If you look inward and concentrate only on your own desires all the time, you end up having fun some of the time, but a large amount of the time you’re miserable and another portion of the time you’re bored. I’d rather be attentive and curious all the time so I just keep my eyes and ears open to the world beyond myself.

John Cage, in People magazine of all places. 1979. (via Alex Ross)

That was the idiot hopefulness of humans, always to love what was unformed.

Chad Harbach in The Art of Fielding. Cf. John Cage:

I am frankly embarrassed that most of my musical life has been spent in the search for new materials. The significance of new materials is that they represent, I believe, the incessant desire in our culture to explore the unknown. Before we know the unknown, it inflames our hearts. When we know it, the flame dies down, only to burst forth again at the thought of a new unknown. This desire has found expression in our culture in new materials, because our culture has its faith not in the peaceful center of the spirit but in an ever-hopeful projection onto things of our own desire for completion.

austinkleon:

A page from John Cage’s “Aria”

Cage wanted the piece to be singable by any male or female vocalist, and he wanted them to freely choose 10 different singing styles that could be rapidly alternated. Each style is represented by a different color and the shape of the squiggles indicates the general melodic contour.

Link: Scoring Outside the Lines – NYTimes.com

I am frankly embarrassed that most of my musical life has been spent in the search for new materials. The significance of new materials is that they represent, I believe, the incessant desire in our culture to explore the unknown. Before we know the unknown, it inflames our hearts. When we know it, the flame dies down, only to burst forth again at the thought of a new unknown. This desire has found expression in our culture in new materials, because our culture has its faith not in the peaceful center of the spirit but in an ever-hopeful projection onto things of our own desire for completion.