The Western musical canon came about not merely by accumulation, but by opposition and subversion, both to the ruling powers on whom composers depended for their livelihoods and to other musics.
If the work of art is to continue pursuing the vision of both being in and of the world but nevertheless in some fashion being more than just one more object to the mounting clutter, this is the specific point, I think, where this must be assured.
There would seem to be a limit, even for an art preoccupied with boundaries and transgressions, beyond which a work reaches its breaking point and becomes an actual failure, a mere experimentation.
Certainly being in California has encouraged a sustained commitment to rethinking the nature, purposes, and relevance of the contemporary arts, specifically music, for a society which by and large seems to manage quite well without them.
My own position is, that it is largely up to the work itself to suggest the nature of these referential points without dimensions in and through the processes by which the distance between them is maintained.
Questioning the nature and implications of liminal instances necessarily involves failure, if only in the specifically technical sense of entering spaces where prevailing criteria of success scarcely apply.
Naturally enough, I couldn't have foreseen the vast sea change which has come upon that scene as a result of German reunification and associated events.
Hence my obstinate emphasis on stylistic continuity from work to work rather than specific sibling relationships between the individual work and other members of its stylistic 'family' in the world outside.
Actually, most things I say in public lead more or less directly to my own compositional practice, so I should be careful about generalizing lest they come back to haunt me.
I am certainly not arguing for the de facto autonomy of the individual work, even though there is much to be said for making the attempt to see it in that light as one facet of the reception process.
In my model, important interference phenomena arise when individual strata come into contact. These chaotic fluctuations are, I suppose, what my music is really 'about.
What makes a specific quality or quantity of innovation retain its intense newness over the years?
With respect to the respective French and German traditions you are no doubt correct, although I am reluctant to see individual achievement reduced to archetypes.
I would not say that I was, these days, a 'student' of philosophy, although in my youth I was quite deeply involved with certain aspects of the British pragmatists.
I don't see 'lines of force' as being destructive, except to the extent that they are exclusively traceable through observance of the path of distorted material left in their wake.