Morton Feldman on The Europeans Boulez, Stockhausen, etc… writing on Cage's theory of making music using chance operations, he defends Cage and denigrates Boulez in particular.
"The Europeans began by finding rationalizations for how they could incorporate chance and still keep their precious integrity… How can you have integrity when your whole life is based on the accumulation of ideas? Boulez began to work out a complicated schematic situation of systematizing chance by way of Mallarmé and Kafka. He tried to give it literary justification."
What jumps out for me in this segment when Feldman asks "How can you have integrity when your whole life is an accumulation of ideas?"
For me, its the reverse; the question is really: How can you have integrity if you discount a 'whole life based on the accumulation of ideas?' Feldman and Cage, it seems to me, are prisoners of a system of their own making not unlike the arbitrary system set up by Bréton during the Surrealist period in Paris. Chance Operations as a way of making music seems to me to be just as arbitrary as the 'absurd' rules which Bréton had set up for his band of followers back in the 1920's. So the question begs: How can one have integrity (as an artist!) if you discount a 'whole life based on the accumulation of ideas?'
What does it means for any artist to fit into History,... to come from History,... to make History? More to be revealed.