John Cage (1912-1992)

Full Albums / Full-length Recordings

Various Lectures & Interviews
Kenneth Patchen & John Cage - The city wears a slouch hat (1942)
John Cage Considered: An Introduction (March 22, 1965)
John Cage / Morton Feldman: Radio Happenings I - V (1966-67)
Mureau (1972)
Nova Musicha n. 1 (1974)
Columbus College, Georgia (Spring 1975)
Obscure No. 5, John Cage & Jan Steele (1976)
Cheap Imitation (1976)
Empty Words (Part III) (1977)
Il Treno Di John Cage (John Cage's Train) (1978)
John Cage Meets Sun Ra (1986)
Art is Either a Complaint or Do Something Else (1989)
Norton Lectures (1988-89)
Diary: How To Improve The World (You Will Only Make Matters Worse) (1991)
A Chance Operation: The John Cage Tribute (1993)
John Cage - A Firenze (1992)
Caged/Uncaged - A Rock/Experimental Homage To John Cage< (1993)
A Dip in the Lake (2003)
BBC Prom 47: Cage Centenary Celebration (2012)

Tracks from UbuWeb's History of Electronic / Electroacoustic Music (1937-2001)

  1. Imaginary Landscape - 1939 - For 2 phonographs

  2. Imaginary Landscape No. 4 (March No. 2) - 1951

  3. Imaginary Landscape No. 5 - 1952

  4. Cage, John - Williams Mix - 1952

  5. John Cage and David Tudor - Klangexperimente – 1963

Various Tracks

1. Mushroom Haiku, excerpt from Silence (1972/69)

2. excerpt from Silence (1969)

3. Writing for the Second Time Through Finnegans Wake, (1978)

4. Song, Derived from the Journal of Henry David Thoreau (1976)

5. Mureau (1975), 4:06

6. John Cage Meets Sun Ra, Side A

7. John Cage Meets Sun Ra, Side B

8a. Lecture On Nothing, for speaker (41:04)
Performed by Frances-Marie Uitti
View score of "Lecture on Nothing" (1959) [PDF, 2.4mb]

From the album Frances-Marie Uitti "Works for Cello; Lecture on Nothing", (EtCetera Records, 1991)

8b. Lecture on Nothing, for speaker
Performed by Kaegan Sparks (2006)
View score of "Lecture on Nothing" (1959) [PDF, 2.4mb]

Concept, voice, and recording by Kaegan Sparks. Edited by Steve McLaughlin.

John Cage's "Lecture on Nothing," published in his collection Silence in 1961, is scored to a rigorous regularity: 48 units of 12 lines and 48 measures each. The text itself is repetitive and at times excruciatingly boring, dwelling in Section IV on the tonic phrase "If anybody is sleepy, let him go to sleep." A reading for voice and metronome, this audio rendition intermingles with the ambient noises of Christian Marclay's sound work medley in the 2007 exhibition Ensemble at Philadelphia's Institute of Contemporary Art. The text is intoned in time, as per Cage's incongruous instructions: "[not] in an artificial manner...but with the rubato which one uses in everyday speech."


From “The Waltz Project”, Nonesuch D-79011 LP, 1980
Recording no longer available

John Cage's 49 WALTZES FOR THE FIVE BOROUGHS "FOR PERFORMER(S) OR LlSTENER(S) OR RECORD MAKER(S)" started life as a graphic map of the five boroughs of New York City created for the first New York edition of Rolling Stone magazine; this version had numerous colored lines and points determined through chance operations. The second version, published in the Peters Collection, consists of 147 New York street addresses or locations arranged in 49 groups of three; a note appended says that, “transcriptions may be made for other cities (or places) by assembling, through chance operations, a list of 147 addresses and then, also through chance operations, arranging these in 49 groups of three.” The first performance of the work was under my (Robert Moran) direction at Northwestern University in 1977. Using the map-score of the boroughs, hundreds of coin tosses and the I Ching, I arrived at a “tapestry" of sound, combining hundreds of traditional waltz fragments, and distributing them among three groups of five players each. This recorded version uses three pianists playing fragments (of other pieces in the collection as well as traditional waltzes), auxiliary sound making devices played by the same performers (musical toys, music boxes, car horns, etc.) and pre-recorded environmental tapes made in various parts of the five boroughs (as indicated in the printed score).

