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In 1952 John Cage composed the piece of music known
as 4'33" usually called 433. It's a seminal piece of
creativity, and if you don't know about it, read the link
to learn more.
The Opposite of 4'33" is my proposal to have an audience
at a performance of 433 carry out an action that lasts
the exact duration of the four minutes and thirty three
seconds of the Cage piece. That action is consists of the
audience making the continuous sound of the crumping
up of A4 sheets of paper.
To facilitate this process, each audience member is
presented with a ream of A4 paper and located between
the seats there are large baskets to receive the resulting
At the signal from the conductor, the pianist begins his
non playing pose and the audience commences
generating the crumpled paper cacophony.
After exactly four minutes and thirty three seconds the
conductor waves his/her baton to end the performance.
As every resulting ball of paper is totally unique, they
can be hung in a large space to form a visual
representation of The Opposite of 4'33".
Other continuous Opposites Of 4'33" generation
alternatives include: ball-pen clicking; amplified eye
blinking; sweet paper unwrapping; zipping/unzipping
clothes; shoes on floor shuffling; chair scrapping
backwards and forwards, and for a very special event
there is the 433 Chin Scratching Opus with free entry to
anyone with a beard.
John Cage's 433 [xenzag, Apr 03 2021]
There are many different "silent" compositions, but they all seem to have a slightly different take on the concept. It's a shame Cage's 4'33" seems to have taken over the field. Personally, I think my favourite is the first one, Funeral March for the Obsequies of a Deaf Man (1897) by Alphonse Allais, though I have to say Silent Tracks of Various Useful Lengths (2010) by Brett Black has a certain charm. [pocmloc, Apr 03 2021]
NYT 2021/03/08 The Latest Wrinkle in Crumple Theory
[jutta, Apr 07 2021]
||Certainly unique. Uniq? [+]
||Can the audience throw the completed paper balls at one
||+ Pretty cool. I love audience participation.
||The snack kiosk at this venue only sells crisps, ring-pull cans of
fizzy drinks, crunchy candy bars, and other noisy foods
||Surely the opposite would be static white noise at
the loudest possible setting?
||My own contributor to the genre is called " " and the score specifies that the performance venue is to contain no musicians or performers, no tech crew, no staff and no audience, and is to be locked and secured against intruders. The performance is to run for "a very long time" usually interpreted to mean about five and a half hours, though this is up for interpretation. Posters, promotion, and advertising are specified as an integral part of the performance as well as the presence of a copper pot to be set in the centre of the performance space.
||The world premier is being held tonight. I guess this notice counts as "world wide advertising and promotion on the main social networking platforms" and so fulfils the marketing requirements of the composition.
||[Raybrad] No, it wouldn't really be, as the idea of
piece was to refocus attention on the imperfect
surrounding silence, outside of the near perfect
silence inside of the piece. White noise is too
continuous and devoid of unpredictable
components. Using white noise is a bit like saying
that the opposite of a Cubist painting is a Kasimir
Malevich, when I would say there's a stronger logic
for it being a figurative representational work.
Also, unless each person in the audience generates
a component of the white noise, (a complete idea
in itself) then the entire idea behind the Cage
piece is lost
||Pomloc - it was Cage who inverted the attention to
that of the ambient sounds created by the
audience. Just as gravity always existed, it was
Newton who looked at it with new insight, and so
it was with Cage, who brought a new vision to that
which was always there.
||I was going for the scientific opposite, which would
be filling all space with as much noise as possible,
which would inevitably be white noise.
||The paper doesn't have to be white.
||Opposite implies a simple single dimension but in a multifaceted complexity it depends on the focus, which includes non focus.
||[xenzag]; your "other continuous Opposites" aren't nearly as
good as the main idea, as the main idea gives a tangible
result of the "Opposite of nothing". Which I like.