WXXI Classical Blog

A 4'33" Story - John Cage at 100

Music, what does it communicate?
Is what’s clear to me clear to you?
Is music just sounds?
Then what does it communicate?
Is a truck passing by music?
If I can see it, do I have to hear it too?
If I don’t hear it, does it still communicate?
If while I see it I can’t hear it, but hear something else, say an egg-beater, because I’m inside looking out, does the truck communicate or the egg-beater, which communicates?
Which is more musical, a truck passing by a factory or a truck passing by a music school?

-John Cage, Silence 


Happy 100th,
John Cage!  What if share my own favorite experience with John Cage and his infamous 4'33"?

 

Joys of a new season

I went to Wegmans the other day, and lo, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.  Have you seen the plastic bags of Halloween candy stacked up like sandbags? Thanksgiving decorations spilling out of displays?  Really?  So soon? 

Please, press the pause button.

Copland Summer: Notes from the Road, Seeing Sound

In which I go away, come back, explain little, and we all go off on a merry little tangent.
 

When I wasn't riding roller coasters, visiting museums, and otherwise touristing in Cleveland last week, I did get to enjoy some quality time reading about Copland. I even took notes:

Charles Ives' memory lives on in Rochester

Dear Reader,

No word yet on the fate of the Charles Ives house.  But the last blog post prompted this interesting response from Classical 91.5 listener David Kirkpatrick.

Copland Summer: Simplicity and Objectivity

So many things running around my head this afternoon, and I’m not sure how to organize them all. Maybe a list? 

Art Interlude

Wall \ Therapy at the Little Theatre

Copland summer reading is going well, and I'll post an update next week on what I'm learning. I'm not sure if this will lead to any grander conclusions that I so optimistically predicted last week, but I'm having a lot of fun reading about Copland's life - where and how he lived and worked, along with his connections with other musicians, artists, and writers. 

Enough - this post is not about Copland - instead, it's about a project that was completed in fewer hours than it will take me to read that book: the Wall\Therapy mural at The Little Theatre.  

Copland Summer

A few friends sat on a porch in Rochester on a recent cool summer night.  There was music, and beer, and some talk of going hiking. The music varied as different people used Spotify to play Nick Waterhouse, Leonard Cohen, Olivia Tremor Control, Wilco, and whatever else came to mind.

Late at night, late enough to be almost early, one of the denizens of this porch called up Copland’s music for The Red Pony. He then turned to me, the ostensible classical music expert, and asked:  “Why do I like this music? What makes it so good?”