Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 11/10/2011

Sound of Silence

Wood Duck, originally uploaded by

I said I was running out of ideas last night for things to write, having expended at least 100,000 words so far this year, I figured I’d used all my words up for the year (a man uses at most 2,000 words a day – which means I have to resist from talking if I’m going to write during the day). This got me thinking about John Cage, the avant garde artiste and how I could combine one of his most famous pieces of work and my lack of new things to talk about. So here is my homage to his piece of work 4′33″ (pronounced “Four minutes, thirty-three seconds”) which starts and ends after the less and greater than signs:


For those who aren’t familiar with Cage’s piece of work, it is a three symphony piece where the orchestra do not play a single note, the sounds Cage wanted listeners to here were the ambient ones – musicians moving in their seats, external road traffic noises, people sniffing etc. My homage was composed of 273 spaces – the same number of spaces as seconds in Cages’ work, the idea being you filled in the blanks yourself as to what you heard/saw/thought/imagined.

I know I know, what a load of pretentious twaddle – but the problem with us Artistes is that when we get an idea, a concept, a delusion.. we have to follow it through to it’s ultimate end which, Dear Reader, we have, you’ll be glad to hear, reached. Do I hear an “Encore”? -> <- (that was the start of the next movement of my own work”


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