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By Richard Kostelanetz

Talking with Cage attracts on over one hundred fifty interviews with John Cage performed over 4 many years to attract a whole photograph of his lifestyles and artwork. jam-packed with the witty aphorisms that experience made Cage as well-known as an esthetic thinker as a composer, the booklet deals either an advent to Cage's frame of mind and a wealthy accumulating of his many techniques on artwork, lifestyles, and music.
John Cage is likely to be this century's such a lot radical classical composer. From his recognized "silent" piece (4'33") to his proclamation that "all sound is music," Cage stretched the cultured limitations of what will be played within the glossy live performance corridor. yet, greater than that, Cage was once a provocative cultural determine, who performed a key position in inspiring ratings of alternative artists-and social philosophers-in the second one 1/2 the 20 th century. via his existence and paintings, he created revolutions in pondering artwork, and its courting to the area round us.
speaking with Cage is the appropriate creation to this global, supplying within the artist's personal phrases his rules approximately existence and artwork. it's going to entice all enthusiasts of this mythic determine at the American scene, in addition to someone attracted to larger figuring out twentieth century modernism.

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Since this change I think I’ve been more active than I’ve been since 1952, over twenty-five years ago. I’ll be sixty-seven this year. Let’s see, I was around forty, and I was very, very active; my mind went in many directions. But three books are being published this year, five editions of etchings, and many, many new pieces of music. I think it is largely due to this change. At the same time, I’m much more equable in feeling; I’m less easily agitated. Do you find that macrobiotics restricts you?

The Buddha said it comes gradually and then he gave examples from nature like the germination of a seed. And then without any transition or explanation he said it comes suddenly and he gave the example of the flash of lightning. Is one of your intentions with your music to change the way people think about music? Since the forties and through study with D. T. Suzuki of the philosophy of Zen Buddhism, I’ve thought of music as a means of changing the mind. Of course, my proper concern first of all has been with changing my own mind.

He was able to write all those fifths when they were forbidden in what was considered good writing. —Stephen Montague (1982) I remember loving Bach. At the time that I did I knew a very great musician, Richard Buhlig, who made an arrangement of The Art of the Fugue of Bach for two pianos. And I had the very great pleasure of hearing many performances of that Art of the Fugue in southern California when Buhlig was alive. I had the feeling that I needed no other music really than that to hear. I was so deeply involved in it.

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