A soundtrack to the lockdown: John Cage’s radical ‘4’33”’
The composer’s 1952 rendition of silence prompted tributes, heckles and even a lawsuit
There are many different kinds of silence. There is the silence of a concert audience just as the conductor’s baton is about to fall. There is the silence that has descended on our cities under lockdown — not total silence, but a hush, as the background noises of cars, trucks and air traffic have been largely removed.
And there is the silence of 4’33”.