KPFA-FM Music Dept. ➔ Speaking of Music: John Cage, 1987, 2 of 2

Analog Audio

Event Type
Interview and Music
Program Series
Speaking of Music
Program Length
128 min
2 of 2
| broadcast
| 1987-01-08 | created
Charles Amirkhanian interviews John Cage on January 8, 1987, as part of the San Francisco Exploratorium’s Speaking of Music series. The program begins with a discussion of two of Cage’s pieces of aleatoric music, “Music For” which is scored for any number of instruments, and “Thirty Pieces for Five Orchestras”. Also discussed in detail is “EurOperas 1 & 2”, which was intended to be an opera like no other, and in that regard it has no real libretto or plot. However the majority of this program is dedicated to questions from the audience. In his answers Cage continues to confound expectations with his comments about why he composes using chance operations (to free his music from his likes and dislikes), the role of silence in music (to listen to the sounds everyone ignores), and the role of music (to quiet the mind). Cage also wanders into the realm of political science by commenting on the work of Buckminster Fuller and the role of Anarchism in any future utopia . As with any program with Cage, regardless of what he is talking about, the humor and warmth of his personality always shines through.
New music
Musical Selections
EurOperas 1 & 2 [excerpt from the libretto, read by Cage] (1987) (3:47)
New music
Cut-ups (Literary form)
Politics and culture
Funding for the preservation of this program made possible through a grant by Save America’s Treasures, a program of the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
Related places
San Francisco (Calif.) (was recorded at)
Berkeley (Calif.) (was broadcast at)
Related Entities
Amirkhanian, Charles
Cage, John