Listening to silence.

One of the pieces of which I thought it might be nice to try and find a copy was 4'33" by John Cage. This is undoubtedly one of the classics of the second half of the twentieth century, and though I'm sure it's available somewhere on record, I've never seen it in a store. So I thought that trying my luck with that piece was a nice idea. The composition is for any group of instruments, though it's usually performed on unaccompanied piano. It consists of four minutes and thirty three seconds of rests, divided into three movements. I once heard a performance of the piece on the radio, and came across a downloadable Real Audio copy of it on the web, but can't seem to remember where. A web page that claims to play the composition can be found here, but from the HTML code I've read on the page, I don't think that silence is actually being generated. Instead it's simply a blank page without sound. A full length performance of the piece can be found here, including a counter that counts off each second that passes of the piece. This rendition, however, isn't readily downloadable. A copy of the composition in MIDI format is available here, but MIDI sound quality on the web is almost always lacking, and the size of the download, 59 bytes, suggests that it's not really a full performance, but instead blank space. So I was pleased to find a copy of the composition via Napster, and to note that the size of the file was more than 4MB (No, no link to it here). Admittedly, that's a lot of disk space, and download time, especially for an incredibly quiet composition. From what I've listened to so far, it doesn't seem to be an in concert recording, but it's still nice to know that you're getting the real thing.

Go to: Gimme, Gimme, Gimme!