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Take in the sounds of silence via this unique performance of John Cage’s infamous piece

John Cage’s composition 4’33” (1952) is a polarising work of modern art. Inspired by Zen Buddhism, the Dada movement and Cage’s strong distaste for the ubiquitous muzak of the time, its score instructs performers not to play their instruments for the piece’s four-minute, thirty-three-second duration. Often thought of as ‘silent’, in reality, 4’33” is comprised of the unique ambient soundscape of the environment in which it’s performed, reflecting Cage’s belief that music is ever-present. Compiled by the New York-based artist Sam Vladimirsky at a moment when background sounds have never been so inescapable, this collaborative, crowdsourced performance of 4’33” features professionals, amateurs and even digital avatars from around the world putting their own spin on Cage’s infamous composition.

16 November 2021

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