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Punk John Cage “4’33”” Cover Only 13 Seconds Long

ST. LOUIS — A punk tribute to experimental composer John Cage ended with a triumphant thirteen-second cover of his most well-known (and controversial) work “4’33””, an avant-garde piece in which no notes are played.

“‘Cage: Against The Machine’ was a night to explore the work of one of the most punk-rock composers of all time,” says singer Aaron Berk, who arranged and performed the marathon five-minute set. “I was just really inspired by the original work, and thought: what if I did this with a band, but like, way faster? You know, the usual hardcore strategy. It was a huge success, the audience literally didn’t know what hit them. We probably could have played it five or six times in a row without anyone complaining. The crowd was that good.”

Bartender Margaret Engler says the crowd at the tribute concert was overwhelmingly polite but “strange as hell.”

“At first they were just watching the show, but once the beer started flowing a lot of these guys were busting out dice and ‘I Ching’ charts, talking about randomizing my tips and measuring ice cubes,” said Engler on her smoke break. “I even had a guy ask to transpose my telephone number into a scale he could play on his theremin. But I think he just wanted my number. I gotta say, I give these weirdos points for creativity, even though I’m pretty sure the band just stood there for ten seconds and called it a day. ”

A spokesperson for the John Cage Trust, a non-profit whose mission is to “gather, preserve and disseminate” the late artist’s work, applauded the musicians involved in bringing his most potent work back to contemporary audiences.

“We’re enormously impressed with how quickly the event came together, and how the funds raised will go to important archival projects here at the Trust,” said Linda Richert. “The intersection of punk rock and silence is rad as hell, and to our knowledge no one has performed ‘4’ 33’’’ with such unique flair. We’d love to see some other genre-specific takes on the piece, such as a sludge metal rendition that lasts several hours.”

As of press time, Berk was considering renting studio time to record the track as a single.