Thanks to Chris Yewell.

10. John Cage (Jack Briece, vocalist): 62 Mesostics Re Merce Cunningham (1971)

11. John Cage "Solos for Voice 2 (Electronic Realization by Gordon Mumma and David Tudor)"

12. John Cage - Credo In Us (1942)

Conductor - Rainer Riehn
Percussion - Burkhard Wissemann , Michael Dietz
Piano - Christoph Keller
Turntables [Phonograph], Electronics [Radio] - Johann Nikolaus Matthes

13. John Cage - Imaginary Landscape No. 1 (1939)

Conductor - Rainer Riehn
Percussion - Michael Dietz
Piano - Christoph Keller
Turntables [Frequency Recordings] - Johann Nikolaus Matthes

14. John Cage - Concerto For Piano And Orchestra / Solo For Voice I / Solo For Voice II (1957/1958/1960 )

These pieces are all performed simultaneously.

Conductor - Rainer Riehn
Orchestra - Ensemble Musica Negativa
Piano - Hermann Danuser
Voice - Bell Imhoff , Doris Sandrock

15. John Cage - Rozart Mix (1965)

Orchestra - Ensemble Musica Negativa

16. John Cage’s “Winter Music” and “Variations I” (May 20, 1968)

From a live broadcast on KPFA, recorded on May 20, 1968, Robert Moran and Howard Hersh perform two works by John Cage, “Winter Music” and “Variations I”. Both are aleatoric works, here featuring a single stark piano mixed with occasional taped sounds, but mostly filled with long periods of silence. The prerecorded bits seem to include a lot of wind and water sounds and taken together certainly seem to evoke the pristine barrenness of a winter’s day, although there is nothing in Cage’s or the performers comments that would indicate that this was it’s purpose. Yet freed from the need for meaning this performance will stand in its own right, as a thing of simply being.

16. John Cage on Mushrooms (January 13, 1970)

A lecture given by John Cage on the subject of mushrooms. This lecture was given as part of Cage's class on Music in Dialogue given in the Fall of 1969 at the University of California, Davis. Cage also reads from his diary that includes entries about Buckminster Fuller's philosophy, trips to South America, and music rehearsals. [note: audio is in mono]


1. From the LP Dial-A-Poem Poets (Giorno Poetry Systems, 1972)

2. From the LP Dial-A-Poem Poets: Disconnected (Giorno Poetry Systems, 1974)

3. From the LP Dial-A-Poem Poets: Nova Convention (Giorno Poetry Systems, 1978)

4. From the LP Dial-A-Poem Poets: Totally Corrupt (Giorno Poetry Systems, 1976)

5. From the LP Dial-A-Poem Poets: Biting off the Tongue of a Corpse (Giorno Poetry Systems, 1975)

6-7. From the album: John Cage Meets Sun Ra, Meltdown MPA-1 (1987). Alternates performances by Sun Ra-Yamaha DX-7; and John Cage-voc. Sideshows by the Sea, Coney Island, NY, 6/8/86. [Album jacket plus Andrejko]

Sideshows by the Sea was the last surviving freak show along the Coney Island boardwalk. Ra and Cage's appearance was duly announced by the barker outside. Other portions of this concert, which included Pharaoh Abdullah processing and dancing, and Ra and Cage performing together, may have been recorded but haven't been issued.

10. From 10 + 2 = 12 American Text-Sound Pieces

11. From Extended Voices

12-15. from the LP box set Music Before Revolution 1972 [EMI 1 C 165 - 28 954 / 57 Y]


John Cage in UbuWeb Film
John Cage in UbuWeb Historical
"The Music of Verbal Space: John Cage's "What You Say"" Marjorie Perloff
"Postmodernism and the Music of John Cage" Nancy Perloff
John Cage in the UbuWeb Anthology of Conceptual Writing