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JOHN CAGE: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HAPPY SILENCE « DressLab : clothes+music+art
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Author: Lluís Panadés Julià

Section: MUSIC

Date: 12.2012


It´s hard to find silence in our minds in a world where technology and information overload are part of our accelerated everyday life.
It´s hard to find credible opinion or fair judgement in a world where mental barriers and ego are part of our everyday life.


John Cage l DRESSLAB


Music and Art has nothing to do with ego, mental barriers, information overload or velocity. John Cage once said ‘We are involved in a life that passes understanding and our highest business is our daily life’.
He was able to find silence in his mind and remove his mental barriers to became one of the most important figures in contemporary art, not just with innovations in the field of music but also as a thinker, writer and philosopher.
He also said ‘The first question I ask myself when something doesn’t seem to be beautiful is why do I think it’s not beautiful. And very shortly you discover that there is no reason’.


John Cage l DRESSLAB


Musical aesthetic standards in the 20th century resulted in the fastest changes and developments in the history of music due to several factors, including the media, which made possible the knowledge of the activities of individuals located in remote locations in the planet almost simultaneously. One of the characteristics of these aesthetic changes was the inclusion of instruments, rhythms and “exotic” structures to the pieces and processes of composition by “Western” authors, but even more important was the assimilation of philosophical concepts related to the artistic creation and to the artist himself and his role in the society, which changed completely the way of conceiving art.


John Cage l DRESSLAB


John Cage was a revolutionary from the beginning of his musical career in both structure and compositional form (aleatoric methods, graphical notation etc.) as well as its timbre elements (inclusion of accidental and non accidental noise and use of extra-musical elements such as sound producers and electronic media); but even more important is his contribution to the change in musical aesthetics conceiving silence as a fundamental part which generates every musical creation; this theory came from the Eastern philosophy of Zen Buddhism.


John Cage l DRESSLAB


This year John would have turned 100, so before 2012 ends, let’s pay him a tribute, take a break, turn off our minds, our phones, our Facebooks, etc. and listen to how the music of life sounds at least during 4 minutes and 33 seconds. 

Watch the video below which includes:
1. John Cage in an interview one year before his death.
2. His most controversial piece 4’33 performed by a full-orchestra at The Barbican in London.
3. A young Cage performing his piece ‘Water Walk’ on an American TV Show using a number of objects including a rubber duck, a bottle of wine, ice cubes and an electric mixer.



Text_ Lluís Panadés Julià
+ info_ John Cage



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