[microsound-announce] New Release: Sounds Like Silence, John Cage / 4:33 / Silence Today

Lasse-Marc Riek lasseart at gmx.de
Mon Aug 27 10:15:37 EDT 2012

Sounds Like Silence
John Cage / 4:33 / Silence Today
(Edited by Inke Arns and Dieter Daniels)

6 Tracks (48:50)
CD (500 copies)


In 2012 the world celebrates not only the centenary of John Cage’s 
birth, but also the sixtieth anniversary of the premiere of his ›silent 
piece‹ 4:33 (four minutes, thirty-three seconds) on August 29, 1952. 
This composition in three movements without intentional sounds is the 
composer’s best-known work today. As an ›art without work‹ (John Cage), 
it takes up and renews the impulses of the avant-gardes of the early 
twentieth century, notably Marcel Duchamp’s readymades, which the artist 
himself termed ›works without art.‹

Cage’s observation that ›there is no such thing as silence‹ finds a 
disturbing echo in today’s world, where issues of ›acoustic ecology‹ are 
playing an ever-increasing role, notably in town and transport planning, 
architecture, and product design. Beyond our ›objective‹ acoustic 
environment, it would appear that our ›subjective‹ perception of sound 
has also changed, as demonstrate the controversial debates about the 
ubiquity of sound diffusion in private and public spaces, enabled by 
modern technology.

What do we hear when there is nothing to hear?
To what extent do we long for silence?
And with how much silence can we cope provided it even exists?

This CD is an ›anthology of silence‹ which spans a large spectrum of 
historic and contemporary works of art. Its selection of tracks 
evidences that silence never sounds like silence: while some of the 
pieces are indeed very quiet, others will seem rather ›loud.‹ Attentive 
listeners will be rewarded as they gradually make out the subtle yet 
far-ranging differences in the various sound atmospheres.

The CD contains the radio feature which was broadcasted on August 24, 
2012 in the Sound Art program of Deutschlandradio Kultur.

Works and Words (Extracts):

John Cage -- Nam June Paik -- Filippo Tommaso Marinetti -- Jonty Semper
Matt Rogalsky -- Martin Conrads -- Christopher DeLaurenti -- Dave Allen
Jacob Kirkegaard -- Lasse­-Marc Riek -- Stephen Vitiello -- Matthieu 
Brandon LaBelle -- People Like Us (Vicki Bennett) -- Einstürzende 

The exhibition Sounds Like Silence is organized by the Hartware 
MedienKunstVerein (HMKV) at Dortmunder U in Dortmund, Germany, from 
August 25, 2012 to January 6, 2013. It is curated by Inke Arns and 
Dieter Daniels.

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