John Cage’s 4'33" is a composition four minutes and thirty-three seconds in length, during which the performer—or performers—does not play a note. Often described as Cage’s "silent" piece, 4'33" was in fact meant to shift attention away from the performer, to the audience itself, and to the richness and variety of ambient sound. Reflecting years later on the 1952 debut performance, Cage wrote: "What they thought was silence, because they didn’t know how to listen, was full of accidental sounds."
Use your mobile device to record the "silence" around you. Visit this web site to submit your recordings to MoMA's SoundCloud dropbox. Indicate where you recorded it in the description field. Selected recordings will be added to this sound map.
This sound map was made in conjunction with the exhibition There Will Never Be Silence: Scoring John Cage's 4'33", on view from October 12, 2013–June 22, 2014 at The Museum of Modern Art, New York.Send us your sounds