U.K. musician Mike Batt agreed yesterday (Sept. 23) to pay an undisclosed six-figure sum to the John Cage Trust, after publishers of the late American composer sued him for compensation, claiming he h
What price silence? Six figures, as U.K. musician Mike Batt found out when he included a one-minute silence on the latest album by his rock group, the Planets. Batt agreed yesterday (Sept. 23) to pay an undisclosed six-figure sum to the John Cage Trust, after publishers of the late American composer sued him for compensation, claiming he had plagiarized Cage's 1952 composition, "4'33," which was totally silent.
Handing over a check for the undisclosed sum on the steps of the High Court in London, Batt professed himself "relieved that we have been able to settle this one out of court. "This has been, albeit a gentlemanly dispute, a most serious matter and I am pleased that Cage's publishers have finally been persuaded that their case was, to say the least, optimistic," he said.
"We are, however, making this gesture of a payment to the John Cage Trust in recognition of my own personal respect for John Cage and in recognition of his brave and sometimes outrageous approach to artistic experimentation in music."
Batt credited his piece -- "A One Minute Silence" -- to "Batt/Cage" on "Classical Graffiti," the latest album by the Planets.
Nicholas Riddle, managing director of Cage's publishers, Peters Edition, who accepted the check, said the publishers were prepared to defend the concept of a silent piece because it was a valuable artistic concept with a copyright. "We are nevertheless very pleased to have reached agreement with Mr. Batt over this dispute, and we accept his donation in good spirit," said Riddle.
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