Monograph on John Cage
Fayard Editions, 2019
John Cage (1912-1992) is one of the most well-known composers of the 20th century, but also one of the most controversial. He explored unknown territories by creating a repertoire for prepared piano, using electronics in an innovative way and introducing the impersonal in his compositional process. With his large body of indeterminate pieces, he rejected the hierarchies of the musical world of his time. He contributed to expand the sound universe, developed the concept of performance and gave more freedom to the performer. Cage is one of the few composers who simultaneously created visual works of great importance and installations-exhibitions where he indulged in a form of tabula rasa. In close collaboration with choreographer Merce Cunningham, he forged a radically new relationship between music and dance. His insatiable curiosity led him to turn to Zen Buddhism that would become the foundation of his non-intentional creation.
In this monograph, Anne de Fornel presents both the man and the work by informing all aspects of his production through first-hand research carried out in several American archival holdings (New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Northwestern University, Crown Point Press, Mattress Factory). Interviews with prominent figures who knew him, long-time collaborators and a new generation of performers also bear witness to the imprint John Cage has left on 20th century art.
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