John Cage

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John Milton Cage Jr. (September 5, 1912 – August 12, 1992) was an American composer, music theorist, writer, and artist. A pioneer of indeterminacy in music, electroacoustic music, and non-standard use of musical instruments, Cage was one of the leading figures of the post-war avant-garde. Critics have lauded him as one of the most influential American composers of the 20th century. He was also instrumental in the development of modern dance, mostly through his association with choreographer Merce Cunningham, who was also Cage's romantic partner for most of their lives.

Cage is perhaps best known for his 1952 composition 4′33″, which is performed in the absence of deliberate sound; musicians who present the work do nothing aside from being present for the duration specified by the title. The content of the composition is not "four minutes and 33 seconds of silence," as is often assumed, but rather the sounds of the environment heard by the audience during performance. The work's challenge to assumed definitions about musicianship and musical experience made it a popular and controversial topic both in musicology and the broader aesthetics of art and performance. Cage was also a pioneer of the prepared piano (a piano with its sound altered by objects placed between or on its strings or hammers), for which he wrote numerous dance-related works and a few concert pieces. The best known of these is Sonatas and Interludes (1946–48).

His teachers included Henry Cowell (1933) and Arnold Schoenberg (1933–35), both known for their radical innovations in music, but Cage's major influences lay in various East and South Asian cultures. Through his studies of Indian philosophy and Zen Buddhism in the late 1940s, Cage came to the idea of aleatoric or chance-controlled music, which he started composing in 1951. The I Ching, an ancient Chinese classic text on changing events, became Cage's standard composition tool for the rest of his life. In a 1957 lecture, Experimental Music, he described music as "a purposeless play" which is "an affirmation of life – not an attempt to bring order out of chaos nor to suggest improvements in creation, but simply a way of waking up to the very life we're living".

