When I was a music major, before I learned that I was no musician, I loved John Cage’s work for prepared piano. This will give you a pretty good idea of this kind of music:
John Cage is best known for a piece of music titled 4’33”. It consists of one or more performers sitting down at or with their instruments and not playing any notes for four minutes and thirty-three seconds. People often refer to it as 4’33” of silence, but that entirely misses the point of the piece. As you can hear in the following performance of the piece, it is not silent. The point seems to be that any performance of any piece of art is necessarily a different piece of art. Watching the first 30 seconds of this video—Which happens to be the length of the first movement!—will give you the idea (although if you wait to the end, the applause is overwhelming):
All of this discussion is not just to school you in the avant-garde of the 1950s. Today, Slate brought my attention to the following video by artist Adam Lucas. It is titled Cage Does Cage and consists of 4’33” of scenes of Nicolas Cage not saying anything. The Slate article is worth checking out, but you should at least watch this really great video:
Am I not beneficent, providing you with enough background so you can enjoy a good insider laugh? You’re welcome!