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Monday, November 1, 2010

228. "4'33"" by John Cage

Some of you will consider this self-evident and others will have little idea what I'm talking about, but if any piece of music other than "Free Bird" has been implicitly (and occasionally explicitly) conceptually, conversationally psychically linked to this project since its very inception, it's this one. If you're not familiar with Cage's composition, I'd suggest you google it; that should clear up why it's a hotly anticipated or joked-about proposition in any instance where a great deal of cover songs are required in a hurry. Understandably but not entirely appropriately, it's taken on a life as a sort of intellectual joke... usually not a cruel one (it's not well-known enough to the general public to be kicked around as non-art like, say, Pollock's paintings or Warhol's Sleep sometimes are), but more of an acknowledgment of its conceptual power. You really can't make reference to another piece for doing what this one does: I could write a piece that's 16 seconds longer but otherwise identical and call it "4'49"" and pretty much guarantee nobody's going to be talking about it in 57 years.

It's almost certainly discussed more than it's actually heard (inasmuch as the term applies), so I wanted my cover to reflect the actual experience of not only hearing it, but also, for my part, the experience of performing it. And I did perform it; you'll need to listen to the recording all the way through to confirm that, but if you do it should be clear to you that I did more than just set up an empty session in Audacity, drag the end out to the appropriate run time, and export it to the hard drive.

Personnel: Rex


  1. I rather thought so. Sure to cause much confusion when it surfaces on someone's shuffle mode down the road a ways.