Monday, December 10, 2007

feldman, on art & inspiration...

..."cage doesn't have to be idea-orientated. he told me last summer - it was so charming the way he put it, i couldn't have put it that way - he said: "so many people tell me what to do next, i don't have to think anymore." very cute. i don't know what to tell you. i'm doing a lot of teaching these days and i find everything so conservative. you can't tell a student today: "why don't you just work and maybe you'll get an idea?" all of my most important work was done that way. i never had an idea when i sat down to work. i was reading something in one of those conversations where it turned out that stravinsky never thought about his work unless he was working, which i thought was very interesting. it's like the analyst joke, you know, a guy call his analyst and says:"doc, i'm going to be ten minutes late, why don't you begin without me?" it's just too incongruous to say: "work and the idea will come". kline began with an 8, that's what he told me, unless he came in and really had something. guston just looked out the window, made a little mark...

...the terror (of boulez's teachings) is that you have to have an idea, while with me my ideas came out of the piece. 'idea' became the new myth for that old word 'inspiration'. if i was going to wait for an idea to write a piece i'd go out of my mind, i'd commit suicide. but it's a very important terror that the piece has to be good, that it has to make sense, that is has to go somewhere, it has to exploit the materials, you have to use up its potential, it has to feed on itself, that it has to be something."

interview with morton feldman, by gavin bryars and fred orton, in studio magaine, londond, dec. 1976

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Blogger chris said...

I'm a new visitor. Just wanted to let you know I was here and that I am enjoying my time, looking through your posts. You've got a lot of great stuff here.

8:57 AM  
Blogger squareamerica said...

Feldman's the best.
I love this exchange between Feldman and Stockhausen: "My past experience was not to 'meddle' with the material, but use my concentration as a guide to what might transpire. I mentioned this to Stockhausen once when he had asked me what my secret was. 'I don't push the sounds around.' Stockhausen mulled this over, and asked: 'Not even a little bit?'

2:32 PM  
Anonymous Juha said...

Hi Steve,

nice to see you have an active blog. I am a distant fan from Amsterdam.
I read this interview last week, preparing for the incredible Feldman Festival in Amsterdam. Check out the quote I put up on my little blog -

All the best,


3:20 AM  

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