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Editorial: Silence is golden
Posted by editor

How one song fills a vacuum

Wednesday 14
January 2004 @ 8:20
– GMT

By George Matlock, editor

Elton’s written the most famous song, Candle In the Wind, but not the most controversial, it seems. Simplicity is perhaps all that is required for a song and all the fancy gizmos that sound great on new surround sound recordings are expendable.

A classicial “composition” is to be broadcast on digital TV BBC 3. For perhaps obvious reasons, it is not being played on radio – there might not be much there!

The song, called 4’33 and “written” by John Gage in 1952, features four minutes and 33 seconds of – silence.

The BBC has promised to switch off an emergency feature which normally fills in during moments of cut-outs, when it is “performed” at London’s Barbican for the Composer Weekend. The broadcast will be on January 16, 2004.

Elton and many other artists are familiar with how much of a wild buzz U.S. audiences get in a concert hall. Well, picture this: a recent rendition of the tune in New York had the wild crowd exactly that – wild with anger, howling disapproval. Ouch!