John Cage: Writer: Selected Texts

John Cage: Writer: Selected Texts

by Richard Kostelanetz
     
 

No American composer has written about his work as brilliantly and wittily as John Cage (1912-1992), one of the great avant-garde figures of the twentieth century. An essential part of his legacy are the pieces gathered herein, which span over fifty years of Cagean thought and creativity. Generally unknown, they demonstrate Cage's skill in using language to provide

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Overview

No American composer has written about his work as brilliantly and wittily as John Cage (1912-1992), one of the great avant-garde figures of the twentieth century. An essential part of his legacy are the pieces gathered herein, which span over fifty years of Cagean thought and creativity. Generally unknown, they demonstrate Cage's skill in using language to provide insight into his own work as well as the music of Schoenberg, Boulez, and Stockhausen. In addition, he discusses collaborators and contemporaries like Merce Cunningham, Robert Rauschenberg, Marshall McLuhan, and David Tudor. Also included are several provocative lectures and-of crucial importance to an appreciation of his music-Cage's notes outlining the proper performance of his compositions. Other pieces tackle his experiments with prepared piano; the idea of "chance" in compositions; how he writes using the I Ching; and his ideas about art, film, and dance. In "A Composer's Confessions," Cage maligns the "essentially conservative character of musical attitudes today" and declares why he is "not interested in large audiences or the preservation of my work for posterity." In "An Autobiographical Statement," he offers earnest reflections upon his own life, career, and quest for self-fulfillment. Originally appearing in magazines, journals, catalogs, concert programs, and records, these pieces here acquire the permanence they deserve. Taken together, they reveal a lesser-known but pivotal aspect of a pioneering composer.

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Editorial Reviews

CHOICE
This book, elegantly turned out and packed with Cageisms, will extend his notoriety. It offers both those fascinated and those infuriated by Cage another opportunity to react.
Choice
This book, elegantly turned out and packed with Cageisms, will extend his notoriety. It offers both those fascinated and those infuriated by Cage another opportunity to react.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780815410348
Publisher:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
01/28/2000
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 8.94(h) x 0.63(d)

Meet the Author

Richard Kostelanetz has edited collections of writings by Nicolas Slonimsky, Moholy-Nagy, Merce Cunningham, e e cummings, and Gertrude Stein. He lives in New York City.

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