Audiences in village halls in Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire will get a taste of drastic modernism this weekend when Birmingham Contemporary Music Group performs John Cage's notorious 4'33" on one of its rural tours.

The radical American composer questioned many traditional assumptions about music - and nowhere more so than in 4' 33", where there is no notated sound at all.

For precisely four minutes and thirty-three seconds the musicians remain silent, the piece consisting of sounds of the environment and, like as not, those of the audience as well. Though the piece was originally received as a joke, it has became an icon of modernism and was one of Cage's favourite works.

BCMG's concert programme includes another, more audible, composition by Cage - his Clarinet Sonata - as well as works by Stravinsky and Leamington composer Howard Skempton.

Audiences can discuss their reactions to the programme with the players and composer Howard Skempton over tea and buns after each performance.

BCMG has been taking free concerts to village halls in Shropshire, where the group's annual visit has become an eagerly awaited event, for the past seven years.

This year, it has added Herefordshire and Worcestershire to its rural itinerary. BCMG has been nominated for a Royal Philharmonic Society Award for its rural tours.