John Cage: Laughter is Preferable to Tears

16 May 2007
John Cage

Vlatka sent me a great clip from YouTube in which John Cage performs a composition called Water Walk on some 1950’s gameshow. As part of a very showbiz intro that Cage deals with really well, there’s a big joke from the presenter concerning the various items that Cage will use to make the music, including a bathtub, a duck call, five radios, a vase of flowers, a pitcher, a soda-syphon etc and a grand piano. He asks Cage if he minds that some people in the audience might laugh when they listen to the piece and Cage says ‘No, that’s OK, I think laughter is preferable to tears‘.

The music when it comes is great and his performance – deadpan, stopwatch in hand but somehow still relaxed – just amazing.