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Cage reported that he was having difficulties communicating his feelings in Perilous Night, and thus coming to question the very possibility of a traditionally expressive music.
In a rare personal revelation, Cage remarked that he and his wife Xenia had an open marriage and that both were attracted to the teenage Cunningham.
Following their menage a trois, "Cage stated that he realized he was more attracted to Cunningham than to Xenia." The two men moved together to New York, without Xenia, in 1942 and there collaborated on their first joint endeavor, entitled Credo in Us.
Also, I would like to post interviews with Cage from out of print sources. brekekekexkoaxkoax mail art monk mink pink punk frequency curtain purrfect sounds austinnitus gates ensemble pierre boulez project austin new music co-op song olympics dumitrescu & avram info garnish off our plates!
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He has characterized that separation as especially painful and bitter, remarking to one interviewer that "earlier he found it difficult to communicate with Xenia and that their later relationship had not been particularly friendly." Cage had had long term homosexual relationships prior to his marriage, including a serious relationship with a man named either Don or Allen Sample, with whom he was involved at the time he met his future wife.
Cage and Sample enjoyed relationships with other men as well.Section 1 Section 2 (PDF version of essay) Nonetheless, nearly everybody in the art world who knew him knew of his lifelong relationship with Merce Cunningham, and some even about the other men in his life.His sexuality was a kind of open secret within the avant-garde, and, as his fame spread, so too did knowledge of his personal life.No less a figure than Harry Hay, the founding voice of the modern gay/lesbian rights movement, befriended Cage and assisted in the preparations for a course on modern music Cage gave to housewives in the mid-30s.Hay even sang several of Cage's compositions publicly, becoming the first stage performer of his music.The year before, 1933-34, Cage lived in New York, and through Virgil Thomson, met and became involved with the architect Phillip Johnson, a relationship that apparently ended in part due to differences in socio-economic standing. Cage remarked, "I didn't conceal anything so that even though the marriage didn't work any better than it did, there wasn't anyone to blame." But the failure of the marriage, blameless though it was, came to have an unexpected corollary effect, troubling his creative life as well. After searching for resolution to "disturbances" in his work and his life in the dominant Western authoritative traditions--medicine, education, religion--Cage not surprisingly found nothing of use.Pointing the way towards a connection between his private life and creative work, Cage has characterized this period as one in which, "I was disturbed both in my private life and in my public life as a composer." In Perilous Night, it seems Cage only discovered the impossibility of communication while, paradoxically, working to express some very specific, highly charged emotions, and his subsequent abandonment of an expressive musicality was thus intimately interwoven with the changes in his private life that followed the advent of his relationship with Cunningham. There isn't much help for someone who is in trouble in our society. Given the centrality of homophobia to each of these traditions at the time (the American Psychological Association would not remove homosexuality from its list of pathologies until 1973), Cage's failure to find support in Western thought was hardly surprising.Silence: Lectures and Writings is a book by American experimental composer John Cage (1912–1992), first published in 1961 by Wesleyan University Press.Silence is a collection of essays and lectures Cage wrote during the period from 1939 to 1961.The contents of the book is as follows: Most of the works are preceded by a short commentary on their origins, some have an afterword provided.Several works feature unorthodox methods of presentation and/or composition.