tENTATIVELY, cONVENIENCE's Reviews > The Roaring Silence: John Cage: A Life

The Roaring Silence by David Revill
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it was ok
bookshelves: music, biography

Well.. I know Cage's work better than most, I reckon, & this is the only Cage bio I've read.. but I'm sure every other one must be better. In other words, if you want to read a Cage bio DON'T READ THIS ONE. Ok, we all make mistakes, but when I read stuff like "Cage lectured at the Outliners' Club* at Carnegie Tech, Oakland, in the Bay area of California; among those present was Andy Warhola" I get a pretty good idea of how shallowly researched this bk is. Carnegie Tech was in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh. It's now Carnegie-Mellon University - &, yes, that's where Warhol went to school b/c he was from Pittsburgh. Like, duh, dude.

[*reviewer's note: The Outlines gallery was an independent gallery in Pittsburgh. There's a bk about it. Here's an excerpt from my review of that: "This is the history of an art gallery / library / theatre [the bk uses British spelling here] of modern art in Pittsburgh from 1941-1947. The list of people who presented work there is awe-inspiring. I probably wd've been very excited to've been alive at that time & to've been able to attend their events. I love Pittsburgh & every time I learn more about its history the more fascinated I am. The Outlines gallery was clearly a project of exceptional passion & intelligence." - https://www.goodreads.com/story/show/... ]
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
February 6, 2008 – Shelved
February 28, 2008 – Shelved as: music
February 28, 2008 – Shelved as: biography

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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message 1: by Ben (new)

Ben I'm with you on this. While not completely terrible, it's neither very well written nor factual complete. I THINK I might have bought my copy the week Cage died, only coincidentally. Two stars is fair, if not generous.

By the way, I got to see Cage in person twice in my life, once in Pittsburgh when the PSO played "The Seasons". The other time was at an arts center in Rockville MD, where I think I may have actually seen YOU for the first time. I can't recall whether I knew who you were, from the pictures in your book. Inside the house, the Song Books were performed (quite beautifully I thought), and there was a break when Cage told some of his stories out on the lawn. Then other performances were given throughout the house afterwards. It was a memorable afternoon.


tENTATIVELY, cONVENIENCE "MEMORABLE AFTERNOON" wd be an understatement! What an historic event that was. &, yes, I was there. 1989? Not only was there the stuff at the house, but there were larger scaled concerts at an auditorium at nite. I didn't go to those. Having an almost uncanny knack for making enemies as I do, I learned perhaps 15 to 18 yrs later that some guy was mad at me b/c I didn't remember him or some-such - his claim to my memory being that he was the one who gave me the ride there. Now, I distinctly remember getting a ride there w/ a girl who had a baby. It was sortof our 1st date. I DID get in for free as a volunteer cable wrangler but was immediately dismissed in disgust from that position by the woman technician in charge b/c I didn't coil the cables in the approved manner.

Jackson MacLow was there reading, Neeley Bruce (who I've since had the opportunity to play w/) was playing keyboards (possibly harpsichord), Cage, of course, was there. My friend Bob Boilen was performing a piece for radios - not "Radio Music" - wch I've performed twice.

All in all, probably THE MOST AMAZING MUSICAL DAY I WILL EVER EXPERIENCE. Too bad I didn't tough it out for the whole event. Now, I probably wd. Then, I think I was in a lull of interest in Cage & I was w/ someone who'd never heard of him who probably had NO interest - as, sad to say, has been the case w/ almost every woman I've ever been involved w/.

I saw Cage read "Empty Words" at UMBC in 1979 & heard him read for Jackson MacLow's birthday party in NYC in September of 1982. Did you know that Jackson & Cage were born on the same day exactly 10 yrs apart? I wonder if they died exactly 10 yrs apart?

As for yr having heard "The Seasons"!: Whew! Wonderful. I love that piece. I think Virgil Thompson might've helped him score it. That's one of those pieces that you can play for people who think they have Cage pigeonholed as a 'noise artist' (or whatever) & blow their stereotypes away.


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