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Discography

Album

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1967 New Electronic Music From Leaders of the Avant-Garde John Cage, Milton Babbitt, Henri Pousseur 3 3
1969 Atlas Eclipticalis • Winter Music • Cartridge Music / Glossolalie John Cage, Dieter Schnebel; Ensemble Musica Negativa, Rainer Riehn 1
1969 Cage & Hiller: HPSCHD / Johnston: String Quartet no. 2 John Cage & Lejaren Hiller, Ben Johnston 5 1
1973 John Cage: Three Dances, for 2 amplified prepared pianos / Steve Reich: Four Organs, for 4 electric organs & maracas John Cage, Steve Reich; Michael Tilson Thomas, Ralph Grierson 2 1
1976 Voices and Instruments Jan Steele, John Cage 1
1977 Cheap Imitation John Cage 1
1980 Nocturne - Six Melodies - Amores - A Valentine Out of Season - Music for Marcel Duchamp John Cage 1
1984 Sixteen Dances John Cage 1
1985 Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano John Cage; Yuji Takahashi 1
1986 Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano (1946-1948) (Darryl Rosenberg) John Cage 1
1987 Thirty Pieces for Five Orchestras / Music for Piano John Cage - Peter Eötvös 1
1988 Music of Changes (piano: Herbert Henck) John Cage 1
1988 Works for Piano & Prepared Piano, Volume I John Cage 1
1989 The Complete String Quartets, Volume 1 (Arditti Quartet) John Cage 1
1990 Art Is Either a Complaint or Do Something Else John Cage 1
1991 Music for Merce Cunningham John Cage 2
1991 Music for Five John Cage 1
1991 Sixty-Two Mesostics Re Merce Cunningham (Eberhard Blum) John Cage 1
1991 Works for Cello - Lecture on Nothing John Cage; Frances-Marie Uitti 1
1991 Works for Percussion John Cage 1
1991 Works for Piano, Toy Piano & Prepared Piano, Volume III (1944-1960) John Cage 1
1992 Fifty-Eight (Pannonisches Blasorchester feat. conductor: Wim van Zutphen) John Cage 1
1992 Indeterminacy: New Aspect of Form in Instrumental and Electronic Music John Cage & David Tudor 1
1992 Litany for the Whale John Cage; Theatre of Voices, Paul Hillier 3
1992 Pianos and Voices John Cage, Meredith Monk; Anthony de Mare 1
1992 Roaratorio John Cage 1
1992 The Barton Workshop Plays John Cage John Cage 1
1993 The Complete String Quartets, Volume 2 (Arditti Quartet) John Cage 1
1993 Concert for Piano and Orchestra / Atlas Eclipticalis John Cage; The Orchestra of the S.E.M. Ensemble, Petr Kotik, Joseph Kubera 1
1993 Etudes Australes John Cage 1
1993 Music for ... John Cage 1
1993 Winter Music John Cage 1
1993 Works for Prepared Piano John Cage; Nigel Butterley 1
1994 Freeman Etudes, Books One and Two John Cage; Irvine Arditti 1
1994 Daughters of the Lonesome Isle John Cage 1
1994 Europera 5 John Cage 1
1994 Freeman Etudes, Books Three and Four John Cage; Irvine Arditti 1
1994 Sixteen Dances John Cage; Ensemble Modern, Ingo Metzmacher 1
1994 Sixteen Dances for Soloist and Company of 3 John Cage; Ensemble Modern, Ingo Metzmacher 2
1994 Ten / Ryoanji / Fourteen John Cage; Ives Ensemble 1
1994 The 25-Year Retrospective Concert of the Music of John Cage John Cage 1
1995 In a Landscape John Cage 1
1995 Annum per annum Cage, Pärt, Scelsi; Christoph Maria Moosmann 1
1995 Europeras 3 & 4 John Cage 1
1995 New York School 3 Earle Brown, John Cage, Morton Feldman, Christian Wolff; Eberhard Blum, Art Lange, Jan Williams 1
1995 Six Melodies / Thirteen Harmonies John Cage; Irvine Arditti, Stefan Hussong 1
1995 Sonatas & Interludes for Prepared Piano John Cage; Maro Ajemian 1
1995 The Number Pieces I John Cage 1
1996 Cage / Pisaro / Frey / Beuger Cage, Pisaro, Frey, Beuger; Edwin Alexander Buchholz 1
1996 Imaginary Landscapes John Cage 2
1996 John Cage: One⁸ / Sofia Gubaidulina: Zehn Präludien für Violoncello solo John Cage, Sofia Gubaidulina; Julius Berger 1
1996 Music for Eight John Cage; Ensemble Avantgarde, Salome Kammer, Leipziger Streichquartett 1
1996 Ryoanji John Cage 1
1996 The Lost Works John Cage 1
1997 Complete Piano Music, Volume 1: The Prepared Piano 1940-1952 John Cage; Steffen Schleiermacher 1
1997 Double Edge John Cage 1
1997 Etudes Australes John Cage; Claudio Crismani 1
1997 In die Tiefe der Zeit / Two⁴ Hosokawa / Cage 1
1997 Lou Harrison: A Portrait Lou Harrison, John Cage; California Symphony, Barry Jekowsky, Al Jarreau 1
1997 Yuji Takahashi Plays John Cage: Sonatas and Interludes, Volume 1 John Cage; Yuji Takahashi 1
1998 Sonatas and Interludes John Cage; Aleck Karis 1
1998 Works for Prepared Piano John Cage 1
1998 Complete Piano Music, Volume 2: Music for Piano 1-85 / Electronic Music for Piano John Cage; Steffen Schleiermacher 1
1998 Complete Piano Music, Volume 3: Music of Changes John Cage; Steffen Schleiermacher 1
1998 Music for Percussion Quartet John Cage 1
1998 Music of Changes John Cage; Joseph Kubera 1
1998 ONEviolin John Cage 5 1
1999 The Choral Works I (Ars Nova feat. conductor: Tamás Vetö) John Cage 1
1999 Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano (1946-48) John Cage; Boris Berman 2
1999 Complete Piano Music, Volume 4: Pieces 1950-1960 John Cage; Steffen Schleiermacher 1
1999 Januskopf Bach - Cage Bach, Cage; Christoph Ullrich, Moritz Stoepel 1
1999 The Number Pieces 2: Five³ John Cage; The Arditti Quartet, Monique Buzzarté 1
1999 Three² / Twenty-Three / Six / Twenty-Six John Cage 5 1
1999 Works for Percussion, Volume 1: 1935-1941 John Cage 1
2000 The Seasons John Cage 2
2000 Works for Percussion, Vol. 3: Four⁴ John Cage; Amadinda Percussion Group 1
2000 Complete Piano Music, Volume 5: Two Pianos John Cage; Josef Christof, Steffen Schleiermacher 1
2000 Glass Cage Philip Glass, John Cage; Bruce Brubaker 1
2000 Atlas Eclipticalis & Winter Music / 103 John Cage 1
2000 Four⁴ John Cage 5 1
2000 Music for Non-Prepared Piano John Cage; Jay Gottlieb 1
2000 The Works for Violin 3: Two⁴, for Violin and Shō or Piano John Cage; Irvine Arditti, Mayumi Miyata, Stephen Drury 1
2000 Works for Percussion, Volume 2: 1941-1950 (Amadinda Percussion Group) John Cage 1
2001 Sonatas and Interludes, 1946-48 (piano: Markus Hinterhäuser) John Cage 1
2001 Voice and Piano John Cage 1
2001 Complete Piano Music, Volume 6: Pieces 1960-1992 John Cage; Steffen Schleiermacher 1
2001 Complete Piano Music, Volume 7: Pieces 1933-1950 John Cage; Steffen Schleiermacher 1
2001 Credo in Us... More Works for Percussion John Cage & Quatuor Hêlios 1
2001 Music for Prepared Piano, Vol. 2 John Cage; Boris Berman 1
2001 Music of Changes John Cage; David Tudor 1
2001 One⁷ [from One¹³] / One⁸ John Cage 1
2002 Angel Artistry: Three Dances / Four Organs / Rite of Spring John Cage, Steve Reich, Igor Stravinsky; Michael Tilson Thomas, Ralph Grierson 1
2002 Complete Piano Music, Volume 8: Hommage à Satie John Cage; Steffen Schleiermacher 1
2002 Complete Piano Music, Volume 9: Etudes Australes John Cage; Steffen Schleiermacher 1
2002 ジョン・ケージ:鍵盤楽器のための音楽 1935-1948 ジョン・ケージ 1
2002 Complete Piano Music, Volume 10: Etcetera John Cage; Steffen Schleiermacher 1
2002 One⁴ / Four / Twenty-Nine John Cage 5 1
2003 Cage (Re) Mix John Cage; Yuji Takahashi, Aki Takahashi 1
2003 Locations John Cage, Herbert Henck; Herbert Henck 1
2003 HPSCHD (harpsichord: Robert Conant, realization: Joel Chadabe) John Cage 1

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