The Roaring Silence: John Cage: A Life
Last updated: 17.12.19
Hardcover: 375 pages, usually ships within 24 hours.
From Publishers Weekly
In this sympathetic biography, composer John Cage, who has devised scores for percussion ensembles, radios tuned at random, electrical instruments and pianos "prepared" with objects attached to the strings, is acclaimed as "a man of joyous integrity" who leans towards the ascetic and the transcendent. Revill, a music critic for the Times of London and the Guardian , seeks to show that Cage's life, work and ideas are all of a piece. His astute analyses of individual compositions are occasionally clarified by his discussion of Cage's dabblings in Zen, Eastern philosophy, anarchism, ecology and social thought. Although Revill had Cage's cooperation, his portrait of the avant-garde composer/painter/ poet as a sunny, spontaneous radical individualist seems strangely impersonal. Accounts of Cage's relations with Martha Graham, Merce Cunningham, Arnold Schonberg, Pierre Boulez, Marcel Duchamp, Robert Rauschenberg and other luminaries round out this study of the composer's continually evolving ideas.
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From Library Journal
Arnold Schoenberg referred to the recently deceased Cage as "an inventor--of genius," and indeed he was, as manifested through his musical and visual compositions. Avant-garde is a term that comes to mind when considering his complex gifts. Always the optimist, Cage focused throughout his life on an astonishing assortment of endeavors. Besides his never-ending quest toward perfection of sound (including a unique realization of silence), Cage delved into such eclectic areas as Eastern philosophy.