Date: Fri, 18 Nov 94 13:59:52 PST
Subject: Musical non-moments
Forwarded-by: lanih@info.Berkeley.EDU (J. Lani Herrmann)
Forwarded-by: firstname.lastname@example.org (Jennifer L Michael)
A gloss for those who have not heard it (or not NOT heard it), Cage's 4'33"
is 4 minutes and 33 seconds of silence, NOT played or NOT sung by any
musicians desired. (I'm actually guessing about this last part.) Enjoy...
> The recent (from a medievalist's perspective) thread about early reviews
> of John Cage's _4'33"_ brought to mind a story told to me by my fellow
> UCSB grad student Jeremy Smith, who teaches the local music appreciation
> class (average enrollment 450/quarter--yikes!). As this course has passed
> from ABD to ABD, it has become traditional to include _4'33"_ in the
> syllabus as a special piece "not on the listening tapes," but only
> performed in lecture. On this occasion the performer was Jeremy himself
> (past performances had included singer with piano accompanist, string
> quartet, and guitar solo). He sat down at the piano, lifted the keyboard
> lid, and sat in stillness through the three movements.
> During his subsequent office hour he was visited by two of his
> regulars, jock-surfers of the type wonderfully common in Santa Barbara who
> were fiercely dog-paddling to maintain their B-minuses. The first said
> sympathetically [read with however good a Southern California male surfer
> accent you can muster--there *is* gender differentiation in SoCal dialect
> and pronunciation, you know, so Valley Girl won't work], "Whoa, dude,
> sorry about what happened today in class."
> Jeremy was mystified.
> "You know, when you spaced on that Cage piece you were gonna play.
> I'm really sorry."
> At this the other was roused to say, "Dude! Is *that* what happened?
> I thought *I* spaced!"
> Don't get me wrong: I love Southern California and its people--still, it's
> a pretty good story.
> Temmo Korisheli
© 1994 Peter Langston