|Collecting mushrooms in |
Grenoble, France, 1972
But he's best known for his iconoclastic musical compositions, including 4′33″ and Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano. You can hear a snatch of the latter here.
In any case, whether he wrote these rules or not, I like them, and so I share them with you here.
SOME RULES AND HINTS FOR STUDENTS AND TEACHERS OR ANYBODY ELSE
by John Cage
- Find a place you trust and then, try trusting it for a while.
- General Duties of a Student:
Pull everything out of your teacher.
Pull everything out of your fellow students.
- General Duties of a Teacher:
Pull everything out of your students.
- Consider everything an experiment.
- BE SELF-DISCIPLINED. This means finding someone wise or smart and choosing to follow them. To be disciplined is to follow in a good way. To be self-disciplined is to follow in a better way.
- FOLLOW THE LEADER. Nothing is a mistake. There is no win and no fail. There is only make.
- The only rule is work. If you work, it will lead to something. It is the people who do all the work all the time who eventually catch on to things. You can fool the fans—but not the players.
- Do not try to create and analyze at the same time. They are different processes.
- Be happy whenever you can manage it. Enjoy yourself. It is lighter than you think.
- We are breaking all the rules, even our own rules, and how do we do that? By leaving plenty of room for X qualities.
Always be around. Come or go to everything. Always go to classes. Read everything you can get your hands on. Look at movies carefully and often. Save everything. It may come in handy later.