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14 July 2013

Titles Somewhat Under the Radar

Three more books of note, each Cage-related, each flying somewhat under the radar:

This publication comes from the Slought Foundation, whose  editions are always treasures, their topics ranging from art and architecture to politics and social theory.  

William Anastasi, a native of Philadelphia, was one of the founders of both Conceptual and Minimal art.  In the last decade he has had significant exhibitions of his works in Modena (Galleria d'Arte Contemporanea), New York (Peter Blum Gallery), and Copenhagen (Nikolaj Contemporary Art Center).  

Anastasi was a great friend of Cage's, and the two played late afternoon games of chess on almost a daily basis throughout the 1980s at Cage's 18th Street loft. In 2010 he received the distinguished John Cage Award from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts.


This limited edition book is a labor of love project by the celebrated Chilean-born artist, architect, and filmmaker Alfredo Jaar, an homage to John Cage on the occasion of his 2012 Centennial. "Other People Think" numbers among the earliest of Cage's extended writings.  It was presented in 1927 at the Hollywood Bowl, where Cage, representing Los Angeles High School, won the Southern California Oratorical Contest. He was 15 years old.

(Alfredo Jaar is also father to one of my all-time favorite musicians, Nicolas Jaar.)

"A single sound by itself is neither musical nor not musical. It is simply a sound. And no matter what kind of a sound it is, it can become musical by taking its place in a piece of music. This point of view requires some adjustment of the definition of music which was given by my Aunt Phoebe. She hadsaid that music was made up of melody, harmony, and rhythm. Music now seemed to me to be the organisation of sound, organisation by any means of any sounds. This definition has the advantage of being all-inclusive, even to the extent of including all that music which does not employ  harmony, which, doubtless, is the larger part of the music which has been made on this planet, since it includes all oriental music, all of the early and middle music of our culture, and a large and not inconsiderable part of our current production." (John Cage) 

From Editions Allia, who produce beautiful little bi-lingual editions that bring great voices and ideas to the world.

Laura Kuhn