john cage and morton feldman on the noises that frighten them.
John, wouldn't you say that what we're dependant on we call reality, and what we don't like we consider an intrusion in our life? Consequently I feel that what is happening is that we're continually being intruded upon.
That would make us very unhappy.
Or, we surrender to it, and call it culture.
Call it culture?
Give me an example.
This weekend I was on the beach, and on the beach these days there are transistor radios blaring out rock and roll. All over.
And you didn't enjoy it?
Not particularly. I adjusted to it ... well I just thought of the sun and the sea as a lesser evil.
You know how I adjusted to that problem of the radio in the environment? Very much as the primitive people adjusted to the animals which frightened them. They drew pictures of them on their caves. And so I simply made a piece using radios. Now whenever I hear radios, I think well, they're just playing my piece. And I listen to it with pleasure.
They carry on having lovely, casual "hmm" laden conversations. About the pretentious nature of thought. Thought interrupted. Thought ever continuous. Telepathic thought. Radio making thought audible. The painters when they went to concerts. And then back to the radio:
You mean if you want to be a great artist you have to turn off the radio?
In conversation, 1967. From ubu web (oh, ubu web)
A few weeks ago I stayed in the mountains, where there is no broadband and no postcode and no shop. Amongst other things, I stocked up on sound without context. All I could do was listen. I couldn't remember the last time I did that.