A "heroic" biography of John Cage and his "awakening through Zen Buddhism" - "a kind of love story" about a brilliant American pioneer of the creative arts who transformed himself and his culture (The New York Times).
Composer John Cage sought the silence of a mind at peace with itself - and found it in Zen Buddhism, a spiritual path that changed both his music and his view of the universe. "Remarkably researched, exquisitely written", Where the Heart Beats weaves together "a great many threads of cultural history" (Maria Popova, Brain Pickings) to illuminate Cage’s struggle to accept himself and his relationship with choreographer Merce Cunningham. Freed to be his own man, Cage originated exciting experiments that set him at the epicenter of a new avant-garde forming in the 1950s. Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, Yoko Ono, Allan Kaprow, Morton Feldman, and Leo Castelli were among those influenced by his "teaching" and "preaching". Where the Heart Beats shows the blossoming of Zen in the very heart of American culture.
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This was a thrilling trip through the 20th Century of conceptual art and music. The book is primarily about Cage and his ideas, but also touches on those who influenced him, like the Dadaists, Duchamp and Suzuki, the major artists that he influenced ( primarily those he met before he became famous in the late 1950s).
For artists and people interested in art, and especially ideas that challenge convention, this book is ideal.
The narrator did a nice job, with a few odd pronounciations here and there. His impression of Cage was spot on.
It is a book that I would want to listen to again. It is packed with ideas.
- Robert Keith