant listen to Cage music anyway since many times he refused the idea of writing music using the term organizing sound instead.
However, 4.33 is not an intellectual masturbation as people here suggest, since Cage himself was kind of anti-intellectual person. The 4.33 has nothing to do with silence, au contraire, it opens up the pandora box of sound that is present during exhibitions; peoples noises, chairs, outdoor traffic and more. He just pointed out this intellectual masturbation of ignoring those sounds as being ridiculous.

Someone said that the silence is possible only in the vacuum.
Sorry but that is wrong, since there has to be an observer there, and his bloodstream and nerve system are producing sounds loud enough to ruin the experiment.
Cage was the first to did such an experiment (locking himself into the socalled deafchamber) in searching for silence and those are his results.

Happy new ears!

Big V
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Post by Big V » Sat Oct 04, 2008 7:59 pm

shlomo wrote:The 4.33 has nothing to do with silence, au contraire, it opens up the pandora box of sound that is present during exhibitions; peoples noises, chairs, outdoor traffic and more. He just pointed out this intellectual masturbation of ignoring those sounds as being ridiculous.
My words.. :wink:

Though I think you should always consider the personal perception and interpretation of a listener.
This given it is completely o.k. to see that piece as an example for silence, though silence can never be alone. It needs sound to experience silence. For what i know there are no sounds written down in the sheet for the piece just pausing with the "tacet".
But at the premiere of 4.33 the piano player opened and closed the cover of the claviature (is that the right word?) which naturally produced a sound.
So it could be seen as a piece about silence as well.. :)

Cage wasn't an intellectual, he was just enlightened. Would explain why there's no picture of him where he doesn't laugh.. 8O

tkeithwhite
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Post by tkeithwhite » Fri Nov 14, 2008 10:17 am


tkeithwhite
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Post by tkeithwhite » Fri Nov 14, 2008 10:19 am

you cant listen to Cage music anyway
also, that is silly

ethios4
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Post by ethios4 » Fri Nov 14, 2008 4:31 pm

I had a lovely morning on Sunday listening to Charles Ives's Symphony #4.....absolutely fantastic!! There are parts where there are two separate orchestras playing different music at the same time, with a drummer also doing something completely different than either orchestra. Sounds like a drunken New England street brawl! He was no pansy ass cloistered musician either....he owned his own insurance company and just made crazy-ass music on the side for him and his friends to freak out on...what a badass!

Khazul
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Post by Khazul » Fri Nov 14, 2008 4:38 pm

The only thing that suprises me about this is that the RIAA havnt started persuing us all though the courts for ripping off the odd bit of silence :)
Nothing to see here - move along!

crumhorn
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Post by crumhorn » Fri Nov 14, 2008 4:52 pm

The RIAA supported cage when Mike Batt put a silent track on one of his records.

But it's a rediculous claim because the concept of an organised period of "silence" has been around at least since the introduction of remembrance day if not before that.
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dpel
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Post by dpel » Fri Nov 14, 2008 10:38 pm

"4:33" by John Cage- A truly great example of copyright infringement in history.
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djsynchro
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Post by djsynchro » Sat Nov 15, 2008 10:54 pm


Tytus
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Post by Tytus » Sun Nov 16, 2008 9:53 am

is this what classical music composers do to remedy writers block? I mean...random text recitals, experimental background noise and a dude at 0:49 banging his head against the wall. YES...a masterpiece.

call me uncouth but around here we call that mess garbage.

synnack
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Post by synnack » Sun Nov 16, 2008 2:51 pm

I'll never forget a bumper sticker I saw once.

"Minimalism, it's the least you can do".

love it. (and John Cage)
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Emissary
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Post by Emissary » Sun Nov 16, 2008 5:56 pm

Tytus wrote:
is this what classical music composers do to remedy writers block? I mean...random text recitals, experimental background noise and a dude at 0:49 banging his head against the wall. YES...a masterpiece.

call me uncouth but around here we call that mess garbage.
its fun to watch though. I did a module of american experimental music in uni and it was really great. You come to learn that these guys really had a great sense of humour but were also serious about what they were doing. it was one of my favourite modules. This is true experimental music as it can either succeed or fail. This falied but it was still truly experimental.

SubFunk
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Post by SubFunk » Sun Nov 16, 2008 7:43 pm

Big V wrote:
Enrique wrote:
Machinesworking wrote: Say you're right, well, how many of your songs will be talked about 40 years from now? How many people will name you as an influence?

VERY successful and historical pseudo intellectual bullshit. :wink:
I don't need to listen to a hyped "recording" (I surely won't call it a composition and even less a song) to recognize and enjoy the beauty of silence, which isn't anyone's property. And if you say it's a song, why can't I criticize it without having to answer a question such as "how many of your songs will be talked about 40 years from now"? It's only logical to assume that you've never criticized an influential person... :wink:
Actually it's not about silence at all, but to overcome the old relationship between performer and audience as separated parts.
Due to the weird situation, the audience, which rested in awaiting silence at the beginning, starts to get nervous after some while.
some start to cough, some to giggle or to chat and some shout something in the room or whatever.
And that is exactly what the piece is about: turning the audience (as a former separated part from the performer) into the piece.
This only makes sense if played live and if the audience doesn't know nothing about the piece (or it will react in another way and the spontaneity will be lost).
No sense in listening to the tune over your stereo. Better listen to the dripping of your water-tap because it's more fun.. :wink:
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thesmallisbeautiful
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Post by thesmallisbeautiful » Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:34 pm

Tytus wrote:
is this what classical music composers do to remedy writers block? I mean...random text recitals, experimental background noise and a dude at 0:49 banging his head against the wall. YES...a masterpiece.

call me uncouth but around here we call that mess garbage.

I am pretty sure that none of the specific sounds in this are chosen by John Cage in the score. I did a performance of a piece of his that called for you to chose sounds and then it organized how they were placed.

The fact is that some things require a bit more of an investment to understand. Cage did not write music that was supposed to be "catchy" or "have a good beat" or whatever. It's not the kind of thing that makes sense instantly. I'm personally glad that people out there are still willing to make art that isn't immediately accessible but has a depth to it. There are fantastic ideas in his work, and the fact that you found one performance on youtube that seems funny to you when you invest 30 seconds of your life into it hardly negates what the man did.

Maybe you would like to live in a world where people only make the kind of art that you already like, or with subtle variations on it for the rest of eternity. I personally would rather live in one where people are brave enough to try things that are completely different from what you expect. It's where we get our cultural masterpieces. The need for immediacy in art leads to the situation we now have where people are only interested in listening to a short, repetitive, catchy song for a few months at most and then moving on to another almost identical short, repetitive, catchy song. I find that when you take a step back, that world is far more laughable than the world of Cage's music.


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