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“Now that Mr. [John] Cage's most successful opus is undoubtedly the delectable silent piece 4'33, we may expect his example to be followed by more and more silent pieces by younger composers who, in rapid escalation, will produce their silences with more and more varied and beguiling combinations.... I only hope they turn out to be works of major length."

                                                            ―Igor Stravinsky

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And it's fairly obvious that the pompous Stravinsky didn't learn the lesson from Cage. 

One of my earliest attempts at using a daw, followed my aim to curtail the Rite of Spring so I rewrote it as The Wrong of Spring for choir, strings, a bit of brass and some percussion. Managed to get it down to about 2 minutes. Those 2 minutes are just as noisy! (That clockwork DAW would need winding up again after 2 minutes. Such a nuisance if you saw yourself a prospective Bruckner. The brass-work was always kept shiny though. - And, no, I didn't buy it second-hand from Stravinsky. He used a steam one which he wore out. As his last compositions showed, the gaskets started to leak.)

If anyone has 2 minutes to waste and is interested:

(Secretly, I admire Stravinsky's Rite as a brilliant composition in all respects even if he did write it out far more complicatedly than it need have been. Of the Three Ballets for which he's known, it's the big one.)



Cage's 4:33 has provoked more thought, outrage and commentary than pieces that are much more well known; which is exactly what he had intended I think. I can picture the usual dutiful polite classical audience sitting patiently for four minutes and then complaining for the rest of their lives. 

Contrast that with a rock crowd who will patiently wait for longer periods while their heroes imbibe and argue backstage but would never tolerate four minutes of absolute silence from a performer onstage!

Dane - That is a great piece!  Have you considered updating the samples and posting that more widely?

I kind of can't believe it, but I didn't realize stravinsky and cage were around at the same time!

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