Essay John Cage

1131 WordsMay 17, 20135 Pages
John Milton Cage Jr was born on September 5, 1912 to John Milton Cage and Lucretia ("Crete") Harvey in Las Angeles, California. Neither of John’s parents went to college (Inamori Foundation , 1990). However, his father was an inventor and his mother was the founder of the Lincoln Study Club and later became the editor of the Woman’s Club for the Los Angeles Times. John describes his mom as a “sense of society.” John went to Pamona College for two years when he realized that college was not for him. After he dropped out he decided that he would travel the world (PBS, 2001). He traveled to Europe for a year and a half and worked with Jose Pijoan for a little while. There he became interested in music and painting. He left Paris, moved to…show more content…
Subsequently, he went on to be an assistant for Oskar Fischinger, a filmmaker. He hoped that he could someday write music for one of Oskar’s films. John remembered that Oskar had once told him that “Everything in the world has its own spirit which can be released by setting it into vibration.” He and his aunt, Phoebe began experimenting with different items around the house and even writing percussion music and playing percussion with his friends (Kozinn, 2009). In 1938, he became an employee at Mills College and worked with choreographer, Marian van Tuyl and several different dance groups. There is where he became interested in modern dance (The Biography Channel, 2013). From there he moved to Seattle, Washington and began to work at Cornish School as a composer and pianist for Bonnie Bird, a choreographer at the school. At Cornish he discovered what he called micro-macrocosmic rhythmic structure. He also invented the “prepared piano.” In 1941, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, a painter, asked John to teach at the Chicago School of Design. There he was hired to do the sound effect music for Columbia Broadcasting System, Columbia Workshop Play. His soundtrack was very successful and lead to him going back to New York in 1942 (Bloopy, 2011). In New York, John and his wife, Xenia Andreyevna Kashevaroff lived with Max Ernst, a painter and Peggy Guggenheim. Max and Peggy introduced John to many prominent artists like Andre Breton, Jackson Pollock, and many more

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