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John Cage:

ANARCHIC HARMONY

”Music is everywhere, you just have to have the ears to hear it.”

”Since the theory of conventional music is a set of laws exclusively concerned with ’musical’ sounds, having nothing to say about noises, it had been clear from the beginning that what was needed was a music based on noise, on noise’s lawlessness. Having made such an anarchic music, we were able later to include in its performance even so-called musical sounds. - We need first of all a music in which not only are sounds just sounds, but in which people are just people, not subject, that is, to laws established by any one of them, even if he is ’the composer’ or ’the conductor.’ Finally we need a music which no longer prompts talk of audience participation, for in it the division between performers and audience no longer exists: a music made by everyone.”

”Most of my life I thought that I had to find an alternative to harmony, but the harmony I was thinking about was the one that had been taught at school. Now I see that everything outside of school is also harmonious...
A changed definition of harmony; one that doesn't involve any rules or laws. You might call it an anarchic harmony. Just sounds being together.”

”In the late forties I found out by experiment (I went into the anechoic chamber at Harvard University) that silence is not acoustic. It is a change of mind, a turning around. I devoted my music to it. My work became an exploration of non-intention.”

”My favorite music is the music I haven't yet heard. I don't hear the music I write: I write in order to hear the music I have yet heard. We are living in a period in which many people have changed their mind about what the use of music is or could be for them. Something that doesn't speak or talk like human being, that doesn't know its definition in the dictionary or its theory in the schools, that expressed itself simply by the fact of its vibrations. People paying attention to vibratory activity, not in reaction to a fixed ideal performance, but each time attentively to how it happen to be this time, not necessarily two times the same. A music that transport the listener to the moment where he is.”



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