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Tuesday 15 September 2015

Thing To Do Today: listen.

Listen to the rain - or the crackling of dry leaves under your feet - or the rumble of tyres on the road - or the cry of sea gulls - or the howling of the storm.


John Cage produced a piece called 4'33" which involves someone going to sit at a piano, opening the lid, and then not-playing it for four minutes and thirty three seconds.

It's a work of art not about silence, nor about perfection, nor about not-playing, but about noise: the noise, that is, that accompanies us constantly. 

It's about paying attention to wonders. 

At this moment I can hear the patter of keys (I hadn't realised before how much harder I hit the space bar than the other keys on my laptop); the very faint hum of the computer; a jackdaw chacking; and, below me, the rumble of the water filling a bath.

It's very quiet up here.

But still full of wonders.

Thing To Do Today: listen. This word comes from the Old English hlysnan. I wonder what those Old English people would have heard if there'd been a performance of 4'33" in their town.

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