Saturday, May 24, 2008

John Cage for Children

Imagine my surprise when I came home from work a few days ago to find this album blasting from my Meadowlark speakers. I did buy them to listen to art music, not Wiggles DVDs, but I didn't expect my toddler to rummage through my CDs and pick this one to play. Kids today grow up so fast!

Here's the album I want him to listen to though, because I want to train him to be normal. Komar and Melamid, those jokesters, have assembled musical material that people say they like, result in "a musical work that will be unavoidably and uncontrollably 'liked' by 72 ± 12% of listeners ((standard deviation; Kolmogorov-Smirnov statistic)." I have to admit that I prefer the composition that only 200 people in the world are supposed to like; it sounds to me like John Cage sounds to those other people. You can listen to recordings of both here. The unpleasant recording had to be fun to make; the pleasant one sounds like a bored Alicia Keys cover band playing at an airport lounge.

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