David Tudor on Writing
My first purpose in going to Europe was to play American music.
I started with this idea that sound could be obtained from sculptural material or actually from anything through reflections.
If you put yourself in a situation of unpredictability and then find that it’s completely possible to accept it, then you become an observer.
When you look at a score and you see that you are following the instructions and the way they are laid down, you are the composers’ helper.
Performing is very much like cooking: putting it all together, raising the temperature.
I try to find out what’s there and not to make it do what I want but to, you know, release what’s there.
An electronic component can seem to have a personality very much in the same way I try to make loudspeakers have a special voice.
In a sense there was only one principle of sound generation, so I decided to influence the sound output to make as many different kinds of sounds as I could. If I had 12 loudspeakers, I could produce 12 different sounds from the same input material.
Loudspeakers should be made to be destroyed and… disposable.
If you don’t like the sound that the computer produces, then it’s a matter of making it do something that’s interesting to you. And I’ve done it, upon occasion.
I’ve always felt that there’s a point where a piece seems to be alive, that is, living. And that’s the point where I know the composition is finished.
When the sound appears to be live in the space, then it’s free; it seems to flow by itself and not to be caused by some specific intention, especially of an intellectual nature.
As long as there are people who realize that machines are not interesting and that behind any music there has to be a live person, I think that we might be able to overcome the omnipresence of synthesizers and keyboards.
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