Cage, John biographical name
(born Sept. 5, 1912, Los Angeles, Calif., U.S.died Aug. 12, 1992, New York, N.Y.) U.S. avant-garde composer and writer. The son of an inventor, Cage studied music with Arnold Schoenberg and Henry Cowell. From the early 1940s he was closely associated with the choreographer Merce Cunningham. Though he began as a 12-tone composer (see serialism), by 1943 his sonic experiments had marked him as notably original. He soon turned to Zen Buddhism and concluded that all activities that make up music are part of a single natural process and that all sounds are potentially musical; thenceforth he advocated indeterminism and endeavoured to ensure randomness in his works, using increasingly inventive notation and often relying on the Confucian classic Yijing. By the 1960s he had expanded into the realm of multimedia. His disparate works include Bacchanale for prepared piano (1938), Imaginary Landscape No. 4 for 12 radios (1951), Fontana Mix for tape (1958), HPSCHD for seven harpsichords, 51 tapes, and nonmusical media (1969), and Roaratorio (1979). His widely read books include Silence (1961), A Year from Monday (1967), Notations (1969), and M (1973). His international influence was far greater than that of any previous American composer.
Variants of CAGE, JOHN
Cage, John in full John Milton Cage, Jr.
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