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Cage's Influence[edit]

While I wouldn't deny Cage's influence on the group I really don't think we can say "John Cage is a figure of central importance to the Wandelweiser composers; their music is often referred to as "silent music," taking as its starting point Cage’s legendary work 4'33", the first composition to consist largely of silence" without a good source. The silences in the groups music (I'm most familiar with Malfatti's) does not seem Cageian to me at all and, indeed, this is not the impression I get from interviews etc.. Cage used silence to highlight ambient noises and the like whereas the Wandelweisers seem, to me at least, to use silence simply as a compositional tool, simliar to counterpoint or whatever, with just as many musical uses as any other; it can be used to play a series of sounds without a question of tonality havivng to be raised, or it can be used to fore the listener to take note of every aspect of each sound. Infact I think that 'intrustions' to the silence would be as bothersome to one of these composers as they would have been to a last 19th century compsers. For instance, the sounds recorded between notes on many Malfatti recordings are simply silenced digitally so as, one imagines, to remove distraction. The only somewhat Cageian release from the Wandelweisers which I can think of is 'Three Backgrounds' where three compositions by Jürg Frey, Radu Malfatti and Michael Pisaro are played at the same time. During the long period of silence members of the audience shift around or talk quietly and so on (one point a mobile phone cacn be heard ringing)forcing the actual music into the 'background.' It should be particularly noted that Malfatti has explained, in an e-mail correspondence with erstdist's Jon Abbey, that he had been against the release of this recording until he recieved some positive feedback about it and a request that it be published on CD. This could suggest he was unhappy with the Cageian aspects of the music. SuperlativeHors (talk) 08:12, 6 April 2008 (UTC)