Where the Heart Beats

John Cage, Zen Buddhism, and the Inner Life of Artists

Zen Buddhism saved John Cage from himself and inspired Cage’s most radical works — including 4’33”, four minutes and 33 seconds of silence. Cage initiated an intellectual, creative, and spiritual revolution that has leaped beyond him to transform the arts over the last half century.

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"STRANGE AND WONDERFUL…A gloriously rich reading experience, studded with layers upon layers of deeply inspiring and endlessly fascinating paths. One of the best books of the year in any category."


“This book is beautiful. It takes my breath away.”

Pat Steir, artist

A KIND OF LOVE STORY about overcoming the need for love… a solid heroic narrative… fascinating.

Ben Ratliff, New York Times

AN ENCYCLOPEDIC VIEW OF CAGE’S TIMES as well as his life… Larson has done us a great service in creating what will likely become the definitive account of John Cage and Zen. She has shown how his “sound of no sound” may be the perfect embodiment of Buddhist emptiness in musical form.

Dan ZigmondTricycle