On Air Now
Smooth Classics with Margherita Taylor 10pm - 1am
27 September 2019, 10:51
20 years before John Cage’s 4’33”, a man named Hy created a cartoon about a silent piano work. Hy’s last name? Cage.
American music critic Kyle Gann has found this cartoon in a 1932 edition of The Etude, a magazine for pianists.
The cartoon tells of a young boy, who composes a silent work for the piano. The cartoonist’s name? Hy Cage.
20 years before John Cage’s 4’33”, a man named Hy created a cartoon about a silent piano composition. Hy's last name?— Eric Alper 🎧 (@ThatEricAlper) September 27, 2019
John Cage (1912 - 1992) was one of the 20th century’s most prominent experimental composers.
Dabbling with electronics, tape loops and, most famously, complete silence, he changed the way art music was perceived.
His compositions spanned a huge variety of media, theoretical ideas and quirky ways of playing conventional instruments.
In 1952, Cage’s created his most famous and controversial piece, 4’33”, which consists of nothing but silence – in three movements – from performers. The idea behind the work is to encourage listeners to focus on the ambient noise in the performance room.