John Cage

Essays and posts on the music of American composer John Cage (1912-1992)

John Cage on silence

The bilingual (Portuguese/English) arts magazine Cine Qua Non has just published their John Cage tribute issue. It includes my essay on John Cage and silence.


I’ve said that I’m more a storyteller than a musicologist. I was reminded of this while reading Kay Larson’s new book “Where the heart beats”. Our tellings of the story of Cage’s spiritual journey aren’t that far apart.

A dip in the lake in Potenza

I was contacted recently about a project to assemble a version of Cage’s ‘A dip in the lake’ in Potenza, Italy. They asked me if I would write a short text for the program book, and naturally I agreed.

A dip in the lake in Potenza

[This text was written for a booklet accompanying a performance in Potenza, Italy of John Cage’s A dip in the lake. The piece was done as a recording, based on field recordings made at 427 locations in and around Potenza.] “At the very least, it was an excuse for us to wander around the area we …

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Prepared piano app

The John Cage Trust has released an app for iOS and Android devices. It’s a demonstration of Cage’s prepared piano and ties into the recent recording of the Sonatas and interludes released by the Trust. I found it to be the perfect audiovisual aid for a recent class on the Cage string quartet.

John Cage and spirituality

I’ve been reading “On an overgrown path” on how spirituality could be a huge marketing opportunity for classical music. Classical music, the author proposes, should drawn on its deep spiritual heritage and sell itself as the “kind of unique life enriching experience” that it actually can be. Part of what makes me mention this here is that the author quotes John Cage’s formulation of the purpose of music: To sober and quiet the mind making it susceptible to divine influences.

John Cage in Iran

This being the John Cage centennial year, I have been receiving a number of requests in my e-mail lately. A most interesting recent request was to write an essay for a music magazine in Iran.

Letter to Music Report

[This is a letter written in response to questions about John Cage posed by the editors of the Iranian music journal Music report.] Griggstown, New Jersey USA 26 October 2012 To the readers of Music Report: Thank you for the opportunity to answer your questions about John Cage.  Your questions were about the path of …

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New Cage recordings

There are a couple of new recordings out with some of my writing included: a complete recording of the Song Books, and a limited edition vinyl recording of the Sonatas and Interludes from the John Cage Trust.