Thursday, April 07, 2011
John Cage to the grad students: "Wherever we are, what we hear is mostly noise. When we ignore it, it disturbs us. When we listen to it, we find it fascinating." This is helpful to dwell on in a number of ways! But it especially helpful at this moment while they are running a weird droning machine next door (from the back of a pest control truck [!!!???]) that is shaking the floorboards of the house while I am trying to listen to Sun Ra. I am not kidding, John Cage has given me a pretty good attitude about it! And I think Sun Ra would approve (of the sound. I am not sure how he would feel about the pest control truck). Did you know they (John Cage and Sun Ra, pictured) once played on the same bill at Coney Island? Have I told you that before? To quote from the Sun Ra bio by John F. Szwed, "When the day came, a pitchman and a 'snake woman' worked the crowds on the boardwalk to entice the audience inside, where pizza and beverages were being served." Why can't I go back in time and eat a slice of pizza at Coney Island while listening to John Cage and Sun Ra? Those people didn't know how good they had it! I bet at least one guy was sitting there just thinking, "Dang, this pizza is cold." Like, "I just came in here because the snake woman said there was free pizza." But that's cool too! Anyway, let's all learn something from what John Cage said. It is not just about noise!