March 19, 2007


It is quite interesting how the arts connect and bring people together. painters,music composers, philosophers kept exchanging ideas and improving themselves by observing and studying great men who lived before them, as well as they themselves had a great impact on those who followed them.
i remember Andy Warhol and his famous Brillo Boxes who was seen as a threat of cultural terrorism when the huge pyramid made of Brillo Boxes could be approached like an abstract work of art. Imagine a person entering the Stable Gallery where the Brillo Boxes were arranged and kicked the pyramid therefore scattering the paper Brillo Boxes around. It was Art! The same way that Steve Reich composed his minimalistic work Electric Counterpoint which consists of three movements "fast" "slow" "fast". The composer has offered two versions of the piece : one for electric guitar and tape, the other for an ensemble(group of) guitars. Quite simple and minimalistc production which pays attention to the consonant harmony.The Electric Counterpoint is a "sounding together" that creates a stable, constant harmony. Steve Reich was one of the few main minimalist figures. Terry Riley was greatly influenced by Steve Reich's previous work.
John Cage the American composer, philosopher and printmaker who is famous for his chance music where different parts were left to chance. He used a lot of looping and sampling music techniques. His works are controversial but he was definetely one of the greatest composers of his era. He brought out his deep spirituality in the form of a Buddhist Zen who did not have a purpose behind his music. He didn't aim to changing people's lives and to improving our creation but he simply wanted to show the very life we are supposed to be living with no complications. His simplistic approach was what made him different. Now compare John Cage's 4'33'' to the Robert Robert Rauschenberg, the abstract expressionist who did the "Bare white Canvas". A totally white-empty canvas who as he claimed that the painting's surface responds and changes accordingly to the observer's empathy depending on the conditions under where the painting was shown. He claimed that due to this high-reflective white surface one could tell how many people were around in the room and that way the painting took a different value everytime. therefore, that could be connected to Andy Warhol and the Brillo boxes mentioned above as both are abstract expressionalists that faced a lot of criticisms and frustrated other contemporary artists but at the same time appreciated art in a new profound way.
John Cage's 4'33''(four and half minutes of silence). it was an uninterrupted silence that inspired him when he visited the unechoic chamber in Harvard University, a room made to absorb all sounds rather than to reflect them back. John Cage wrote that he could hear only two sounds. A low and a high one. the enginner in charge said that the high tone was Cage's nervous system and the low sound was his blood in circulation. In his 4' 33'' that is really what he achieved, a silence like no other. He was a close friend to Robert Rauschenberg as Andy Warholl was to Steve Reich.