28 April 2015


Yes, there is nothing in the least wrong with your suggestion. It is, in fact, by most measures, simply reasonable, and realistic.

Nonetheless, the freedom in which I exult I will not lightly exchange away. If I can accommodate your suggestion, I shall. Yet, I find too much joy, myself, in "abstract art" -- in art on its own terms and focused upon for what it is, itself -- that I should in any degree concede that non-narrative art is in any wise audience-unfriendly.

In fact, the freedom in which I exult is part of the nursery for the work I do. What if my work were not nearly so good, bent to the apparently beneficial purpose you suggest?

Maybe, I should just go on writing as I damned well please.


  1. True; but what brought this on?

  2. Amen! The "narratives" behind abstract art, visual or musical or poetic, are ultimately infinite.

  3. John, a suggestion (neutral in itself, and made by friends in all helpfulness and amity) that new music "has to" have an extra-musical story in order to draw audiences. And maybe it's true (I'm not convinced that it is, but I entertain the idea that in Boston, at present, it may be true); but I do not feel that it is information which must drive any artistic decisions on my own part. Because it is clear to me that much of the best music I have written in the past few years has been, quel horreur! abstract . . . and this is a trend which I see continuing.