Silent prayer, 4? 33?, 0? 00?, One3: are these evolving manifestations of the same work, or are they four distinctly different works? Should we speak of John Cage’s silent piece, or John Cage’s silent pieces?
Unwilling to perform 4′ 33″ for a concert in Japan in 1989, John Cage created a new silent piece: One3. Dark and frightening, it confounds our expectations.
In 1962, to effectively present his understanding of silence to audiences, Cage wrote a new silent piece and called it 0’ 00” (4’ 33” No. 2). it is a celebration of silence in all the ways that were most meaningful to Cage and which had been missed in the concert performances of 4’ 33”.
1. Silent prayer [I intend] to compose a piece of uninterrupted silence and sell it to Muzak Co. It will be 3 or 4½ minutes long—those being the standard lengths of “canned” music—and its title will be Silent Prayer. It will open with a single idea which I will attempt to make as seductive as […]