Scott & Sarah Kennedy

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

BBC's silent treatment here


The BBC is to broadcast a live radio performance of an orchestra playing four-and-a-half minutes of silence.

John Cage's seminal work 4'33" will be the highlight of a concert on Radio 3.

The piece consists of four minutes and 33 seconds' worth of nothing. In readiness for the performance, Radio 3 bosses will have to switch off their emergency back-up system - designed to cut in when there is an unexpected silence on air.

The work has never been performed by an orchestra or broadcast on national radio in Britain before.

The BBC described Cage's piece, written in 1953, as "ambient silence".

It will be broadcast as part of the station's annual Composer Weekend.

TV viewers will be able to tune into BBC Four an hour later and watch the orchestra "performing" the piece.

Well for goodness sake. The words 'lost' and 'conned' come to mind. Presumably you'll have all the snobby musicians attending/listening, and talking about it as if it were some great work of art. "Oh I liked it better when the London Symphony performed it." Yeah go on.


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