For many of us right now, our lives are quieter than normal.
And quiet can be unnerving.
It can make you feel lonely,
or just all too aware of the things you're missing out on.
I think about sound all the time.
I'm a sound designer,
and I host the podcast "Twenty Thousand Hertz."
It's all about the world's most recognizable and interesting sounds.
But I think this is the perfect time to talk about silence.
Because what I've come to understand
is that there is no such thing as silence.
And the person who opened my mind to this idea
is one of the most influential composers in history.
John Cage has made an impact on artists in many genres,
约翰·凯奇（John Cage ） 影响了各种类型的艺术家，
from avant-garde musicians, to modern dance, to pop music.
Right now, we're listening to his 1948 piece
我们正在听的是他 1948 年的作品
called "In a Landscape."
This version was recorded in 1994 by Stephen Drury.
这个版本是史蒂文·德鲁里 （Stephen Drury）在1949 年录制的。
This piece is actually not very typical of John Cage's writing.
He's more known for his innovations and avant-garde techniques.
But despite his reputation,
no one was prepared for what he did in 1952,
人们还是难以接受 他在 1952 年创作的，
when he created the most daring piece of his career.
It was called "4'33'',"
《4 分 33 秒》。
and it was a piece that some critics even refused to call "music,"
某些评论家甚至 拒绝称这个曲子为 “音乐”，
because for the entire duration of the piece,
Well, to be technical, the performer is actually playing rest.
But to the audience, it looks like nothing is happening.
John Cage's "4'33''" was performed for the first time
约翰·凯奇的这首《4 分 33 秒》 首演是在 1952 年的夏天，
in the summer of 1952,
由著名的钢琴家 大卫·都铎（ David Tudor）
by renowned pianist David Tudor.
It was at the Maverick Concert hall in Woodstock, New York.
This is a beautiful wooden building with huge openings to the outdoors.
So, David Tudor walked out on stage,
sat down at the piano,
then closed the piano lid.
He then sat in silence,
only moving to open and close the piano lid
between each of the three movements.
After the time was up,
and walked off the stage.
The audience had no idea what to think.
It made people wonder if Cage is even taking his career seriously.
A close friend even wrote to him,
begging that he not turn his career into a joke.
John Cage had, well, if you could call it,
composed a piece of music
that really challenged some very established ideas
about music composition.
It's something that musicians still debate today.
To understand just what John Cage was thinking,
let's back up to the 1940s.
让我们回到 1940 年代。
John Cage was making a name for himself composing for the prepared piano.
To make music like this,
John Cage would put objects inside the piano,
between the strings.
Things you just find lying around,
like screws, tape and rubber erasers.
So now, you've transformed the piano
from a tonal instrument with high and low pitches
into a collection of unique sounds.
The music you're hearing is Cage's "Sonata V,"
你们现在听到的是 凯奇的《奏鸣曲 V》，
from "Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano."
Probably his most famous work outside of "4'33''."
除了《4 分 33 秒》， 这大概是他最有名的作品了。
This version was performed by Boris Berman.
这个版本是由鲍里斯·贝尔曼 （Boris Berman）演奏的。
John Cage wrote incredibly detailed instructions
about where to place each object in the piano.
But it's impossible for every performer to get the exact same objects,
so the sound you get is always different.
Basically, it comes down to random chance.
This was pretty bananas and pretty alien
to the way most composers and musicians are taught to do things.
John Cage was becoming increasingly interested
in chance and randomness
and letting the universe provide the answer to the question
"What note should I play next?"
But to hear the answer to the question,
first, you have to listen.
And in the 1940s,
可是在 1940 年代，
listening to the universe was getting harder to do.
The Muzak company was founded in the '30s.
罐头音乐公司（Muzak） 成立于 1930 年代，
It really took off,
and soon, there was constant background music nearly everywhere.
It was almost impossible to escape.
John Cage realized that people were losing the option
to shut out the background music of the world.
He worried that Muzak would prevent people from hearing silence altogether.
four years before he wrote "4'33'',"
在他写《4 分 33 秒》的四年前，
John Cage mentioned that he wanted to write
a four-and-a-half-minute-long piece of silence
and sell it to the Muzak company.
It started as something of a political statement
or an offhand comment,
but this idea struck a nerve and quickly evolved.
John Cage was starting to think deeply about silence.
And when he visited a truly quiet place,
he made a startling discovery.
John Cage visited an anechoic chamber at Harvard University.
Anechoic chambers are rooms that are acoustically treated
to minimize sound to almost zero.
There are no sounds in these rooms,
so John Cage didn't expect to hear anything at all.
But he actually heard his own blood circulating.
I've personally experienced an anechoic chamber,
and it's a really wild experience
that can completely change your perceptions
about sound and silence.
It really felt like my brain just turning up an amplifier,
grasping for anything to hear.
Just like John Cage,
I could very clearly hear my blood pushing through my body.
John Cage realized, in that moment,
that no matter where we are, even our bodies are making sound.
There's basically no such thing as true silence.
As long as you are in your body,
you're always hearing something.
This is where John Cage's interest in chance and randomness
met his interest in silence.
He realized that creating an environment with no distractions
wasn't about creating silence.
It wasn't even about controlling noise.
It was about the sounds that were already there,
but you suddenly hear for the first time
when you're really ready to listen.
That's what's so often misunderstood about "4'33''."
那也正是为什么 《4 分 33 秒》经常被误解。
People assume it's a joke,
but that couldn't be further from the truth.
It sounds different everywhere you play it.
And that's the point.
What John Cage really wanted us to hear
is the beauty of the sonic world around us.
(Church bell ringing)
(Crickets chirping and owl hooting)
"4'33''" should be a mindful experience
《4 分 33 秒》应该是 一个专注的体验，
that helps you focus on accepting things just the way they are.
It's not something that anyone else can tell you how you're supposed to feel.
It's deeply personal.
It also brings up some pretty big questions
about our sonic world.
Is "4'33''" music, is it sound,
《4 分 33 秒》属于音乐、声响，
Is there even a difference?
John Cage reminds us
that music isn't the only kind of sound worth listening to.
All sounds are worth thinking about.
We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity
to reset our ears.
And if we become more conscious of what we hear,
we'll inherently make our world sound better.
Quietness is not when we turn off our minds to sound,
but when we can really start to listen
and hear the world in all of its sonic beauty.
So in this spirit,
let's perform "4'33''" together,
wherever you are.
让我们一起来“演奏” 《4 分 33 秒》吧。
It's three movements,
and I'll let you know when they start.
Listen to the texture and rhythm of the sounds around you right now.
Listen for the loud and soft,
the harmonic, the dissonant,
and all the small details that make every sound unique.
Spend this time as mindful and focused in this real-life sonic moment.
Enjoy the magnificence of hearing and listening.
So here comes the first movement.
And here's movement two.
It will be two minutes and 23 seconds.
长度为 2 分 23 秒。
And here is the final movement.
It will be one minute and 40 seconds.
长度为 1 分 40 秒。
And that's it.
这就是这部《4 分 33 秒》，
Thanks for listening.