The Roaring Silence by David Revill
John Cage: A Life

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Synopsis

Composer John Cage is often described as the most influential musician of the last half-century. He has defined - and continues to define - our whole concept of "avant-garde", not just in music but increasingly as writer and visual artist. "The Roaring Silence" is the first full-length biography of Cage. It documents his life in unrivalled detail, interweaving a close account of the evolution of his work with an exploration of his aesthetic, political and philosophical ideas. David Revil maintains that Cage's extraordinary productivity and versatility are best understood in the light of his inner development. His life, work and ideas have clarified, refined and reinforced one another, and thereby Cage has made himself what he is. While never assuming specialist knowledge, this book discusses all of Cage's works in depth and sets them in the context of his compositional, theoretical and personal development. Also included are the most comprehensive worklist, discography and bibliography available to date, as well as many previously unpublished photographs. The author draws judiciously on extensive library and archive material, and on exclusive interviews and conversations with Cage and many of his friends and associates. The result is a true-to-life and true-to-form appreciation of a genuine original, of interest not only to the serious researcher and the musician but to everyone interested in the cultural influences that have shaped, and are shaping 20th century thought.
 

About David Revill

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Published September 3, 1992 by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC. 256 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

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Published to coincide with the 80th birthday of the controversial avant-garde composer, Revill's lengthy biography of John Cage may prove as puzzling to readers as the composer's musical experiments have proved to concert-goers over the years.

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Publishers Weekly

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In this sympathetic biography, the late avant-garde composer John Cage is acclaimed as ``a man of joyous integrity'' who leaned toward the ascetic and the transcendent.

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The Independent

Of the three, Boulez was the true technical musician, Stockhausen the seer-like visionary, and Cage - well, Cage wasn't much of a musician at all, as he was candid enough to admit.

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Publishers Weekly

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In this sympathetic biography, composer John Cage, who has devised scores for percussion ensembles, radios tuned at random, electrical instruments and pianos ``prepared'' with objects attached to the strings, is acclaimed as ``a man of joyous integrity'' who leans towards the ascetic and the tran...

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London Review of Books

The phoneyness of which those who are unable to distinguish Cage from Schoenberg have always accused 20th-century music really is exemplified by Cage.

Dec 16 2010 | Read Full Review of The Roaring Silence: John Cag...

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