John Cale on I’ve Got a Secret, 1963

From Alex Ross, The Rest Is Noise: [John] Cage’s definitive refutation of Beethoven came in the form of an epic, almost daylong performance of Erik Satie’s piano piece Vexations. The original score is only a page long and would normally take just a minute...

Just arrived: Silverman’s John Cage: Begin Again

In today’s mail, the new biography of John Cage, by our emeritus colleague Kenneth Silverman. Very eager to dig into this life of one of NYC’s great cultural figures, and a presiding spirit over the downtown scene for half a century and more. Is anyone but...

The Ballad of John (Cage) and Yoko

Today my “Downtown Scenes” class will be considering conceptual art and performance and the stirrings of minimalism in music, painting, and sculpture. Some analogies and overlaps with the world of poetry we’ve been talking about and will continue to...