Customer Reviews


26 Reviews
5 star:
 (18)
4 star:
 (5)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (3)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


78 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing Has Been The Same
It's always a strange sensation for me to go into a record store, or even see what's available here, and find so many John Cage recordings in print. As the most essential and avant-garde composer of the century, that's gratifying to me [a composer] but also unnerving that anyone so experimental and uncompromising in the arts would enjoy such popularity.
This book...
Published on May 19, 2000 by gtra1n

versus
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars don't buy the Kindle edition
The Kindle edition is just a collection of scanned pages. The text doesn't reflow, and doesn't zoom. It is microscopic on an ordinary Kindle. The book is marked as "optimized for large screens" but it is really just an extremely lazy attempt at an ebook. I expected reflowable text and a few large images of Cage's visual scores. What I got was unusable on my Kindle.
Published on March 6, 2012 by J. mcnalley


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

78 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing Has Been The Same, May 19, 2000
This review is from: Silence: Lectures and Writings (Paperback)
It's always a strange sensation for me to go into a record store, or even see what's available here, and find so many John Cage recordings in print. As the most essential and avant-garde composer of the century, that's gratifying to me [a composer] but also unnerving that anyone so experimental and uncompromising in the arts would enjoy such popularity.
This book goes a long way towards explaining that. And in many ways, this book stands apart from his music, and can be enjoyed without ever hearing or knowing of Cage's music pieces. Because the music was almost by accident - Schoenberg told Cage that he was an inventor, not a composer, and this book demonstrates that, and goes further to show Cage was a philosopher. Music just happened to be the medium where he best expressed his philosophy, but it could have been painting or film, depending on his path. The book defines a way of living and thinking and seeing, and of course hearing, the world. That's what it's about. And it's beautiful and gentle quality capture the essence of Cage, a true quiet revolutionary. His revolution was profound, and best expressed in his piano piece 4'33", where the pianist does not make a sound at the instrument. The revolution of that event was the most profound and destabilizing in the history of music, and yet it was entirely silent. Such is the power of Cage's ideas that he has no need to really 'lecture' about them, he merely presents them and let's their own strength do the rest.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional book; insights that apply to more than art., July 7, 1999
This review is from: Silence: Lectures and Writings (Paperback)
This is the only book of Cage's I have read, but I found it not only cleared up any questions I had about the nature and intention of his work, but also gave me a much greater appreciation of what a true pioneer he was, both as an artist and philosopher. His humor and passion for life and art are in clear evidence throughout the book; each article or lecture reveals a new facet, a new layer of his boundless creativity and powerful stand for all art. Even though parts of the book may get fairly technical, much of what he says about music applies to life in general and to the goal of pursuing both to their fullest. A must-have for any serious musician or lover of art and life.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quintessential Cage, August 16, 2001
By 
This review is from: Silence: Lectures and Writings (Paperback)
I keep reading it year after year and I keep finding sections of it I've never seen before. magic. A the same time, I read the same part overs and over again years later and they just get better.
It's just a remarkable text.
You have to get it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars don't buy the Kindle edition, March 6, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The Kindle edition is just a collection of scanned pages. The text doesn't reflow, and doesn't zoom. It is microscopic on an ordinary Kindle. The book is marked as "optimized for large screens" but it is really just an extremely lazy attempt at an ebook. I expected reflowable text and a few large images of Cage's visual scores. What I got was unusable on my Kindle.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great book: DON'T BUY THE KINDLE VERSION!, February 13, 2012
By 
Eve Beglarian (New York, NY USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is one of my favorite books on music, for sure, but the Kindle edition is making me crazy!!! I read on the iPad and have to magnify each page to get the type readable: each page is an image, so no highlighting, annotating etc. is possible, but there's a GIANT margin around the page, which if it had been utilized, would make a totally readable font-size. CRAZY-MAKING!!! a pdf version would at least be possible to mark up using the various PDF readers out there.

