Letter: Cage's wonderland

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Sir: Your correspondent W. J. North (letter, 15 August) regrets that a reference to 4'33' in your account of John Cage does not do him 'full justice' since the title refers apparently to absolute zero temperature and also possibly to the triple point of water.

Whether or not such references exemplify Cage's wit and erudition is a nice question and, probably, a matter of opinion. A more pertinent and interesting question is whether a purported musical composition in which no note is played represents 'the ultimate freedom of musical expression' or, instead, its denial. Perhaps, in the wonderland of modernist art, to murder is to affirm humanity?

Yours faithfully,


Merry Oaks,


15 August