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Re: [F_MINOR] OT John Cage still going

Hello, All--

I can't say I really understand the central purpose of Cage's work--in the way we might speak of the centrality of fugue for Bach, say, or GG's "contrapunctal radio."  I know that some of his work for prepared and toy pianos are very surprising and thought-provoking--to me, more so than a lot of Chopin's oeuvre, for example.

That said, I wonder about two things, which perhaps someone on the list can tell me more about:  1) the relation between Cage and Schoenberg--whom Gould lionized, and 2) the relation between Cage and his friend Roy Lichtenstein, the great American pop artist (whom I imagine Gould would have loathed, although I may be wrong, given the Petula corollary).

Lichtenstein's tinkering with comic book and popular visual grammar, his use of ben day dots, blank space, and "unmodulated" primary color intersects with Cage's work in obvious ways.  At it's best, it's satirical and political, startlingly beautiful, familiar and surreal.  His final paintings, applying these methods to the subjects of Chinese landscape painting, seem to me brilliantly successful.  When they were exhibited in Hong Kong in 1998, the effect of his simple shapes and colors and the massive scale of his paintings was really sublime.  It's doubtless this effect that the folks in Germany are aiming at--errantly, I think.

On the other hand, Cage's "4:33" is a brilliant response to Gould's complaint about the "non-take-twoness" of performance (in the same way Lichtenstein's mechanical forms reply to the painterly pop of Jasper Johns)--the artist just performs, he isn't God.  Gould felt demeaned by the stage; Cage didn't always take it so seriously.  The problem is--sometimes he did!!


Larry McDonnell

Elmer_Elevator wrote:

Well, for those who thought Cage's passing would be An End To It, he is
clearly having the Last Laugh, and unless some of us cook up some equally
lengthy posthumous projects, he will be Last Laughing until 2640.

So much of Cage reminds me of that amazing suit of clothes the emperor wore
in the parade. Only low, uneducated, base, crude, unsophisticated, vulgar
people thought his imperial majesty was butt nekkid. People of taste,
education, refinement and high culture saw instantly that these were
gorgeous, exquisite vestments.

So ... does this seem like a worthwhile project?

[ ] Yes, this is just amazing, remarkable, a profoundly important creative
and philosophical achievement.

[ ] No! This guy was a cheesy scam artist, and the people cranking this
thing out need to get a life.

Vote, and pidgeonhole yourself instantly and for the next six centuries.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Nessie Russell" <nessierussell@YAHOO.CA>
Sent: Monday, July 05, 2004 2:02 PM
Subject: [F_MINOR] OT John Cage still going

> I have admitted to liking some of John Cage's work.
> This is too deep for me.  I have to wonder if
> sometimes people look for a meaning which is not
> there.
> Does this seem like a worthwhile project to anyone?
> > Entertainment - AP Music
> > World's Longest Concert Adds Two Notes
> >
> >
> > By MATT SURMAN, Associated Press Writer
> >
> > BERLIN - In an abandoned church in the German town
> > of Halberstadt, the
> > world's longest concert was coming two notes closer
> > to its end Monday:
> > Three years down, 636 to go.
> >
> > The addition of an E and E-sharp complement the
> > G-sharp, B and G-sharp
> > that have been playing since February 2003 in
> > composer John Cage's
> > "Organ2/ASLSP" - or "Organ squared/As slow as
> > possible."


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