ArticlesNo. 94, Fall 2012

Suspicious Silence: Walking Out on John Cage

Abstract

2012 marked what would have been the composer and writer John Cage’s 100th birthday, offering a nice round numbered moment to commemorate and reevaluate Cage’s lasting legacy. And it is a rich and still, astonishingly, controversial legacy, bringing forth bold assessments of Cage that range, as they have for decades, from worshipful acclaim, to ridiculing rejection. It seems with Cage, still, that it’s either black or white, love or hate; that he is either a saintly prophet of new sounds, new silences, or a foolish charlatan leading anarchically astray.