The Roaring Silence: John Cage, a Life
Arcade Pub., 1992 - 375 Seiten
John Cage has been described as the most influential composer of the last half of the twentieth century. His work and ideas - about silence, indeterminacy, nonintention, art's role in bringing the everyday object to our attention, the singularity of performance - have had influence not only in the world of music but also in dance, painting, printmaking, video art, and poetry. As an exponent of Zen Buddhism since the early fifties, he has had an important role in introducing Zen spirituality to the American artworld and general culture. Among his friends and collaborators have been longtime associate Merce Cunningham, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Marcel Duchamp, Morton Feldman, Pierre Boulez, and Karlheinz Stockhausen. Those who have acknowledged his influence in their work range from minimalist composer Philip Glass to rock musicians David Byrne and Brian Eno. The Roaring Silence is the first full-length biography of John Cage. Written with Cage's full cooperation, it documents his life in unrivaled detail, interweaving a close account of the evolution of his work with an exploration of his aesthetic and philosophical ideas. David Revill never assumes specialist knowledge on the part of the reader, but sets Cage's work in the context of his personal development and contemporary culture. He draws on numerous interviews with Cage and his associates. Paying due attention to Cage's inventions, such as the prepared piano, and his pioneering use of indeterminate notation and chance operations in composition (utilizing the I Ching), Revill also illuminates Cage the performer, printmaker, watercolorist, expert amateur mycologist, game show celebrity, and political anarchist, and discusseshis pronouncements on social and environmental issues. The biography includes comprehensive chronologies of his musical and visual works. Arnold Schoenberg once called Cage, his former student, "not a composer but an inventor - of genius". David Revill shows how this multifaceted individualist, a true American original, has become a national treasure and a senior statesman in the world of modern art. In so doing he has made Cage more accessible to all of us.