4’33”, or Happy Century Birthday to John Cage

I’m mostly ignorant about Cage, but his 4’33” piece is very intriguing, despite grumblings from the hardcore. If it’s really about listening to the natural music around you, then the natural music of my Twitter feed would seem to be a valid performance.

While I was making this, New Order’s “Crystal” was on my headphones. (I’d have preferred to embed the video, but the official clip seems to be 4’21” rather than this 6’51” version I had on.)

Because @triproftri‘s first tweet after my start time is awkward without context, here are her thoughts that led up to it:

And here’s the actual performance:

And there you have it. I’ve never examined my feed at any particular time before, but it always felt more active than this. By the same token, being in higher ed means that I follow a decent number of academics’ accounts, and 11a EST (the time I arbitrarily chose) early in a new academic year is likely a time that many of them are working in one way or another. The European accounts I follow are nearly all on CEST, which makes 11a right around quitting time for 9-to-5ers. But in any case, my guess is that Cage would at least be interested in what turned out to be the @triproftri show. Also perhaps in the recursion of a text on Cage in a performance of a Cage piece.