chapter  5
Separate Ways
Pages 24

Cage's notion of the happening obviously has much in common with the environment of simultaneous but non-synchronous sounds found in Variations I~ Contrary to popular perception, Cage was anxious to emphasize that the happening is an exercise in self-discipline and not simply an opportunity to do as one wishes; it should not, he argues, be an expression of an individual's idea or of a feeling, since this leads to a careless approach. The cessation of these desires facilitates the possibility of 'increasing one's awareness and curiosity' because, by reacting to the complexity of the situation in a neutral way, something may happen one did not have in mind (Kostelanetz 1988: 113).