At the same time, I was listening to black music, and I began to think that the best musicians were receiving the worst treatment. The people who were doing the greatest work were despised as lower class, with no dignity accorded to what they did.
Rock became an incredible commercial success, people just became bored with serious music, and it was forgotten.
When I came to New York, I began to meet the people who became the most famous artists of our time. I was insecure about my own level of ability, I didn't know whether I could compete with these people and, at the same time. I was wondering what is this anyway?
I'm trying to assemble materials for a different mode of life.
Basically, I viewed any work of art as an imposition of another person's taste, and saw the individual making this imposition as a kind of dictator.
I was a student at Harvard, and that's where I learned about so-called avant-garde music. Jackson Pollock, abstract expressionism and painting were well known at this time.
When somebody says that all statements are false, the obvious problem is that as an assertion it's self-defeating.
I began composing works which were imitative of the music I was being told about. I was also very interested in translating the music into visual terms.
The whole drive of western culture, the part of it which is serious, is towards an extreme objectification. It's carried to the point where the human subject is treated almost as if it's dirt in the works of a watch.
When I began competing with the other artists in New York, I discovered classical North Indian music.
I began demonstrating against serious culture. In hindsight, the actual course of events has been very humiliating for me, because no one picked up on the intellectual critique I made.