Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day with John Cage

April 22nd is both Earth Day and the birthday of philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) and jazz composer Charles Mingus (1922-1979). Here is a Cage quote to commemorate the occasion.

"The aspect of nature with which we are most familiar-- and this familiarity is almost painful-- is that we, as a human species, have endangered nature. We have acted against it, we have rebelled against its existence. So, our concern today must be to reconstitute it for what it is. And nature is not a separation of water from air, or of the sky from the earth, etc., but a 'working together', or a 'playing together' of those elements. That is what we call ecology. Music, as I conceive it, is ecological. You could go further and say that it IS ecology."

Cage, John (1976), For the Birds (Marion Boyars).


penny said...

Hmmm... I wonder what Cage thought of Kant. I have a feeling that they might not have gotten along too well -but then again, you never know. Maybe they would have shared a common passion for mushrooms.

penny said...

So, I found out that Cage was actually very familiar with Kant's work. Still don't know what he thought of it, exactly... Guess he thought Kant's ideas were at least worth reading. And, believe me, Kant isn't just something you pick up because you're bored in the waiting room at the dentist's office. Cage had to have put some effort into deciphering it, so he must have thought it was worthwhile.