John Cage (1912-1992) was an American composer and one of the leading figures of the post-war avant-garde. After studying under Arnold Schoenberg and Adolph Weiss in the 1930s, he began to compose his own works, strongly influenced by the works of Edgard Varèse. He became the leading representative of the musique concrète movement, which combined electronics with traditional sounds. His "utility sounds" included: doors slamming, water pouring, and radio noise. He is considered to be the inventor of the prepared piano technique in which various objects are placed on the strings inside the instrument to produce unusual sounds. He was known for a very experimental approach, using chance as a compositional method. He often collaborated with other disciplines, such as dance. He studied Zen Buddhism in the Far East in the 1950s and used the principles of the I Ching (Book of Changes) to create his own original genre of experimental music. His most famous piece of music is "4'33", which consists only of silence (except for the natural sounds of the surroundings). His compositions, writings and personality had a huge impact on 20th century music and on many composers around the world.