"During that opening performance, I had seen and heard more acutely and complexly than ever before during a programmed aesthetic event. Very little of what had taken place was in a descriptive or referential relation to the natural world, but when I thought of how it had engaged my attention I could only liken it to watching ocean waves in infinite variety spuming against rock on the coast of Maine, or sky and water becoming one in the heat and stillness of a South Carolina low-country afternoon, or even moving through the endlessly interesting medias race of humanity in downtown Manhattan."
"Master of Nonintention"
"Cage wanted his art to introduce us to the pleasures of nature and everyday life undistorted by domineering ego. His motive, like John Dewey's, was fundamentally environmental: if creature and environment become separated, both die. Almost all of Cage's work, if actively engaged within the terms its structures suggest, directs audience attention to the ambient context in which it takes its time and place."
Cage: "The fifth paragraph of Walden speaks against blind obedience to a blundering oracle. However, chance operations are not mysterious sources of 'the right answers.' They are a means of locating a single one among a multiplicity of answers, and, at the same time, of freeing the ego from its taste and memory, its concern for profit and power, of silencing the ego so that the rest of the world has a chance to enter into the ego's own experience...."
Joan Retallack, introduction to Musicage.