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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 02 | volume I | April-May, 1998



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                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 02April-May, 1998
Sound Reviews

Music of Changes - John Cage

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p. 1
Pande Šahov

Some artists never meet the “main stream” during their creative development. They even do not come close to the example of the time and environment where they work. The aesthetics like to analyze these artists because they seem as a chance to define the art or music of that time. Of course, this is a first look impression, but not true. To put a declaration and definition to such an artist is wrong: he will not confirm their already made statement and will destroy the results of the proud scholars. Then, what to do?
    John Cage, the most gossiped, most criticized, but sometimes most respected composer, one of the most contriver figures of the music of this century, died in 1992. The musicologists (those who had the interest, curiosity and strength to follow him in his dynamic artistic life) have waited for couple of years and now are preparing to open the “Cage” file safely. Now, when there is not any danger to have him change his (temporary) course again, always in new and unexplored directions. It seems to me that they will fail again. Perhaps it is better not to comment or evaluate, but only to let his music and words, the things which are hidden inside them or inside us, to find their proper place.

Who is John Cage?

He is born in California in 1912. As a child he studied piano, working on the standard repertoire. He wanted to become a concert pianist. He left the college and went to Paris with thought of becoming a writer. He was delighted to see the works of the modern art, architecture and music. It is in Paris, where his first attempt to compose took place. After his return to Los Angeles had couple of very strange jobs: one of them was to organize modern art lectures for rich Beverly Hills housewives (passionate conquerors of the modern aesthetics). He started to attend private lessons in harmony and composition. In 1935 he started to study with (celebrated) Arnold Schoenberg, “the father” of new music. Running away from the Nazi Germany Regime, Schoenberg had to leave his Berlin and the place of professor in the Music Academy. He immigrated to the States and taught at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA). Although Cage admired his teacher, he didn’t follow him in his creative work. Schoenberg had influence more in inspiration than in help






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