4’33” – Beyond Skin and John Cage Trust on Make Music Day – 21 June

On Make Music Day 21st June the organisations Beyond Skin, John Cage Trust and Make Music Day UK with musicians from 23 countries will premiere a special collaboration performance video of the John Cage piece 4’33”.

4’33” is a three-movement composition by American experimental composer John Cage (1912–1992). It was composed in 1952, for any instrument or combination of instruments, and the score instructs performers not to play their instruments during the entire duration of the piece throughout the three movements. The piece consists of the sounds of the environment that the listeners hear while it is performed, although it is commonly perceived as “four minutes thirty-three seconds of silence”. The title of the piece refers to the total length in minutes and seconds of a given performance.

Beyond Skin is an organisation enabling the Arts as the dialogue to assist the development of a more peaceful, equal and intercultural society free from racism & sectarianism. Based in Northern Ireland, Beyond Skin through a large diverse team of artists, technicians and educators develop and deliver collaborative projects and events locally, nationally and internationally.

“This has been a fascinating discussion and journey with the John Cage Trust and publishers.. Although the John Cage score is blank with no music there is still intellectual property rights and publishing permissions as if it were any other recorded piece of music by a famous musician. This process of identifying the right license and how it will be presented challenges everything we assume about diversity within music and sound. I am so glad we took this path to do it by the book professionally – that has been a learning experience in itself” Darren Ferguson, Beyond Skin

Complimenting the 4’33” collaborative video is a theme of loss.

John Cage was influenced by Zen Buddhism and 4’33” was intended to also be a moment of reflection and mindfulness. Due to the CoVid pandemic the world has experienced loss. Not just in lives but also our loss of touch, connecting with each other and the natural world, our loss of our personal spaces as they became workplaces, and our loss of trade and business.

The idea of doing an interpretation of 4’33” came out of a discussion about participation in music between the founder of Beyond Skin, Gary Coey a teacher at Glengormley High School and Olivier Urbain a music & peace researcher in Japan.  Gary Coey will represent Northern Ireland in the production.  

See more at the link below


artist forms link
New Belfast Community Arts Initiative trading as Community Arts Partnership is a registered charity (XR 36570) and a company limited by guarantee (Northern Ireland NI 37645).Registered with The Charity Commission as New Belfast Community Arts Initiative - NIC105169.