John Cage is one of the most important avant-garde composers of the twentieth century. He was born in Los Angeles in 1912 and studied at Pamona College and UCLA with the classical composer Arthur Schoenberg. Two of Cage's earliest and most important collaborators were Merce Cunningham and Robert Rauschenberg. At Black Mountain College, Cage, inspired by Marcel Duchamp, began to create sound for performances and to investigate the ways music composed through chance procedures would become something beautiful. Cage is probably most well known for his 1952 composition 4'33", which requires the performer to remain silent for the duration of the piece. The influences of his study Zen Buddhism, I Ching, and Indian philosophy can be observed throughout his career. Other notable compositions include Imaginary Landscape No 4 (1951), Water Music (1952), Cartridge Music (1960), and Roratorio, an Irish Circus on Finnegan's Wake (1979). Cage passed away in 1992 in New York City. He is the subject of Tom Burr's 2009 work, American Master.
John Cage is featured in Edition: Guest Editor, Tom Burr