John Cage interviewed in Los Angeles, 1963

In 1963 John Cage traveled to Los Angeles with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company for two performances at UCLA (for which Cage composed the music). During the trip, Cage had his own speaking engagements in the city, including a presentation of his lecture 45’ for a Speaker at UCLA’s Schoenberg Hall. A few days before the presentation, Cage was interviewed by poet Jack Hirschman on local radio station KPFK, in which he discussed his process of composition:

“I had written some pieces for prepared piano and some pieces for stringed instruments which were also given titles of simply their time length. And this was a text written to be performed either alone or with those musical compositions. And it was written entirely by means of fairly elaborate and difficult to describe chance operations, together with another method of mine, which I enjoy, which is relating the notations to the imperfections in the paper upon which I happen to be writing.”

You can listen to the entire interview (in which Cage also discusses other topics, including his experience inside an anechoic chamber) above, or by accessing it here: