John Cage: Mushroom Haiku (date unknown)

 |   |  <1 min read

John Cage: Mushroom Haiku (date unknown)

The American composer John Cage (1912 - 92) was best known for something he did in '52, which was nothing.

The composition which he performed was entitled 4'33" and involved Cage sitting at a piano for exactly that duration and not playing a note.

Since then the work has been much discussed by musicologists and comedians, and has been performed many, many times, and on a variety of insruments.

In the popular imagnation, the notoriety of the piece however rather overshadowed much of Cage's career, but he was also much taken by Zen Buddhism (that figures, right?), Japanese culture, koans (philosophical riddles in Zen) and of course the poetic form of haiku.

And he was a mushroom aficionado.

In this short piece, all of these threads come together in a brief talk which ends with a beautiful Zen-like punchline . . . and which, like 4'33", also has a point.

(There's a Zen encounter here for your further amusement.)

For more oddities, one-offs or songs with an interesting backstory use the RSS feed for daily updates, and check the massive back-catalogue at From the Vaults.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

Mark Dinning: Top Forty, News, Weather and Sports (1961)

Mark Dinning: Top Forty, News, Weather and Sports (1961)

The rather sad Mark Dinning has appeared at From the Vaults previously because he was the voice on the great death ballad Teen Angel of '59 which had been written by his sister Jean. That's a... > Read more

Dirty Red: Mother Fuyer (1947)

Dirty Red: Mother Fuyer (1947)

Blues and jazz artists often used coded language to get their lyrics past record companies and radio programmers, so you would get a song like When I'm In My Tea (by Jo-Jo Adams, 1946) about... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Shaun Kirk

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Shaun Kirk

Young Australian blues musician Shaun Kirk comes with very good credentials -- he's played half a dozen festivals in the past 18 months alongside the likes of Robert Plant, Bonnie Raitt and Ben... > Read more

NZ EPs by Shani.O

NZ EPs by Shani.O

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column by the informed and opinionated Shani.O. She will scoop up some of those many EP releases by New... > Read more