One of the better realizations of John Cage's work, this was also the first Nova Musicha collection release. The LP contains five John Cages compositions for "prepared" piano, played and performed by various artists: Juan Hidalgo, Walter Marchetti, Gianni-Emilio Simonetti and Demetrio Stratos. In these perfomances, the sound of the piano was altered by placing objects (preparations) between or on the strings or on the hammers or dampers. Toy pianos and radio systems were used too. Demetrio Stratos performed Sixty-two mesostics Re Merce Cunningham
The most famous composition is 433 which represents a turning point for Cages experience and for contemporary music. The Cage piece which has caused most tabloid apoplexy, written in 1952 and included on this album. It has three movements, lasts four minutes and 33 seconds, and not a single note is played. At the premiere, David Tudor sat down at the piano and did nothing except close the lid and open it again at the beginning of each movement. The piece is not, as often described, an exercise in silence, but about the perception of ambient sound. Anyone could have written it but, as Cage pointed out, no-one else did. Cage was already thinking along 433 lines in 1928, when in a prize-winning college-graduation speech he proposed a day of quiet for all Americans. By being hushed and silent, he said, we should have the opportunity to hear what other people think.