what are publishers thinking?!?! PLEASE put some more effort into creating e-reader versions: or at least warn the buyer ahead of time that most e-reader functionality will be unavailable.

okay, rant over. enjoy the book, it's life-changingly wonderful!!!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Seminal 20th Century (And Beyond) Text (from Ahadada Books), June 13, 2008
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Silence: Lectures and Writings (Paperback)
I always think of John Cage as "Klatuu" in "The Day The Earth Stood Still," arriving in a turn-table-shaped rig to deliver the truth about the future of music to the masses. He parks his space ship, and his buddy Gort, on the mall and goes out to make a point. At first only the smartest man in the world could understand the equations he and Billy left on the office black board, but soon everyone would be standing stranded on the streets of Paris and Beijing wondering what the heck's up, and what's all this noise about? Of course, Klatuu gets killed and brought back to life (Cage wisely skipped that), and flies back to wherever he came from (as did Cage a few years back), but our man Cage beats Klatuu by light years, because this MAN FROM THE FUTURE left behind a collection of lectures and writings on the nature of sound, art, literature and BEING that still resonates. This is a fascinating tool box to dig through, even though some of the most interesting selections pre-date Klatuu. One innovation that Cage pioneers in this book is the use of random processes to give form to his lectures. This results in timed "silences" in the texts (very similar to performance scores) and poem-like structures of words. Cage also adds the 20th century's plastic-fantastic Americanized (and therefore ever more elastic) concept of ZEN to the tool box of avant-garde poly-practioners, which results in yet another permission given to innovate. In fact, when I encounter new music, writing, art, one of the basic things I seek is PERMISSION TO DO, and that's exactly what Cage is up to in these lectures. Not only is PERMISSION GIVEN, but he hands over many of the tools to begin. That's why this book is vital, seminal (pun intended) and necessary for every experimentalist in the arts and in life. Cage also has a great sense of humor in these writings. YOUTUBE includes a wonderful video of a guest appearance that Cage made on the old "What's My Line." Before the barely comprehending black & white stares of Gary Moore, Bess Myerson and the crew, Cage plays mix-masters, toasters, and other appliances, watching the clock, as always, and with a straight face bringing the odd beauty of new sound and his own Houdini-like showmanship into America's living rooms, just as he unpacks his ideas in the minds of any attentive reader of this book to this day. As classic as a 1960 limited edition T-Bird guaranteed to bring wows if driven into the 21st century and on and on into the future of human thought.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Out of Cage, March 2, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Silence: Lectures and Writings (Paperback)
Having red an increasingly litterature of and about John Cage, Silence is the one I return to. It reveals his ways and his means, as by actually composing the lectures and writings the same way he composed his music. Even if the content often serves only to fill the composition, it is funny and it is full of wisdom. And beautiful. Add up the Indeterminacy recording from Smithsonian Folkways, and you have the best of his writings.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-have for anyone interested in musical philosophy, February 26, 2011
This review is from: Silence: Lectures and Writings (Paperback)
A great collection of Cage's lectures and writings. Much of it is very abstract, other parts more straightforward and focused on musical form (or lack thereof), much discussion on composition and music of the latter part of the 20th century, how we view music, and the integral role that silence and noises plays in how people perceive music.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't buy this book., June 29, 2012
This review is from: Silence: Lectures and Writings (Paperback)
If you value your sanity then stay away from this book. This book will make you go crazy. Nevertheless a classic, one of my favorites.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Interesting!!, February 16, 2007
This review is from: Silence: Lectures and Writings (Paperback)
This book is a work of art in itself. John Cage takes so many of his theories and applies them to his writing style, formatting, and type style. I suggest knowing a little about him before reading this book as it is a little easy to get lost in translation (figuratively speaking). Overall, it is definitely worth reading, and it is fairly affordable...a good addition to any collection.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Silence: Lectures and Writings
Silence: Lectures and Writings by John Cage (Paperback - June 15, 1961)
Used & New from: $9.91
Add to wishlist See buying options
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.