Wednesday, August 24, 2011

'Space. Even when close, there is distance'.

Having a crush on John Cage has changed my week. I bought A Year From Monday for a friend and have been … taking the first bite – to see whether it’s good or not. It’s … delicious. The book contains poetry, collage, lectures, diary entries, anecdotes. I can't decide whether to type parts out or not - it seems impossible to convey what it's like.

I thought I'd at least be able to provide a link to John Cage's Lecture on Commitment (1967) but I can't. So (look it up some time?):

'I never had a hat, never wore one, but recently was given a brown suede duck-hunting hat. The moment I put it one I realized I was starved for a hat. I kept it warm by putting it on my head. I made plans to wear it especially when I was going to do any thinking. Somewhere in Virginia, I lost my hat.


'Let me say it schematically. This point is it. That point is you. We draw an arrow between the two points, indicating that you have dedicated yourself to it, unquestioningly. That is commitment. Where does it get you? 

... You can float through the air, as Mila Repa did, in the form of a thistle'.


  1. Prompted by your post, am reading about his 4'33''.

    BBC Radio 3 broadcast a performance of it in 2004. The station's emergency backup systems, designed to cut in when there is apparent silence on air, had to be switched off.

    What a great fact.

  2. Like!

    I wonder how many people tuned in mid-performance, and listened.