9 More Quotes from John Cage

You mustn’t become hypnotised by intellectual categories, continuous-discontinuous, stable-unstable, etc., which supposedly make it possible to think time.

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People always think that there is something to understand. They imagine that the composer really had something in mind.

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Above: John Cage, 33 1/3, 1969. Installation view at daadgalerie Berlin, 1988–89. Courtesy of the John Cage Trust. Photo: Werner Zellien, © Archiv Broken Music, Werner Zellien

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I keep my mind alive and alert, or at least I try to. As a result, everything dissonant, I hear as consonant. [I hear not only the number two, but also the plurality of the number one.]

That is why I try to make my music resemble my life. May it be free and without goal! That is, without object.

That is, since Tao, the ultimate term, is nothing or Nothingness, we could also conclude that we shouldn’t become mesmerised by the difference and that there is no ultimate term. Thus, no system.

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That’s exactly it. Impose nothing. Live and let live. Permit each person, as well as each sound, to be the centre of creation.

Yes, ‘experimental’ – meaning what happens before one has had the time to measure it.

 

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