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Friday, January 16th, 2004

Well there's a thing.

I just sat through Radio 3's broadcast of John Cage's 4'33″, and, much to my surprise, rather enjoyed the experience.

We had it playing on two radios, one on either side of the room, and let's just say it's one of those pieces that sounds better live than on CD.

It may have been four and a half minutes of silence, but it was very loud silence. Sneezes like rifle-shots, shuffling like a hoard of hedgehogs on the move, and two explosions of generalised coughing and murmering as the musicians turned the pages of their scores at the end of the two movements within the piece.

But I'll say this – the silence was at its loudest when there was no background noise and all you could hear was your own thoughts echoing around the vast caverns of your mind without the distraction of everyday life to drown them out.

Brilliant. They should have done an encore.

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I'm Andy Darley. Sometimes I want to say things. This is where I do it.