4'33" outputs a rich, fully analogue silence, as well as providing a perfectly calibrated 0v source, a No Pass Filter, and a unique NOT(TRUE) logic gate. Its input is completely reverse-polarity protected and galvanically isolated with a -1000dB noise floor and made available in this compact skiff-friendly package.
To paraphrase Depeche Mode, enjoy the silence!
4'33" Blanking Panel & Advanced John Cage Silence Generator
For 1000 years music had developed along functionally harmonic lines: keys and chords. The late Baroque mastery of Bach and last quartets of Beethoven 75 years later saw the stirrings of tonal instability which eventually lead to Wagner's (in)famous Tristan Chord (from an opera set in Cornwall just down the road from SI). The central axiom of tonality—key—had been dismantled.
After this composers felt obliged to develop alternative technical approaches so they drew on earthy folk sources, or legalised the 7th, or emancipated the dissonance...but all these were answers to the question "How can we continue the line?"
John Milton Cage asked instead "What can music be?". He taught us how to think about, listen to, and compose music in a completely new way by opening our ears and minds to the power of process, probability, and possibility—of sounds as and of themselves.
If he'd only been a thinker about music his influence would still have been a revolutionary catalyst for artists as diverse as Reich, Boulez, Bowie, Zappa, Radiohead and Aphex Twin. That Cage was also a prolific practical composer of masterpieces like HPSCHD and the Sonatas & Interludes for Prepared Piano puts him among the towering masters of 20th Century music.
Of his many books of collected thoughts one quote from For The Birds encapsulates our own approach to making modules for composition: "The role of the composer is to prepare the elements which will permit the situation to become complex." We can't be sure if Cage was referencing the theories of mathematical and computational Complexity that were being developed around the time in the early 1970s but it's entirely plausible. Either way, there is a profound insight there about the nature of what we do as composers: bring things together such that their combined, emergent, organisational whole becomes greater than the sum of their parts.
We thought it would be nice to mark John Cage's influence (and boundless humour!) with this multi-purpose blanking panel in tribute to his most well-known composition, 4'33", the 'silent' piece which is anything but. It invites us to consider the musical possibility space of every sound (no 4'33", no sampling!), the impossibility of complete silence, the centrality of the audience's role in musical performance and the necessity of active open-minded possibility in the generation of any artistic creation.
0 mA +12V
0 mA -12V
0 mA 5V
10 mm skiff friendly depth