KPFA-FM Music Dept. ➔ John Cage in Conversation with Morton Feldman, Radio Happening 1 of 5

Analog Audio

Event Type
Other Finds
Program Length
40 min
1967-10-18 | broadcast
| 1966-07-09 | created
John Cage and Morton Feldman recorded four open-ended conversations at the studios of radio station WBAI in New York. These meetings spanned six months between July 1966 and January 1967, and were produced as five "Radio Happenings". Both men were at transitional points in their music. Cage had completed “Variations V” in 1965 and “Variations VI” and “Variations VII” in 1966, and would publish "A Year from Monday" in 1967. Most of Feldman's important work was yet to come. These conversations between two old friends, relaxed, smoking, and throwing out ideas, are full of laughter and long ponderous silences. They form an incredible historical record of their concerns and preoccupation with making music, art, society, and politics of the moment.

In 1993 these conversations were transcribed and published as "Radio Happenings I-V" by Edition MusikTexte in Cologne, Germany, with a German translation and a preface by Christian Wolff. However, the printed page loses so much that can only be experienced by hearing these two speaking together again - even those long, meaningful silences.

Thanks to the Estate of Morton Feldman and the John Cage Trust for permission to share this historic interview. All Rights Reserved.
Musical Selections
On intrusions -- is it reality or culture? The role of the artist -- deep in thought. Is it possible to avoid the environment around us? Being constantly interrupted? Larry Rivers, Bob Rauschenberg, Franz Kline, Schoenberg, Stockhausen, Boulez, Black Mountain College. On boredom and Zen, Buckminster Fuller.
Zen Buddhism
Art, Modern
Avant-garde (Art)
Silence in music
Music -- Philosophy and aesthetics
New music
Related places
New York (N.Y.) (was recorded at)
Berkeley (Calif.) (was broadcast at)
Related Entities
Cage, John
Feldman, Morton, 1926-1987