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John Cage I-VI

Cage, John

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ISBN 10: 0674440072 / ISBN 13: 9780674440074
Published by Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA, 1990
Condition: Near Fine Hardcover
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About this Item

452 pp., B&W photographs throughout. From The Charles Eliot Norton Lecture Series. A bit of foxing to both the dustjacket and the books edges. Dustjacket protected with mylar cover. Bookseller Inventory # 000927

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Bibliographic Details

Title: John Cage I-VI

Publisher: Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA

Publication Date: 1990

Binding: Cloth

Book Condition:Near Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine

Edition: First Edition.

About this title

Synopsis:

Without doubt the most influential American composer of the last half century, John Cage has had an enormous impact not only on music but on art, literature, the performing arts, and aesthetic thought in general. His insistent exploration of "nonintention" and his fruitful merging of Western and Eastern traditions have made him a powerful force in the world of the avant-garde.

There have never been lectures like these: delivered at Harvard in 1988-89 as the Charles Eliot Norton Lectures, they were more like performances, as the audience heard them. Cage calls them "mesostics," a literary form generated by chance (in this case computerized I-Ching chance) operations. Using the computer as an oracle in conjunction with a large source text, he happens upon ideas, which produce more ideas. Chance, and not Cage, makes the choices and central decisions. Such a form is rooted, Cage tells us in his introduction, in the belief that "all answers answer all questions."

Acting as a kind of counterpoint to the six texts here are transcripts (edited by Cage) of the provocative question-and-answer seminars that followed each presentation. Included with the book are two audiocassettes, one of Cage reading a mesostic (IV), allowing the listener to experience it as it was delivered, and one with a lively selection from the question-and-answer seminars that conveys the flavor of the event. The illustrations consist of fifteen different chance-determined prints from a single negative by Robert Mahon of the first autograph page of Cage's Sixteen Dances (1951).

I-VI is, in short, an experience of John Cage, where silences become words and words become silences, in arrangements that will disconcert and exercise our minds.

From the Publisher:

7 x 10" trim. 15 illus. 1 Audio CD. LC 97-28178

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