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David Grubbs: "Records Ruin the Landscape: John Cage and Sound Recording"

March-06-06

Discipline: Music-Sound

Brooklyn College Student Center's State Lounge, 1:45 p.m.
Brooklyn, New York
www.bcisam.org/

Here's the gist of it: John Cage's disdain for records was legendary. He claimed not to have any in his home, and repeatedly spoke of the ways in which sound recordings were antithetical to his work. Yet a number of basic facts about his career would seem to contradict Cage's disparagement of records.

"Records Ruin the Landscape: John Cage and Sound Recording" considers the impact that Cage's commercially released recordings had in the 1960s. What role did records play in making John Cage the figure he was to become in that decade? How were his works disseminated in this period? What innovations resulted from his attempts to overcome the fixed medium of the record? Why didn't Cage, with his interest in chance, non-intentionality, technological innovation, and sound as such, gravitate towards these phenomena in sound recording?


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