Thursday, February 20, 2014

4D Blog #1

For this blog entry I read a series of manuscripts and essays produced by artists. Notations by John Cage is a series of pages of different musical and the notes in which to create them. Some of the pieces look like average notes and stanzas, and others are pictures drawn across lines on the paper. Some pieces don't have any notes at all and just descriptive words across the paper to be interpreted by the viewer. 4'33 is a piece that was created by John Cage and performed by William Marx. The piece includes a series of happenings in which Marx sits down at a piano, but instead of playing the piano, he uses a stop watch to time each happening. Art Which Can't be Art by Allan Kaprow is a commentary on how everyday actions we take for granted can be viewed in a different way. The act of brushing your teeth has occurred thousands of times on a daily basis in a persons life, that the act is just accepted and is something that is just done without any though. Kaprow really focuses on the act of brushing his teeth for two weeks and observes the different things that actually happen and occur when brushing your teeth. How to Make a Happening was also written by Alan Kaprow and describes all the does and do-nots that go along with creating a happening. The point he seems to stress the most is that everything should happen completely naturally, like it would in real life. There shouldn't be any rehearsal of the happening to keep it in it''s truest and most natural form.

The piece that I decided to research further was the piece 4'33 by John Cage. Cage came up with the idea of creating a piece completely out of silence around 1947. He initially wanted to create a silent piece and be able to convince a music company that itwas an incredibly wonderful piece called Silent Prayer. He scratched that idea and did not want to go on with it. He continued his research and visit an anechoic chamber, which is a chamber that is soundproof and all the surfaces of the chamber absorb sound instead of reflect it. He assumed to hear complete silence, but instead all he could hear was his nervous system and blood circulating in his body. This is when he realized that everything has a sound and he wouldn't ever be able to experience complete silence until he was dead. When 4'33 was performed, Marx came out on stage, sat the a piano and closed the piano door and took out a stopwatch and timed each of the three sections. The audience was forced to listen to the sounds that were created around them and by each other. They were able to hear everything, from coughing and clearing throats, to shuffling uncomfortably in their seats. This piece really challenged what could be/and what is called music.

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