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John Cage
Quotations



"It is better to make a piece of music than to perform one, better to perform one than to listen to one, better to listen to one than to misuse it as a means of distraction, entertainment, or acquisition of 'culture."

"If this word 'music' is sacred and reserved for eighteenth and nineteenth century instruments, we can substitute a more meaningful term: organisation of sound."
 
"It is better to make a piece of music than to perform one, better to perform one than to listen to one, better to listen to one than to misuse it as a means of distraction, entertainment, or acquisition of 'culture."
 
"When we separate music from life we get art."
 
"I am more like a hunter or inventor than a lawmaker. "
 
"The material of music is sound and silence. Integrating these is composing."
 
"Everything we do is music"
 
"The function of art is to imitate nature in her manner of operation, and nature operates from chance. Simple minds cling to the illusion of an orderly, powerful universe because it gives them a sense of security."
 
"I certainly had no feeling for harmony, and Schoenberg thought that that would make it impossible for me to write music. He said, 'You'll come to a wall you won't be able to get through.' So I said, 'I'll beat my head against that wall.' "
 
"The first question I ask myself when something doesn't seem to be beautiful is why do I think it's not beautiful. And very shortly you discover that there is no reason"
 
"I have nothing to say
and I am saying it
and that is poetry
as I needed it."
 
"When you are working everybody is in your studio-the past, your friends, the art world, and above all your own ideas-all are there. but as you continue painting, they start leaving, one by one, and you are left completely alone. then, if you are lucky, even you leave."
 
"I think people who are not artists often feel that artists are inspired. But if you work at your art you don't have time to be inspired."
 
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