Помимо прочего, я узнал, что у 4'33" был прямой предшественник - "Траурный марш для похорон великого глухого" Альфонса Алле.
Но Алле считал себя юмористом, а не композитором, и жил в эпоху, когда люди еще не научились с убийственной серьезностью относиться к своему протесту против убийственной серьезности. Поэтому его траурный марш не исполняют и не помнят, а 4'33" Кейжда - знаменитая композиция, постоянно исполняется, выпускается на CD, и критики пишут книги о ее глубокой философии.
Вот, кстати, сборник интервью с Кейджем: Conversing with Cage (PDF); точнее, автор этой книги собрал все интервью, раскроил их на отдельные высказывания по разным темам, и собрал вместе в тематическом порядке. Вот несколько цитат из Кейджда оттуда по поводу 4'33":
Let me ask you a few questions about 4’33”. Is it true that it was actually conceived of in the late forties and just not presented until the fifties?
Yes. I knew about it, and had spoken about the possibility of doing it, for about four years before I did it.
Why were you hesitant?
I knew that it would be taken as a joke and a renunciation of work, whereas I also knew that if it was done it would be the highest form of work. Or this form of work: an art without work. I doubt whether many people understand it yet.
Well, the traditional understanding is that it opens you up to the sounds that exist around you and—
To the acceptance of anything, even when you have something as the basis. And that’s how it’s misunderstood.
What’s a better understanding of it?
It opens you up to any possibility only when nothing is taken as the basis. But most people don’t understand that, as far as I can tell.
Is it possible that instead of being taken as too foolish, it’s now taken too seriously?
No. I don’t think it can be taken too seriously. (1985)
I think perhaps my own best piece, at least the one I like the most, is the silent piece [4’33” (pronounced four minutes, thirty-three seconds or four feet, thirty-three inches), 1952]. It has three movements and in all of the movements there are no sounds. I wanted my work to be free of my own likes and dislikes, because I think music should be free of the feelings and ideas of the composer. I have felt and hoped to have led other people to feel that the sounds of their environment constitute a music which is more interesting than the music which they would hear if they went into a concert hall. (1974)
They missed the point. There’s no such thing as silence. What they thought was silence [in 4’33 ”], because they didn’t know how to listen, was full of accidental sounds. You could hear the wind stirring outside during the first movement [in the premiere]. During the second, raindrops began patterning the roof, and during the third the people themselves made all kinds of interesting sounds as they talked or walked out. (1968)
People began whispering to one another, and some people began to walk out. They didn’t laugh—they were irritated when they realized nothing was going to happen, and they haven’t forgotten it 30 years later: they’re still angry. (1982)
I had friends whose friendship I valued and whose friendship I lost because of that. They thought that calling something you hadn’t done, so to speak, music was a form of pulling the wool over their eyes, I guess. (1985)
Вот иллюстрация последнего абзаца - письмо близкой знакомой Кейджда, женщины по имени Helene. Оно сохранилось в архиве Кейджа:
Musically I am an ignoramus, and heaven forbid that I pretend to more than I know. But one doesn’t have to be a musician in order to understand this kind of thing, which actually is a schoolboy’s prank, and can give pleasure only to an immature position of yourself which apparently delights in baiting artists and audience.
I very earnestly beg of you, John, to reconsider your decision and not to cheapen your worth by what is merely a trick. If you are quite honest with yourself, you must admit that you are only trying to knock and bedevil people.
I feel very strongly about this—so strongly that had I known what was up your sleeve, I would have refrained from sending out, to a number of personal friends, with personal notes, invitations to the recital. I don’t relish the thought of having all these people’s noses thumbed—for that is what it amounts to, if we are at all honest about it.