Very early on in his career Cage came to believe that everything has a spirit and everything sounds.
He spoke often of hitting and rubbing pretty much anything that came within his reach, both indoors and outdoors, in order to build up a curious collection of ‘instruments’. Famously this collection has included such things as tanks of water, a dead fish and the needles of cacti, plucked and amplified by contact microphones.
Cage’s works often involve the use of prepared instruments, as well as collections of random household objects. He is said to have invented the ‘prepared’ piano in1938, placing objects – at first screws and nails, then later more extraordinary objects – either on or between the piano strings.
“I find it as fascinating to prepare a piano as it is to walk along a beach and pick up shells,” said Cage.