I know that someone will put this here eventually, so I’m going to be the one to do it. This composition is obviously the butt of a lot of jokes, but while there are plenty of good jokes to be made, the piece isn’t itself a joke. I would very much have liked to have seen this live at an event like this; to actually sit and listen intently to it with the other people in the room.
One summer after listening to Low’s Songs for a Dead Pilot for a few weeks I proceeded to listen to radio static on my walkman at a loud volume nearly every waking moment for two weeks. When I stopped I think I really understood John Cage when he said:
When I hear what we call music, it seems to me that someone is talking. And talking about his feelings, or about his ideas of relationships. But when I hear traffic, the sound of traffic—here on Sixth Avenue, for instance—I don’t have the feeling that anyone is talking. I have the feeling that sound is acting. And I love the activity of sound […] I don’t need sound to talk to me.
John Cage - 4:33 (live)