This combines the two texts that accompany the two volumes of the recording by Irvine Arditti. The first part is a general discussion of the work; the second part is an account of the completion of this work after a lengthy hiatus.
Essays and posts on the music of American composer John Cage (1912-1992)
Essay presenting six different perspectives on Cage’s well-known early masterpiece.
The introduction to James Pritchett’s book ‘The Music of John Cage’ explains why we must consider John Cage to be a composer above all else.
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 …
I recently listened to all five hours of the Cage/Feldman Radio happenings of 1966–67. Hearing them in conversation, I get a feel for a friendship and a collegiality that is more subtle than is usually described.
John Cage and the prepared piano: a twelve-year history in six parts by James Pritchett Copyright 2007 by James Pritchett. All rights reserved. Prologue (5 April 1944) “Dances by Merce Cunningham; Music by John Cage”, the concert program read. “April fifth, Nineteen forty-four, at nine o’clock.” The program, divided into three parts, consisted of: DANCE …
Here are some of my writings, mostly about John Cage, but some about other musical subjects, plus some poetry and stories. Table of contents Music: John Cage List of works Specific pieces General Other music On writing about music Poems & other texts Music: John Cage List of works A chronological listing of all the …
All composers endure bad performances of their music. It’s always demoralizing and undermines self-confidence. Some solace can be taken in the knowledge that this experience is universal: it happens to all composers, the famous and the obscure, and at all points in their careers. This point was driven home to me recently when I discovered John Cage, in conversation with Morton Feldman, describing the impact of a bad performance of his Concerto for prepared piano.
Both Morton Feldman and John Cage at various times remembered fondly the long talks they had together during the 1950s, soon after they met. What did they talk about? One topic may have been a spiritual one: seeking something beyond their own sense of self in their work, something larger.
“John Cage was a composer: this is the premise from which everything in this book follows.” Twenty years ago I opened my book on the music of John Cage with this strong statement. There were field marks by which I identified Cage as a composer, and I learned them by studying “the other subject” of my book.