Skip navigation

Monthly Archives: September 2011

It was surpringly hard to find background information on Maja Ratkje. But, from what i know, she is a very young female artist was was born on 29 December 1973 in  Trondheim, Norway. She also seems to perform in many places and perform many different things. For example, is a member of Spunk, a Norwegian improv group, and Agrare, a performance trio consisting of noise and also the Swedish dancer Lotta Melin. From hearing her pieces, it’s very calming, like something I would fall asleep to. I listened to her piece called “Breathe”,  and I almost got lost underneath my eyelids. There is a lot of connection to nature, it seems.

Despite being a young female artist, she seems to have much exposure to many collaborations with more “famous” sound artist such as Jaap Blonk and JazzKammer. I think she’s probably one of the most modern sound artist. Looking at her website, I discovered that she has Twitter. I think I might download some of her sounds for when I can’t sleep. I’m sure it’ll put my right off.



When I first heard Paul Dutton, I was not sure what to think because all I was listening to was just a recording. Then, I searched up videos instead because I thought I might be able to get a better understanding of what he was trying to express. I did, but I was slightly confused, his voice didn’t really seem to match his face or body, in my eyes. From hearing his voice, I didn’t picture such a large, jolly looking man who was making these sounds. For me, it added a level of curiousity. As I watched/listened to Dutton, my attention for his art grew on me. I could see that this man was pouring his soul into his work and it was quite inspiring, even though I’m definitely no sound artist  myself. After I read a bit about him, I found out that he has been working with sound art for over 30 years. It really shows.

Dutton was born in Toronto, Canada, in 1943. I was quite surprised when I discovered that he was a Canadian poet, novelist, and essayist, along with being ranked among the worlds leading sound artists. He appears in numerous shows all accross Canada, the United States, and Europe.With an early background in choral singing, British folk music, blues, and creative writing, Dutton first began exploring oral sound art as one of The Four Horsemen, a group that worked with textual material and improvisational vocal sound. He is similar to sound artists that I’ve heard because many of them make the same sounds and experiment with similar prefrences. Although he is also very different at the same time because he seems to incorporate many words into his pieces, which I find  more entertaining. For now, Paul Dutton is top on the list of MY favourite sound artists.


I was honestly really confused when I listened to this 4’33 seconds “song”. At first, I had to turn my speakers to the maximum volume (which would normally blast my eardrums out of my beautiful head) to make sure I wasn’t going crazy. Then I finally realized what was going on. The song was just pure silence, for the most part. It made me laugh and I don’t really know why. I felt as though this was some kind of cruel joke, and not an actual assignment. Then I read the “Top Comments” on the video and the second most liked comment said: “Like if you think Justin Bieber should do a cover of this song.” This just made me laugh even harder.

I began doing more research on this John Cage fellow and I was quite amazed. He explained sound in a way that I would never even think of. To him it seems like another language. As though eve sound represents hundreds of words that can’t really explained by the mind and mouth, but only the ears. I’m not usually someone who appreciates silence, at all. 80% of the time I love the music blaring in my ears. Even as I type, the music is blasting, but I’m starting to comprehend why silence is so golden. Not just for the purpose of silence alone, for the cornucopia of sounds that come with it. I read that His teachers included Henry Cowell and Arnold Schoenberg, both known for their radical innovations in music, but Cage’s major influences lay in various Eastern cultures. From my reading, it expresses that Cage drew a lot of his inspiration from Indian philosophy and Zen Buddhism. It seems pretty reasonable to me because when I think about Buddhism and Hinduism (assuming by Indian philosophy he meant Hindu culture as well), I think about a lot of praying and meditation, which incorporates a lot of silence in my eyes.

I’ve started to understand why we do these “exercises” in writers craft now. The sitting in silence and all. There are so many things to hear, I guess. In everyday life, it seems as though everybody talks and everybody listens, but very few truly hear. All in all, John Cage seems like a pretty interesting man.

Sites used :

How you doin’, wordpress world? I am hereeeee because of my new writers craft class.

I’m not usually amazing at starting things off on a high note, but for now.. This will have to do.

Enjoy. (: