Cage, Cage, and No End in Sight

For the next three days, June 1-3, I’ll be at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina, for the annual Nief-Norf Summer Festival, which is devoted to John Cage in this centennial year, and particularly to his percussion music; I deliver yet another of my signature keynote addresses Saturday at 3:30 in Harper Hall. It’s not so difficult finding new things to say about Cage as to bring my ever-shifting understanding of him into focus. Given the average youth of the festival participants, festival organizer Andy Bliss suggested I include my personal reminiscences of Cage, so I’ve been musing over the dozen or so times I heard him speak or had conversations with him (the first being in 1974 when I was eighteen).