string quartet in four parts

What silence taught John Cage:  The story of 4′ 33″

This essay was written for the catalog of the exhibition “John Cage and Experimental Art: The Anarchy of Silence” at the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona. Copyright 2009 by James Pritchett. All rights reserved. Originally we had in mind what you might call an imaginary beauty, a process of basic emptiness with just a few […]

Five statements on silence by John Cage: Questions, hypotheses, second thoughts

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 […]