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so I'm confused

Peter_Mueller@UCSDLIBRARY.ucsd.edu
Mon, 16 Jun 1997 09:32:00 -0700

---------------------------- Forwarded with Changes ---------------------------
From: Peter Mueller
Date: 6/16/97 10:14AM
To: Peter Mueller
Subject: so I'm confused
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Is a tape piece made out a recording of a four year old banging on a
toy xylophone inherently not worth the time to listen to it?
To the kid with the xylophone, what is being done is not valuable?
How about just the playing of the toy xylophone?
Even if its not, could it not be to somebody else?
Does a tree make sound ....?
I know I'm biased, but I have a little kid and I love to listen to
the songs she invents, and the songs she knows but sings
"originally". I can listen to her singing for hours.

Perhaps the question we should ask, rather than is it good or bad is
the experience of the object in some way valuable to the perceiver? If
someone really gets off on listening to their refrigerator who the
hell are we to say that that is less good than listing to some Cage?

Many years ago(about 15), at the Yale Gallery of British Art, there
was a solo artist show where most of the pieces that were up on the
walls carefully framed and documented were the dirty diapers of the
artist's daughter. Each had a note listing the diaper's date and what
the little girl had to eat. I must admit I wasn't impressed. On the
other hand it did get me to look a diapers differently.

Yes there is the political/economic thing, but there are also
exceptions. Eliot Carter would probably not be doing what he does if
he wasn't independently wealthy, but there are al those wonderful
fringe people who give the music world so much vitality. Don't forget
that HArry Partch was a Hobo for quite a while before he started
collecting benefactors.

Do you think there is the slightest possibility for universals with
art? Or rather is it what the majority of a particular group says?

Be advised that I'm writing this to understand your envelope. I'm
pretty open about what I listen to, but what I make is pretty
conservative - I'm basically your average middle class post-serialist
(maybe you could describe most of my music as Ferneyhough-lite ;-) )
Yes, there is music that I don't enjoy - usually it has to do with the
volume level (I don't like pain). I also don't like Rachmaninoff - that
music make me angry.
-Peter