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by Seth Colter Walls

October 22, 2013

John Cage: Early Piano Mix

by Seth Colter Walls  |  October 22, 2013

Perhaps you mostly think of John Cage as the author of the “silent” work 4’33, or maybe as a 1960s countercultural figure in the realms of chance-based music and noise. Those preconceptions aren’t incorrect, though they do tend to leave out some of Cage's most lovely pieces: works for piano that the young composer wrote in the 1940s and early '50s. In honor of Mode Records’ latest Cage Edition release -- the ninth volume in their piano works series -- we’ve collected a bunch of these items in the appended playlist. Witness the contemplative grace of the newly discovered Haiku miniatures, or the jazzy accents of “Ad Lib” and (the aptly titled) “Jazz Study.” The highlight just might be the gorgeous “In a Landscape” (which pairs nicely with “Dream”). Click play to check out all these gems and other early works, such as Cage’s tribute to Marcel Duchamp. Enjoy!

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