Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Morning thoughts

As I prepared to start my work day, digging into the final section of the last remaining prelude from my Leaves of Grass cycle, I read a few pages from my recent acquired copy of George Rochberg's wonderful, inspiring, supremely readable memoir Five Lines, Four Spaces, and one quote gives me pause:
"I continued feeling the music in me as alive in itself, a substance that would go on living beyond itself, something yet to be born. But another tendency operated. As often as not, I consciously and determinedly frustrated this afterlife by going in a direction completely opposite to the qualities and characteristics of the last work done; I had a positive abhorrence of merely replicating what I'd already written, of falling into the habit of repeating gestures, figures, designs. In this I was fully aware I was rejecting outright a process of self-replication I heard and saw all around me in the successive new works of composer colleagues [...] for whom self-replication had become a way of being and functioning. I marveled that composers and artists of the avant-garde persuasion had fixated on self-identity via single, consistently recognizeable style-idea as his or her trademark and signature."

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