4b) Input: Supplemental Reviews

Title:

  UBUWEB – Film & Video: “American Masters” John Cage: I have Nothing to Say and I Am Saying it

Link:

  http://www.ubu.com/film/cage_masters.html

Comments:

  Artists presenting the firsts of their compositions are the bravest of their kind. I can only imagine what they must have gone through such as in the early 20th century with Marcel Duchamp and his collection of found things and then signing them off as art. Or in the mid 20th century with John Cage in his explorations of creating sounds into a form of music. John Cage even created a lecture on nothing citing that he had nothing to say and he was saying it.More notably is his piece named “433” which allows the audience to perceive reality as art. Written note-by-note, all were silent but when added up they came to 433. Which ends up being the length of the piece as a pianist sits at his piano and does nothing for 4 minutes and 33 seconds. It is the culmination of his “I have nothing to say and I am saying it” Interestingly the composition can be experienced live, anywhere in place or time. As the video suggests to attend the concert by experiencing the sounds around me. I hear the typing of my keyboard, the hum of the volume of the TV, the ceiling fan above as it too hums, the sounds of the composer as he sits restless too … Ahh, I am experiencing this … the timer on the piano as it ticks by. And when complete the composer gets up and walks away. 
     

Title:

  “Lecture on Nothing”

Author:

  John Cage

Book:

  Silence

Comments:

  Awesome!  It is poetic, it is music, it is life, and yet it is nothing.  I find it so hard to be nothing because I get so much from it. Maybe the pattern of speech is what brings a rhythm to thought, like chanting when in meditation.  After all meditation, which brings active thought to nothing would be similar to this lecture on nothing.
 
     

Title:

  “Poetry – Center and Absence – Music: A lecture by Pierre Boulez (June 8, 1963)”

Author:

  Pierre Boulez

Link:

  https://archive.org/details/C_1963_06_08

Comments:

  What a pleasure it is too listen to a lecture in both French and English.  The language is so sensual from a man or women the language itself is poetry.  The lecture is scientific in a poetic form.  The speech pattern itself follows a pattern, maybe a rhythm – I think it is this that helps keep one interested in the content at large.  Simply put, I have always thought that poetry was music and lyrics were poetry.  I have never separated the two.  Is it just I, I can always hear music when I hear a poem.  One of my favorites and forgive me if I do not recite it exactly, but with Edgar Allen Poe’s poem “The Bells” has rhythm, pattern, and sound “… hear the tolling of the bells, iron bells, what a world of solemn thought their melody foretells, in the silence of the night, how we shiver with affright, at the melancholy menace of their tone, ah the people, they the people as the dwell in the steeple all alone …” So the rest of the lecture further establishes that there is a strong relationship with the text or the meaning of the text that actually empowers the music.  What can I say, but agree with what I thought was always understood and not needed for exploration.

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