John Cage was born 102 years ago today

David Seidner, John Cage, 1977 (2007.120.19)





The large loft on West 18th Street that John Cage shared with Merce Cunningham was a simple, sunny, skylight living-working studio… It was a magical day for me: the guru and his disciple. I said to him: “You know John, reading your book Silence at eighteen had a profound effect on me. And your encouragement over the years has meant more to me than you can imagine.” Without hesitation, he answered in his even high-pitched voice, “Yes, many people tell me that.” And we both laughed. John laughed a lot. He was goodness and generosity personified. He wasted nothing. Everything was grist for his extraordinary mill and he was appreciative of everything. He took nothing for granted. He talked about how fortunate he and Merce were to have the space, how much he appreciated any kind of recognition. He was gentle, serious, hard-working, brilliant. He was also endlessly quotable: “Avant-garde is a consumptional necessity as we’ve used up all the rest.” and “Anything can be art, all you have to do is change your mind.”

Photographs and words by David Seidner. Artists at Work: Inside the Studios of Today’s Most Celebrated Artists. New York: Rizzoli International Publications, 1999. pp. 42-49

Happy Birthday John Cage!
The website of the John Cage Trust:
An Autobiographical Statement from
John Cage Prepared Piano app

Another amazeballs blog post, a Fansinaflashbulb classic, about David Seidner (1957-1999) and John Cage (1912-1992) can be found here.

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1 Response to John Cage was born 102 years ago today

  1. crea2010 says:

    Thanks for posting, I always learn something from your posts.

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