…I have spent all my life listening to music of some kind or another, and I have heard a lot. Not played it, just heard it. Curiously, the more I have heard, the less judgemental I have become. I spent much of early years vigorously defending this artist vs. denigrating that artist – decades later it all seems rather pointless. The simple fact is that even the most mediocre artist can produce a work of genius and a genius artist can produce a work of mediocrity. Even more, because appreciation of music is essentially subjective, you can find yourself radically revising your opinion of some piece of music over the course of your lifetime. Music, like any art, is subject to the time and place of hearing and psychology of the listener. Although I have read reams and reams of music criticism, both popular and serious, the only artist I have read who writes about music in a way that actually cuts to the core of the art is John Cage. “Silence” and his other writings are essential.