Kay Larson, Author of Where the Heart Beats: John Cage, Zen Buddhism, and the Inner Life of Artists
August 12th will mark the 22nd anniversary of John Cage’s death. Two years ago Wake Forest University celebrated the life and artistic contributions of this American maverick on what would have been his 100th birthday. Cage has been called the most influential American composer of the 20th century, and his life and art was greatly influenced by his devotion to Zen Budhism. CAGEFEST which was spread over a two month period concluded with a lecture by longtime New York Times art critic and practicing Buddhist Kay Larson. She’s written a fascinating book, 15-years in the making: Where the Heart Beats: John Cage, Zen Buddhism, and the Inner Life of Artists. Kay says that for John Cage, appreciating negative space, and silence was life-affirming, but to do so meant, as he put it “getting one’s mind and desires out of the way”. One way Cage did this was by pioneering the use of indeterminacy or chance in music,
Kay's lecture was titled “Cage and Zen: The Koan of Silence” as part of Wake Forest University’s CAGEFST. August 12th will mark the 22nd anniversary of John Cage’s death.