Cage often attempts to get the listener to pay attention to the sound of simple domestic actions being carried out
Fixing a drink, tending a plant, retuning the radio, writing something down.
Sometimes, his performance pieces will also involve the merging of quotidien uncomposed sounds, coming from various points both inside and beyond the performance space: the traffic on the road outside, somebody talking through a window.
His famous work 0’00” is subtitled ‘SOLO TO BE PERFORMED IN ANY WAY BY ANYONE’. It demands that: “in a situation provided with amplification, perform a disciplined action”.
The first performances were by Cage himself simply typing out his daily correspondence on a typewriter and occasionally sipping a drink of water. By contrast, many years later, Yoko Ono performed the piece by slashing a canvas, releasing a welt of red ink as if the canvas was bleeding.