Various Artists - Sounds Like Silence-Cage [Gruenrekorder - 2013]This review will start with a disclaimer, and probably continue in that vein to the end. Put simply, therefs very slim pickings here if you donft have a good understanding of German. The cd contains a radio broadcast from 2012, on Deutschlandradio Kultur; celebrating John Cage and in his particular his most famous work 4.33 (for the uninitiated, the piece requires the performer to make no intentional sounds for the duration). The broadcast combines recordings of the piece with soundbites from Cage, as well as further examples of gsilenceh in sound works.
I have, or rather had, a reasonable working knowledge of German: I can follow some of what the commentary is saying, but the vast bulk speeds by; realistically leaving me with just the sound recordings and spoken-English to digest. These sound recordings are largely unexciting, and often simply too short in duration for any reasonable listening. They include extracts from various recorded versions of 4.33 (some performed in the studio, others on the street - for example), field recordings from the World Trade Center, and a snippet from Einsturzende Neubauten - to name a few. Harsh Noise enthusiasts will be pleased to know, that a short extract from a track that subjects the first recording of 4.33 to gmaximum amplificationh, will disappoint them. The sound bites from Cage himself are of more interest, but still donft amount to much listening.
This is, what it is: a radio documentary, in German. Thus it is ultimately of most use to those who want a brief audio introduction to Cages 4.33, and can understand German. Therefs not a lot more to be said. The extracts from recordings are irritatingly short - in the standard gradio documentaryh style - and there isnft even a full performance of the piece at any point. On the plus side, though, we do hear a recording of Cage describing his experience in an anechoic chamber - something of personal interest to me. So, this cd is unfortunately of very little use to me, given that I donft fulfil the criteria I set out at the start of this paragraph; but would, I imagine, be of much more use to those who do.Martin P