How Creatives Work: John Cage
John Cage is one of the most controversial and important figures in the history of music. He made his mission to redefine how we think about musical composition and performance, creativity, and ultimately life. The important conclusion he reached about music in particular was that it could be anything. Any sound we hear in the course of our daily life could be enjoyed and appreciated in and of itself in the same way as we appreciate a Mozart sonata. We just needed to turn up our ears and our brains, to train and stretch them in order to experience the world around us in a different, more active way. Click here to read more.
In a more cosmic sense, there is no difference between Beethoven and construction crews. One could argue that it is about perception but that requires a person and it therefor becomes a construct of the mind. What does one have to lose if they appreciate the birds chirping and the people walking as sweet music?
I’ll tell you a really great Vinnie story. He’s one of the most amazing sight-readers that ever existed on the instrument. One day we were in a Frank rehearsal, this was early ’80s, and Frank brought in this piece of music called “Mo ‘N Herb’s Vacation.” Just unbelievably complex. All the drums were written out, just like “The Black Page” except even more complex. There were these runs of like 17 over 3 and every drumhead is notated differently. And there were a whole bunch of people there, I think Bozzio was there.
Vinnie had this piece of music on the stand to his right. To his left he had another music stand with a plate of sushi on it, okay? Now the tempo of the piece was very slow, like “The Black Page.” And then the first riff came in with all these choking of cymbals, and hi-hat, ruffs, spinning of rototoms and all this crazy stuff. And I saw Vinnie reading this thing. Now, Vinnie has this habit of pushing his glasses up with the middle finger of his right hand. Well I saw him look at this one bar of music, it was the last bar of music on the page. He started to play it as he was turning the page with one hand, and then once the page was turned he continued playing the riff with his right hand, as he reached over with his left hand, grabbed a piece of sushi and put it in his mouth, continued the riff with his left hand and feet, pushed his glasses up, and then played the remaining part of the bar. It was the sickest thing I have ever seen. Frank threw his music up in the air. Bozzio turned around and walked away. I just started laughing"
Steve Vai on Vinnie Colaiuta (via mesaxi)
cool video from one of my new favourite artists Quenum