Two Events Planned Related to Common Read for 2013-2014

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

The members of the Fairmont State University Common Book Committee are happy to announce the Common Book title for the 2013-2014 academic year. With the help of many wonderful recommendations from faculty and staff George Prochnik’s “In Pursuit of Silence: Listening for Meaning in a World of Noise” has been selected.

“In Pursuit of Silence” examines why we began to be so loud as a society and what it is that gets lost when we can no longer find quiet. Copies of the book are available for purchase in the Bound for Success Bookstore in the Falcon Center and for loan from the Ruth Ann Musick Library.

From 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 3, in Room 247 of the Engineering Technology Building, Dr. Sam Spears will host a discussion of "I Have Nothing to Say and I Am Saying It," which is a documentary about the life of John Cage produced by PBS in 1990 as part of its "American Masters" biography series.

John Cage was a composer whose artistic philosophy was heavily influenced by Eastern spirituality, especially Zen Buddhism. He sought compositional methods that allowed him to relinquish control of what the finished product would actually sound like. He also loved sound itself, beyond the specific sounds that performers are directed to make in the performance of a given piece of music. The ultimate distillation of these two ideas is his composition 4’33”, in which the performers make no sound at all for the prescribed length of the piece. The ambient sounds occurring while the performers are being intentionally silent are the substance of the performance.

At 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5, on the lawn in front of the Education Building, the FSU Marching Band, Collegiate Singers and Chamber Choir will present a performance of Cage's 4’33” Sept. 5 is the anniversary of Cage's birth in 1912. Cage's work, which premiered in 1952, is sometimes hailed as one of the significant musical works of the last century.

"The Department of Music hopes that this performance will help jumpstart the campus-wide discussion of 'In Pursuit of Silence,' this year’s Common Book," said Dr. Sam Spears.

Other events in relation to the Common Read are being planned and will be announced throughout the academic year.