I believe that the use of noise to make music will continue and increase until we reach a music produced through the use of electrical instruments which will make available for musical purposes any and all sounds that can be heard. Photoelectric, film and mechanical mediums for the synthetic production of music will be explored. .
I imagine that as contemporary music goes on changing in the way that I'm changing it what will be done is to more and more completely liberate sounds from abstract ideas about them and more and more exactly to let them be physically uniquely themselves. This means for me: knowing more and more not what I think a sound is but what it actually is in all of its acoustical details and then letting this sound exist, itself, changing in a changing sonorous environment. .
Adoes not view itself as thought, as ought, as needing another sound for its elucidation, as etc.; it has not time for any consideration--it is occupied with the performance of its characteristics: before it has died away it must have made perfectly exact its frequency, its loudness, its length, its overtone structure, the precise morphology of these and of itself. .
I certainly had no feeling for harmony, and Schoenberg thought that that would make it impossible for me to write music. He said, "You'll come to a wall you won't be able to get through." I said, "Well then, I'll beat my head against that wall." I quite literally began hitting things, and developed a music of percussion that involved noises. .
“What I'm proposing, to myself and other people, is what I often call the tourist attitude - that you act as though you've never been there before. So that you're not supposed to know anything about it. If you really get down to brass tacks, we have never been anywhere before.” .
They say, "you mean it's just sounds?" thinking that for something to just be a sound is to be useless, whereas I love sounds just as they are, and I have no need for them to be anything more than what they are. I don't want them to be psychological. I don't want a sound to pretend that it's a bucket or that it's president or that it's in love with another sound. I just want it to be a sound. .
For me, the most important thing is the element of chance that is built into a live . The very great drawback of recorded sound is the fact that it is always the same. No matter how wonderful ais, I know that I couldn't live with it--even of my own --with the same nuances forever. .
If the listener does eventually come to the point where he makes the ultimate performance by splicing tapes from other musicians' recordings, he will eventually become just as bored with it as with other recordings, for it will still always be the same. Look, for instance, at electronic music. The boys are already becoming bored with what they do because they put it irrevocably on tape. The best indication of this is that more and more they are mixing the live performance element with their tapes. .
I object tono matter how good it is. Composers want people to listen to their music, they don't want them doing something else while their music is on. I'd like to get the guy who sold all those big businessmen the idea of putting music in the elevators, for he was really clever. What on earth good does it do anybody to hear those four or eight bars while going up a few flights. .
Somehow, suddenly, a musical idea occurs to you; either a whole phrase, or three notes, or a series of chords, something that seems pregnant with possibilities for development. Once you have the kinds of ideas that fascinate you, you're no longer in a position to decide the nature of the animal. It's going to take its essence from the musical ideas that occur to you....Some musical ideas are too short, they don't seem long enough to carry you through ten minutes of music, so you have to start searching about for other ideas; contrasting ones that seem to fit with the original ones. .
I was not influenced by composers as much as by natural objects and physical phenomena. As a child, I was tremendously impressed by the qualities and character of the granite I found in Burgundy, where I often visited my grandfather...So I was always in touch with things of stone and with this kind of pure structural architecture — without frills or unnecessary decoration. All of this became an integral part of my thinking at a very early stage. .
There is an idea, the basis of an internal structure, expanded and split into different shapes or groups of sound constantly changing in shape, direction, and speed, attracted and repulsed by various forces. The form of the work is a consequence of this interaction. Possible musical forms are as limitless as the exterior forms of crystals. .
Our musical alphabet is poor and illogical. Music, which should pulsate with life, needs new means of expression, and science alone can infuse it with youthful vigor. Why, Italian , have you slavishly reproduced only what is commonplace and boring in the bustle of our daily lives. I dream of instruments obedient to my thought and which with their contribution of a whole new world of unsuspected sounds, will lend themselves to the exigencies of my inner rhythm. .
", and, above all, , has a fundamental function, which is to catalyze the sublimation that it can bring about through all means of expression. It must aim through fixations which are landmarks, to draw [one] towards a total exaltation in which the individual mingles, losing his consciousness in a truth immediate, rare, enormous, and perfect. If a work of art succeeds in this undertaking even for a single moment, it attains its goal." .
"Music is not a language. Any musical piece is akin to a boulder with complex forms, with striations and engraved designs atop and within, which men can decipher in a thousand different ways without ever finding the right answer or the best one..." .
A composer's awareness of the plurality of functions of his own tools forms the basis for his responsibility just as, in everyday life, every man's responsibility begins with the recognition of the multiplicity of human races, conditions, needs, and ideals. I would go as far as to say (as my anger comes back) that any attempt to codify musical reality into a kind of imitation grammar (I refer mainly to the efforts associated with the ) is a brand of fetishism which shares withand racism the tendency to reduce live processes to immobile, labeled objects, the tendency to deal with formalities rather than substance.describes (though to illustrate a different point) a captain at sea, his ship reduced to a frail raft without sails, who, by enforcing a meticulous protocol on his crew, is able to distract them from nostalgia for a safe harbor and from the desire for a destination. .
Alas, this industrialized twelve-tone horse, dull on the outside and empty inside, constantly being perfected and dragged to a new Troy in shadow of an ideological war long since fought and won by responsible minds like , with neither systems nor scholarship for armor! .
"For I consider that music is, by its very nature, essentially powerless to express anything at all, whether a feeling, an attitude of mind, a psychological mood, a phenomenon of nature, etc. Expression has never been an inherent property of music. That is by no means the purpose of its existence. If, as is nearly always the case, music appears to express something, this is only an illusion and not a reality. It is simply an additional attribute which, by tacit and inveterate agreement, we have lent it, thrust upon it, as a label, a convention – in short, an aspect which, unconsciously or by force of habit, we have come to confuse with its essential being." .
"The over-publicized bit about expression (or non-expression) was simply a way of saying that music is supra-personal and super-real and as such beyond verbal meanings and verbal descriptions. It was aimed against the notion that a piece of music is in reality a transcendental idea "expressed in terms of" music, with the reductio ad absurdum implication that exact sets of correlatives must exist between a composer's feelings and his notation. It was offhand and annoyingly incomplete, but even the stupider critics could have seen that it did not deny musical expressivity, but only the validity of a type of verbal statement about musical expressivity. I stand by the remark, incidentally, though today I would put it the other way around: music expresses itself." .
"It is the transcendent (or 'abstract' or 'self-contained') nature of music that the new so called concretism--Pop Art, eighteen-hour slices-of-reality films, musique concrete--opposes. But instead of bringing art and reality closer together, the new movement merely thins out the distinction." .
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