What Is This?4-33 is a sporatically updated list concentrating on new music resources and events. We're interested in adventurous music, whether instrumental or vocal, electronic or acoustic, composed or improvised. We're especially interested in music that blurs boundaries and makes us view familiar ideas in new lights. We focus primarily, but not exclusively, on happenings in the San Francisco Bay Area (where the proprieter lives.)
What's Here?The lively part is the listings on the Home Page. The most recent items are on that page, with the overflow on the Old News page. On the Index page is a categorized resource list.
We're working on entering a big backlog of links, as our copious spare time permits.
Won't You Contribute?If you have something you think we ought to list, send us mail. If you regularly send us stuff that we use, we can try to set things up so you can add items on your own.
Why Is It Called 4-33.com?
Hath any man brought him ought to eat? -John 4:33
4-33.com is named for the most important composition by the most important composer of the twentieth century. (You can argue about their importance, but that's our opinion.)
John Cage's 4'33'', written in 1952, is nominally a piano piece. The performer sits quietly, making no intentional sounds for the piece's duration, which is four minutes and thirty-three seconds (whence the title.) That doesn't mean that nothing happens. To the contrary, the piece embraces all the unprogrammed sounds that concert-goers normally view as distractions and annoyances -- the breathing of the hall's ventilation system, the traffic sounds in the street outside, the next performer warming up in the dressing room, the audience shuffling programs, whispering and coughing (or heckling, as happened at the premiere!) -- and, by denying us anything intentional to focus on, asks us to find the music around us. (That said, I think 4'33'' really is music, and not just some didactic embodiment of a quasi-Socratic argument about the nature of music.) Cage once said ``I love sounds, and I actually love them more than what we've done to them.''
There's music all around us, if only we're willing to listen for it. As D. G. Porter said ``I have not yet performed 4'33'' in concert but I think I may have while riding the bus.''
Is this really a big deal? Yeah, enough that Kyle Gann has written a whole book about 4'33'' that, according to William Duckworth's blurb, "not only makes 4''33'' come alive, but also makes the writing of it feel important and artistically necessary. All in all, a big achievement".