WKCR announces a special broadcast celebrating the 111th birthday of American composer John Cage, broadcast on FM and HD radio and online for 24 hours on Tuesday September 5th, 2023. The broadcast will preempt all regularly-scheduled Tuesday shows.
John Cage, born on September 5, 1912, in Los Angeles, California, left an indelible mark on the world of music and art with his innovative and unconventional approach. A pioneer of chance music, electro-acoustic, and aleatoric composition, Cage challenged traditional notions of sound, silence, and performance. His most famous composition, "4'33"," revolutionized the concept of silence as music and invited audiences to experience ambient sounds as part of the musical experience, and it is still taught in Columbia’s Music Humanities curriculum to this day.
Cage also played an important part in WKCR’s history. In 1982, for Cage’s 70th birthday, WKCR hosted a 75-hour special broadcast, lasting until September 8th. A few years later, in 1987, Cage used WKCR's studio as his extended musical instrument. Station DJs passed him opera records from which he played random excerpts while manipulating all the other sound variables controllable from the studio.