Listening to Silence

I know some (or many) of you may be familiar with John Cage, but for those who know little about contemporary classical music, I thought I would start here.  I decided not to talk about him and his history and let you hear him first.  Let me know what you think!!!



Filed under Music

7 responses to “Listening to Silence

  1. Aunt Melissa

    “I have nothing to say, and I am saying it”….wow-
    I love this. I obviously need to learn how to listen to the sounds of my life, as well as the silences, and still find peace. This is great, David. Keep it up! You are educating me!
    (And right about now, the sounds in my life are yelling children…I could use a little silence!)

    • Thank you so much! I’m glad you are learning something! What is so interesting and perhaps Cage’s greatest point was that listening to silence is a way to hear things you’ve never heard before. Even while watching 4’33’ on Youtube, I noticed the sounds of our house, air conditioning, and the sounds of me sitting on the couch. He was just as much philosopher as he was composer. Thanks again for the comments! I will be doing a lot more on Cage throughout the summer!

  2. Aunt Melissa

    Four minutes and 33 seconds of silence…totally weird, and enviable-

  3. I absolutely loved listening to the interview with John Cage…what a beautiful and inspiring soul. I feel as though even the rhythm and timbre of his voice and words are music…and he describes so well the art that he practices…but of course he would, he’s JOHN CAGE!

  4. Thanks Hilary for the sharing. Excellent observation about his speech. He has pauses and silence throughout his speaking that are so lyrical. I think this little interview will always be an inspiration to me!

  5. Dtuck

    I enjoy the feeling of sitting and listening to silence. It is a relaxing experience to listen to just sound for awhile. However, I don’t understand how the traffic on 6th street doesn’t “talk” to him. I can easily attribute words to traffic sounds. I know it is random and not in time, but I don’t understand how that is better/different than music.

    • Interesting points Dallas! Although I cannot jump into Cage’s mind (if only right!?) I think there’s a lot in the very first line when he says “what we call music.” What does that actually mean? Who is we? Is he saying that separating himself from “we?” I don’t know, but it seems that he uses talking metaphorically also. So it may be the difference from feeling and acting and he just wants sound to “act” and not really emote. I’m kind of off the cuff right now, so I may not be making any sense!! Hey man, when you moving to the south? Give me a ring sometime when you’ve got a minute!


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