Minggu, 21 November 2010

John Cage

Today's New York Times Book Review includes a review of Kenneth Silverman's biography of John Cage, Begin Again. I'd like to read it, and I'd like to read Cage's own collection of essays and anecdotes, Silence. John Adams wrote the review and concludes it with this observation: "What emerges most powerfuly in Begin Again is Cage's enormous capacity for work, together with his exceptional self-discipline as an artist (something learned from Schoenberg) and his willingness to approach every new challenge with a beginner's mind."

That idea of using a "beginner's mind" for every artistic challenge is key to Cage, and key to any creative process. Curiosity, imagination, and a willingness to believe in unconventional conclusions are assets of the "beginner's mind." They're innate -- they're part of the "beginner's mind" -- and yet, oddly or interestingly, they are not always or automatically transferred to the "experienced brain." Art is impossible without them.

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