I-VI: MethodStructureIntentionDisciplineNotationIndeterminacyInterpenetrationImitationDevotionCircumstancesVariableStructureNonunderstandingContingencyInconsistencyPerformance

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1997-10-15 Paperback New NEW. Mint cover. Tight binding. Clean text. CD Included.

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0819563137 New. Has the slightest of shelf wear (like you might see in a major bookstore chain). Looks like an interesting title! We provide domestic tracking upon request, ... provide personalized customer service and want you to have a great experience purchasing from us. 100% satisfaction guaranteed and thank you for your consideration. Read more Show Less

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Dazzling innovation in a work by one of America's most important and controversial composers.

"In the nature of the use of chance operations is the belief that all answers answer all questions," John Cage writes in this edition of his contribution to Harvard's prestigious Norton Lecture Series in 1988-89. More like performances than lectures, these six mesostics -- a complex horizontal arrangement of text to form vertical letter sequences that spell out key words -- illustrated for his audience the concept of "nonintention," a kind of meticulously choreographed anarchy in which choice and chance join to redefine the concepts of meaning and meaningfulness.

Drawing text from Thoreau, Wittgenstein, Joyce, McCluhan, and daily newspapers, Cage used a computer program to combine seemingly disparate lines into a whole that explored fifteen central aspects of his compositional credo. This edition includes the mesostics, transcriptions, and a CD recording of the question-and-answer sessions that followed and of Cage reading in a sonorous baritone that infuses the mesostic with life, depth, and musicality. The aesthetic integrity and artistic growth that have characterized Cage's half century of production are nowhere more clearly evident than in this tour de force.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Its multilayered structure makes I-VI Cage's most interesting textual creation since his first collection of essays, Silence . . . Especially when he reads them, in his frail but steadfast baritone, shaping the phrases and illuminating hidden meanings and poetic undercurrents in word jumbles that seem at first -- and may still be, on the less important level of explication -- meaningless, Mr. Cage attains a perfect synthesis of all that he is: soft-spoken backwoods storyteller, vanguard modernist, Zen master, kindly village preacher. Yet this is not mere accident: Mr. Cage is making art. And by any generous definition of what art is and can be, he is making beautiful music as well."--John Rockwell, New York Times Book Review

"This is essential Cage . . . a must for those interested in music, performance, philosophy, art, literature, and aesthetics, among other disciplines."--Umbrella

"I-VI is Cage's finest poem, a major work in a unique style, surely among the best American epic poems of the postwar period."--Richard Kostelanetz, The Journal of Art

Library Journal
This is a transcription of Cage's Charles Eliot Norton Lectures, delivered at Harvard University in 1989-90; it should be properly viewed as a performance rather than an informative monograph. The source material of these lectures consists largely of quotes from Buckminster Fuller, Thoreau, Wittgenstein, and others. These quotes are then subjected to a ``mesostic'' ordering using chance operations guided by the I Ching and a computer program, rendering the resulting prose fragmented and incomprehensible. In a lucid passage, Cage identifies 15 important parameters of his music, such as method, structure, intention, indeterminacy, etc., and spells these words in capital letters along the center spine of each page. The question-and-answer session preserved on one of the accompanying cassettes displays Cage's self-deprecating humor but is otherwise not particularly revealing. This is recommended for Cage enthusiasts only.-- Larry Lipkis, UCLA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780819563132
  • Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
  • Publication date: 11/14/1997
  • Series: Charles Eliot Norton Lectures Series
  • Edition description: Audio CD.
  • Pages: 464
  • Product dimensions: 7.04 (w) x 10.05 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

JOHN CAGE was born in Los Angeles in 1912. He studied music with Adolph Weiss, Arnold Schoenberg, and others, later collaborating with artists such as Merce Cunningham, Robert Rauschenberg, and Jasper Johns. He died in 1992.
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