MoMA and MoMA PS1 Plan John Cage Tribute Album

Cover of "There Will Never be Silence".

The Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1 will release There Will Never Be Silence, a tribute to both John Cage and the 2013 MoMA exhibition “There Will Never Be Silence: Scoring John Cage’s 4’33”.” The album will drop on September 27, at the ever popular New York Art Book Fair that MoMA PS1′ hosts every year. The album is a product of the newly created MoMA/MoMA PS1 Records, and each will be a uniquely designed edition of 500.

In a 1954 letter that Cage wrote regarding his famous silent musical piece, 4’33”, he said “the piece is not actually silent (there will never be silence…).” Now, 60 years later, this album seeks to reconsider silence, the lack of silence, and the status of recorded sound through contributions by artists Kevin Beasley, Lizzi Bougatsos, Sabisha Friedberg, and Yasunao Tone.

“Their works provide an insight into the modalities of current sound production and shed light on how far Cage’s ideas about sound and its intrinsic relationships to the environment have progressed in diverging directions; in some cases the affinity to Cage is more conscious, in others less,” the museum explained in a press release.

Because the album is only available as a record, it was possible to design it so that it sounds different every time it is played, thanks to sections of low frequencies and silences, which are punctuated with in-between spaces and a concentric groove, so that the stylus’s movements across the vinyl surface are not necessarily progressive or linear.

If you want to guarantee yourself a copy, the album is available for presale at the MoMA store online, for $40 ($36 for MoMA members).

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