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John Cage

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Biography

(1912 – 1992)

John Milton Cage Jr. (September 5, 1912 – August 12, 1992) was an American composer, philosopher, poet, music theorist, artist, printmaker, and amateur mycologist and mushroom collector. A pioneer of chance music, electronic music and non-standard use of musical instruments, Cage was one of the leading figures of the post-war avant-garde. Critics have lauded him as one of the most influential American composers of the 20th century. He was also instrumental in the development of modern dance, mostly through his association with choreographer Merce Cunningham, who was also Cage’s romantic partner for most of their lives.

Cage is perhaps best known for his 1952 composition 4′33″, the three movements of which are performed without a single note being played. The content of the composition is meant to be perceived as the sounds of the environment that the listeners hear while it is performed, rather than merely as four minutes and thirty three seconds of silence, and the piece became one of the most controversial compositions of the twentieth century. Another famous creation of Cage’s is the prepared piano (a piano with its sound altered by placing various objects in the strings), for which he wrote numerous dance-related works and a few concert pieces, the best known of which is Sonatas and Interludes (1946–48).

His teachers included Henry Cowell (1933) and Arnold Schoenberg (1933–35), both known for their radical innovations in music and coincidentally their shared love of mushrooms, but Cage’s major influences lay in various Eastern cultures. Through his studies of Indian philosophy and Zen Buddhism in the late 1940s, Cage came to the idea of chance-controlled music, which he started composing in 1951.

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  • I0000days

    John Cale will never be as good as John Cage! I'm sorry to say it but it Ain't Nuthin But a "G" Thang.

    7 Apr 6:58am Reply
  • furs_of1

    group for John Cale fans http://www.lastfm.ru/group/John+Cale+Is+a+Man%27s+Best+Friend

    10 Feb 6:46pm Reply
  • HaHaHaYoureDead

    гениальный философ, прежде всего, ничем не хуже всех этих ваших общеизвестных идеологов постмодернизма.

    27 Jan 2:15pm Reply
  • NoIZeFAQ

    Must have.

    13 Jan 6:35pm Reply
  • EnderFoShowYo

    it always warms my heart when 4'33" is in the top tracks week after week.

    12 Jan 3:19am Reply
  • serenityQn

    zen [2]

    9 Jan 6:22am Reply
  • Tuntury

    Ironic isn't it, that someone whose life is so much centred around the concept of freedom is called Cage.

    22 Dec 2013 Reply
  • BarbraSexaroid

    An artist respects the silence that serves as the foundation of creativity

    22 Dec 2013 Reply
  • metatemeta

    zen

    19 Dec 2013 Reply
  • mystichosis

    A trust artist

    16 Dec 2013 Reply
  • HaHaHaYoureDead

    гениальный придумыватель, композитором бы не назвал, он выше этого.

    28 Nov 2013 Reply
  • AndyTithesis

    4'33" has been retired to the dustbins of history due to the fact that today's would be critics cannot restrain themselves for the entirety of the piece without someone imitating an outburst of forced flagellation before an onslaught of mass giggling erupts. As though spread contagiously from under one low brow to the very next... and so on. So it goes.

    23 Oct 2013 Reply
  • BLUEhelicopter

    lmao

    23 Oct 2013 Reply
  • simplesack

    22 Oct 2013 Reply
  • shangoyal

    this man is the perfect example of somebody who is no use to anybody but only himself. just look at his face, he is a look of ultimate condescension and "ideas" in his head. best to stay away from him.

    12 Oct 2013 Reply
  • restinagony

    Does listening to 4'33" on noise cancelling headphones defeat the purpose of the song? Discuss.

    11 Oct 2013 Reply
  • althefknamsrtkn

    "The man had compositions besides 4'33'' ffs." AKA, he had compositions!

    8 Oct 2013 Reply
  • Metaknite

    this shoutbox is a fucking pear apple [4]

    3 Oct 2013 Reply
  • chaosdrive

    this shoutbox is fucking unbearable [3]

    29 Sep 2013 Reply
  • syater

    101

    6 Sep 2013 Reply
  • All 664 shouts