Segments in this Video

"I've Got a Secret" (03:31)


John Cage performs "Water Walk." He considers music the production of sound and laughter preferable to tears. (Credits)

Akademie der Kunste Preparation (02:22)

Steffen Schleiermacher assembles instruments for Cage's retrospective. Modern music should introduce sounds never before considered beautiful. Individuals describe how they learned of Cage's music.

Cage's Retrospective (02:02)

Steffen Schleiermacher plays the piano, bathtub, radio, and other unconventional musical instruments at the Akademie der Kunste.

Cage's Career Beginnings (03:30)

Any sound can be used in a musical composition. A quartet plays seashells and tin cans. Cage describes why Arnold Schoenberg thought that he would fail as a composer.

First Compositions (03:14)

Schleiermacher shops for unconventional materials to play a composition. Cage collaborates on a composition with Merce Cunningham.

"Edition Peters" (04:30)

To generate income, Cage writes musical scores, creates commissions, and makes public appearances. "Sonatas and Interludes" incorporates a piano modified with screws and bolts. Henry David Thoreau inspires "Songbooks."

"Chance Operations" (06:51)

Cage performs piano and percussion compositions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. A computer program dictates edits for a score. Christian Wolff gives Cage a copy of the "I Ching."

Life on the Farm (07:16)

After Cage moves to rural New York, he becomes interested in mycology. He composes pieces involving plants and trees. Cage encompasses the environment and natural world to create a composition.

Artistic Concept (03:52)

Most artists possess an aesthetic prejudice when they create a work. William Anastasi describes his inspiration and creative process behind "Bababad."

"Ryoan-ji" (05:29)

Inspired by the Zen garden, Cage creates visual artworks and compositions. Japan considers him an important composer.

Food Influences Art (02:19)

Friends recall Cage's awareness of sound in the kitchen. Yoko Ono sends him his first macrobiotic cookbook to help with arthritis.

"Freeman Etudes" (02:49)

Irvine Arditti performs one of Cage's compositions. Despite not giving direction to recordings, Cage always selects the correct performers.

"Detail of Contingency" (01:37)

Anastasi recalls playing chess with Cage daily. Dove Bradshaw reflects on her relationship with Cage and creating the composition.

Cage's Later Career (05:41)

Bradshaw discusses Cage's dislike of improvisation; performers should follow the score exactly. The composer incorporates sound that does not change.

Credits: John Cage: Journeys in Sound (01:19)

Credits: John Cage: Journeys in Sound

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John Cage: Journeys in Sound

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



On the occasion of the 100th birthday of the American composer, John Cage, in autumn 2012, this documentary honors one of the most extraordinary protagonists of 20th century music. The program is directed by Oscar-winner Allan Miller, whom the New York Times called "America's foremost filmmaker of documentaries on classical music." Shot in America, Germany, and Japan, the program premieres rare archival footage; presenting concert excerpts and a set of short stories; featuring associates of Cage and contemporary artists, playfully delineating different aspects of the composer. Protagonists are Yoko Ono, David Tudor, Christian Wolff, Steffen Schleiermacher, Toshio Hosokawa, Mayumi Miyata, Calvin Tomkins and many others. The film was awarded "best documentary" at the Golden Prague Festival 2012 and the best educational program at FIFA Montréal 2013. (Please note that there is some German and Japanese spoken without translation in the film)

Length: 59 minutes

Item#: BVL188688

Copyright date: ©2012

Closed Captioned

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