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    Sounds of Silence

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    maxim9691

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    Sounds of Silence

    Post by maxim9691 on Thu Aug 27, 2009 8:14 am

    Sounds of Silence

    On the Planets' debut album, Classical Graffiti, producer Mike Batt introduced a 60 second silence as a divider to set off the CD's twelve proper tracks from four remixes, entitled it "A One Minute Silence" (in homage to John Cage's famous modernist silent work 4' 33", composed in 1952), and credited the track to "Batt/Cage." Classical Graffiti was a resounding commercial success.
    "Then one day, after the record had been on the charts for two months, I was sitting with my mother on our patio," Batt recalled. "My secretary brought in a letter from the Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society, or the M.C.P.S., whose job it is to collect and forward royalties. It informed me that my silence was a copyright infringement on Cage's silence."

    The letter went on to note that an initial payment of some four hundred pounds had been made to Peters Edition, the publisher which administers the Cage catalogue.

    "I roared with laughter," Batt recalled. Still, he acknowledged the potential severity of the situation. "The Planets are very successful," he explained, "and the final amount could be tens of thousands of pounds, or more. It turns out it was worth fighting for."

    The fight?

    "In a decision that would have delighted Cage, the two parties agreed to meet and play their respective silences in front of an audience. This summer, in a rented London recital hall, Batt conducted the Planets in a performance of 'A One Minute Silence.' Then Riddle introduced a version of 4' 33" played by a young clarinettist. 'The Cage piece was first performed on a piano — the piano lid was raised and lowered to signify movements — but the clarinettist did a fine job, playing with a kind of theatrical gravity,' Batt said.

    "Afterward, Batt and Riddle debated the legal intricacies. The tone was gentlemanly but firm. 'This is intellectual property that needs protecting,' Riddle said. 'I can see Mike's side, but I think he should see our side more clearly. He is a creative artist — he has a vested interest in a system that protects creative work — so in some ways he's sawing at the legs of the very stool he's sitting on.'

    "Riddle added that whenever 4' 33" was recorded by other artists, as it had been in 1993, by Frank Zappa, for a Cage tribute album, full royalties were paid."

    Batt later released 'A One Minute Silence' as a British single and further irked Riddle by registering hundreds of other silent compositions, ranging in length from one second to ten minutes. "I couldn't get four minutes and thirty-three seconds, obviously, but I got everything else," he remarked.

    Indeed, notable among his registered copyrights are 4' 32" and 4' 34". "If there's ever a Cage performance where they come in a second shorter or longer," he enthused, "then it's mine."



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    Jfrost

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    Re: Sounds of Silence

    Post by Jfrost on Thu Aug 27, 2009 2:52 pm

    So does Prince owe royalities on his 5 second piece that was included on Rave on to the Joy Fantastic that was a tribute to the memory of Miles Davis.
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    Ymaginatif

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    Re: Sounds of Silence

    Post by Ymaginatif on Thu Aug 27, 2009 2:55 pm

    And how about all those empty tracks on Newpower Soul?!!! That's quite a bit of copyrigh gone to waste there?!

    'One Minute Silence' is a John Lennon song to on 'Life With The Lions' - I can't actually rememebr whether it *is* silence, but on a Yoko dominated album that would be rather welcome. The best use of silence so far, I would say!
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    Ymaginatif

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    Re: Sounds of Silence

    Post by Ymaginatif on Thu Aug 27, 2009 2:57 pm

    Not to forget 'Nutopian International Anthem' which is another John Lennon track which consisted of silence.
    anything else?

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