[Dixielandjazz] Score - 4' 33"

David Richoux tubaman@batnet.com
Tue, 20 Aug 2002 08:17:35 -0700

I posted this a few months ago but it seems more appropriate now...

Dave Richoux

Big noises at odds over the sound
of silence

By David Lister Media and Culture Editor

21 June 2002

'The Sound of Silence' may have prompted engaging harmonies
from Simon and Garfunkel  but a more literal appreciation of the
absence of noise has prompted one of the more curious copyright
disputes of modern times.

Mike Batt, the man behind the Wombles and Vanessa Mae, has
put a silent 60-second track on the album of his latest classical
chart-topping protigis, the Planets. This has enraged
representatives of the avant-garde, experimentalist composer
John Cage, who died in 1992. The silence on his group's album
clearly sounds uncannily like 4'33", the silence composed by
Cage in his prime.

Batt said last night: "I've received a letter on behalf of John Cage's
music publishers. I was in hysterics when I read their letter.

"As my mother said when I told her, 'which part of the silence are
they claiming you nicked?'. They say they are claiming copyright on
a piece of mine called 'One Minute's Silence' on the Planets'
album, which I credit Batt/Cage just for a laugh. But my silence is
original silence, not a quotation from his silence."