Record and share a silent masterpiece with the John Cage 4' 33" app

Not-so-silent music shared via smartphone.

A new app inspired by John Cage’s ‘4’ 33″‘ – the ‘silent’ work that diverts listeners’ attention to ambient sounds – allows you to record and share your own versions of the composer’s groundbreaking piece.

A simple idea, as the best so often are, but one that has already generated some pretty fascinating results as users around the world upload recordings of their immediate surroundings to the website.

All the recordings are geotagged and listenable via the app, so you can zoom into Buenos Aires, Reykjavik or Las Vegas (complete with slot machines ringing in the distance!) to experience four and a half minutes of localised ambience. Grab it from the iTunes store (sadly it’s iOS only so far).

It’s not the only John Cage app out there, either – you can also find a prepared piano app, which released to mark Cage’s 100th birthday in 2012. [via The Wire]

Here’s a recent, full orchestra performance of 4′ 33″:



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