Friday, April 15, 2011
I want to focus this post on Herbert Blau's reference to John Cage in his essay. Blau wrote "The beginning of the end could be said to have occurred in that ur-setting of theatricality, the anechoic chamber at Berkeley, in which, through the absence of other sound, Cage listened to his nerves and heart, then thought of himself listening. out of which came the performance, itself canonical now, of 4'33"-a silence lasting four minutes, thirty-three seconds." I had a pretty hard time understanding the way Blau wrote honestly, but I feel that just because something is a sound does not mean it is music. If his intent was to have each listener experience something different, then he succeeded. If he wanted to create music then I think he failed. To compare this to the beautiful works of classical music is upsetting to me. I hear a slight hum from the speakers I have on right now, and I hear my keyboard typing, but it is NOT music. It is not even close to evoking any emotion from me. By technicality and definition, maybe anything can be considered music, but that is a very idealist approach, and not everything is black and white like that. Especially music and performing arts. I love silence, and I appreciate a lot of things, and I think John Cage seems like a nice man, but when I heard 4'33", it was not music and what I saw was not a performance.