Big noises at odds over the sound of silence By David Lister Media and Culture Editor 21 June 2002 'The Sound of Silence' may have prompted engaging harmonies from Simon and Garfunkel – but a more literal appreciation of the absence of noise has prompted one of the more curious copyright disputes of modern times. Mike Batt, the man behind the Wombles and Vanessa Mae, has put a silent 60-second track on the album of his latest classical chart-topping protégés, the Planets. This has enraged representatives of the avant-garde, experimentalist composer John Cage, who died in 1992. The silence on his group's album clearly sounds uncannily like 4'33", the silence composed by Cage in his prime. Batt said last night: "I've received a letter on behalf of John Cage's music publishers. I was in hysterics when I read their letter. "As my mother said when I told her, 'which part of the silence are they claiming you nicked?'. They say they are claiming copyright on a piece of mine called 'One Minute's Silence' on the Planets' album, which I credit Batt/Cage just for a laugh. But my silence is original silence, not a quotation from his silence."