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20th Century Theory






Fancy term for ďrandomnessĒ - the opposite of serialism

A way of taking your ego out of the loop

Get past your preconceived notions

Creating surprise

Creating juxtapositions that can create new meaning for you

Could you draw a random line?

A way of automating decisions you donít want to make
A way of automating decisions you canít make


Interactive art Ė the artist isnít there to make the decisions



John Cage Ė American (1912 - 1992)

Cage wanted people to listen to silence around them with the attitude they bring to a concert


Listening is an active process of making meaning
We can find rhythms in the sound of someone speaking
Or hear harmony in a power drill

Cage believed these could be just as musical as a symphony

Prepared piano

Sonata V:  John Cage


John Cage on Silence




Ligeti Poeme Symphonique for 100 Metronomes


 Imaginary Landscape No. 1


Chance PowerPoint


Prepared piano

(a grand piano with objects inserted between some strings)


Later version:  Hauschka

Abandoned City

How he prepares as he plays (@2:35)


Silence isnít silent
Itís filled with sound
People walking down the hall
The vibration of the HVAC units
People giggling
People shifting uncomfortably in their chairs


All of these can be heard as music
If you donít believe me
Try sampling it and giving it to a DJ


Graphical Scores

Graphical notation Timeline (flash)

Xenakis - Metastasis (spectral view)



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