It is difficult to imagine a world without John Cage. His playful, challenging spirit remains pervasive—a formative force in the lives of those in the forefront of today’s arts. This special book combines iconic photographs of Cage by James Klosty with eclectic testimony the author commissioned from people the world over, each asked to contribute their thoughts on Cage’s influence on their lives and work with one-hundred-word statements. These remembrances range from humorous to reverent, to irreverent, and are from artists including Laurie Anderson, John Ashbery, Gavin Bryars, Jasper Johns, Harry Mathews, Meredith Monk, Mark Morris, Ron Padgett, Yoko Ono, Yvonne Rainer, Steve Reich, Peter Sellars, Stephen Sondheim, Twyla Tharp, Michael Tilson Thomas, Anne Waldman, Robert Wilson, and many more.
The evocative duotone photographs show John Cage alone and in association with Merce Cunningham, Marcel Duchamp, Octavio Paz, Aaron Copland, and many others. The book provides public and private glimpses into the man who transformed chance from an inescapable inevitability of life into disciplined creativity through music, writing, philosophy, printmaking, and, on the largest scale of all, living. John Cage Was gives us a privileged view of an irreplaceable man who had few enemies and innumerable disciples.