Grayson Currin writes at Pitchfork:
For the past several days, I’ve been listening to covers of nothing. And everything.
Thanks to 4’33”, a new iPhone-and-iPod-app inspired by John Cage’s infamously indeterminate piece of the same name, I’ve heard babies crying in Tokyo, food slurped outside of Paris and afternoon tea being prepared in North Sydney. Each of these recordings lasts for four minutes and 33 seconds, split into three unequal movements that are separated by two 10-second breaks—the form for David Tudor’s premiere of the work in 1952. They mirror Cage’s composition only structurally; sonically, they don’t necessarily share anything with the way the composer’s original audiences might have heard 4’33″. And that was the point of the piece anyway, right?
“When nothing is securely possessed, one is free to accept any of the somethings,” John Cage wrote for his 1951 “Lecture on Something”.