John Cage (1912-1992) has emerged as one of the most visionary and influential American composers of the 20th century. Exploring a multitude of new sound sources and novel ways to organise sound, Cage distinguishes himself as the most important pioneer of percussion music and of works for the prepared piano. He also attained fame for championing the use of silence, chance and indeterminacy in compositional and other artistic contexts.
Cage’s aesthetics were influenced by Eastern cultures, including Zen Buddhism, the I Ching, and Japanese art, which Cage began to delve into in the late 1940s and 1950s, and by nature, the writings of Henry David Thoreau and ecology, which he focused on from the 1970s. In celebration of Cage’s centenary, this CD gathers five of his important works, '27’ 10.554’’', 'Variations VIII' (in a world-premiere recording), 'Ryoanji', 'Composed Improvisation' and 'One4', which feature silence, chance and indeterminacy and reflect his interest in Asia and nature.