Sunday, April 30, 2006


New Discs Soon

I finally purchased two new Cage discs—the new Percussion Works disc and the Chess Pieces disc.  It took me awhile to find them for a decent price without excessive shipping charges; I still have not found such a situation for the disc with Eight on it.  There’s also a new recording of 4’33” out there, one of the few around.  Something to look forward to in the coming week!  I will probably rewrite my old 27’... review since the version on the Percussion Works 4 disc is surely a lot better (apologies that I don’t remember the numbers after the decimal point for that title), and I’ve also heard that Tan’s performance of Sonatas and Interludes is one of the best ever.  

I also happened upon the website for the “Positive Music” movement (, the author of which spends a fair amount of time complaining about the “negative” music Cage and Schoenberg.  A key quote:
My correspondence with John Cage, confirmed my belief that he was more a philosopher and a writer, than a composer.   He was a brilliant and gentle man.
His music was not intended to be meaningful, or moving, or listened to with any seriousness.   Young composers who admire his music, risk deluding themselves, believing there is musical and/or spiritual value--where there is nothing at all.   This was John Cage’s whole point---we create our own perception of value.  That philosophy does not often translate into beautiful or lasting music”
Contrary to what the author states, I think “serious” would be among the first words I’d think of when it comes to describing Cage as a composer.  Margaret Leng Tan mentions this in an interview on last week, when describing Cage’s straight answers to her joking questions about his music: “ wasn't that he didn't find my joking about his music funny - he didn't think there was anything funny about the making of music.”
If this were a different website I would comment on the author’s curious belief that  Backsteet Boys are a savior of modern pop music, but that would be too off-topic. :-)

What a hilarious website site ... "Positive Music"! Thanks for the laugh.
hey zac,
lothar copied that new disc with Eight on it for me.
i can send you the mp3s or whatnot. just let me know.
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