The all-star re-recording of experimental composer John Cage’s ultimate non-floor-filler, ‘4’33”’, is now available for purchase.
Recorded live at Dean Street Studios on 6 December, the new version featured the ‘contributions’ of, among many others, Billy Bragg, Chas Smash, Dub Pistols, Guillemots, Imogen Heap, Heaven 17, John Foxx, Orbital, UNKLE and Venus In Furs.
The session was produced by Paul Epworth with input from Clive Langer and Charlie Rapino. The whole event was filmed for a documentary and promo release by Dick Carruthers.
The aim of the Cage Against the Machine campaign appears to be two-fold; firstly, to get a more experimentally-inclined recording to the Christmas number one spot, generally the province these days of X-Factor contestants and other light entertainment performers; and secondly, to encourage reflection during the composition’s four-and-a-half minutes of silence and general ambient noise.
The campaign was the brainchild of Dave Hilliard, whose wife, Julie, read out a capsule summary of the project during the day of recording. “Here today, we are doing something special; we are stopping and appreciating the space between things, the unintentional sounds that make up our world. I now invite you to honour John Cage’s legacy for our culture, bring your individual meanings to 4’33’’, and enjoy the next 4 minutes and 33 seconds together. Interestingly, 4’33” for Cage, was the epitome of his idea that any sounds constitute, or may constitute, music; it was also a reflection of the influence of Zen Buddhism, which Cage studied.”
Composed in the late ’40s, 4’33” is the work with which Cage (pictured) is mostly closely identified. Although generally regarded as being entirely silent, it actually encompasses the environmental sounds of the performance or recording space.
Gathering support via a dedicated Facebook page (www.facebook.com/cageagainstthemachine) that has already received more than 70,000 expressions of support, 4’33” 2010 will be released on Wall of Sound Records, with remixes to be contributed by Alex Metric, Herve, Adam F, Mr Scruff and Hot Chip.
All the proceeds from sales will go to five charities: the British Tinnitus Association, Campaign Against Living Miserably, Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy, Youth Music and Sound and Music.
The new recording and a brace of remixes are available for purchase now from iTunes here (http://itunes.apple.com/gb/preorder/cage-against-the-machine-cage/id408870893).