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In-Store: Storytime with Chris Raschka: Nothing: John Cage and 4’33″

Published: March 26, 2024; Author: Julia Sonrisa

 April 6, 2024    11:00 AM-11:30 AM EDT

Address: 122 Montague Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201, United States

Phone: +1 718-246-2665


In-Store: Storytime with Chris Raschka: Nothing: John Cage and 4’33″

Event guidelines:

  • All attendees are encouraged to wear face masks at all times.
  • RSVP is highly encouraged but not required.
  • Additional copies of the event book will be available for purchase in-store.
  • The reading will be followed by a book signing.
  • As a reminder: If you are not feeling well, please do not come to the event, even if you have a ticket; email us and we’ll work it out.

If you have any questions regarding these guidelines or to request accessibility accommodations, please contact [email protected].

What does nothing sound like? An offbeat history of John Cage’s 4’33″, a musical composition of blank bars, illustrated by Caldecott Medalist Chris Raschka.

One night in 1952, master pianist David Tudor took the stage in a barnlike concert hall called the Maverick. A packed audience waited with bated breath for him to start playing. Little did they know that the performance had already begun.

A rain pattern.

A tree rustles.

An audience stirs.

David was performing John Cage’s 4’33″, whose purpose is to amplify the ambient sounds of whatever venue it inhabits. That shocking first performance earned 4’33″ plenty of haters; and yet the piece endures, “performed” by the smallest garage bands and the grandest symphonies alike, year after year. Its fans hear what John Cage hoped we would hear: “Nothing” is never silent, and you don’t need a creative genius, a concert hall, or even a piano to hear something worthwhile. All you have to do is stop and listen.

Nicholas Day’s text is reverent with a healthy drop of humor, warm and refined; two-time Caldecott Medalist Chris Raschka’s childlike pencil-on-watercolor artwork is uninhibited and electrifying, with all the visionary spirit of the work it chronicles. Guaranteed to spark generative thought and lively debate among readers of all ages, Nothing is not to be missed.

Chris Raschka is the Caldecott-Medal-winning and Hans Christian Andersen Award-nominated author and illustrator of dozens of books for young readers, including The Hello, Goodbye Window, A Ball for Daisy, and Yo! Yes? He is also a violinist. He lives in New York City.

Time: 11:00-11:30 am EST



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