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Morton Feldman: Structures (1951)

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Published on Sep 22, 2008

Arditti Quartet performs.

"After [my first meeting with John Cage] I brought John a string quartet. He looked at it a long time and then said, 'How did you make this?' I thought of my constant quarrels with Wolpe, and how just a week before, after showing a composition of mine to Milton Babbitt and answering his questions as intelligently as I could, he said to me, 'Morton, I don't understand a word you're saying.' And so, in a very weak voice I answered John, 'I don't know how I made it.'

The response to this was startling. John jumped up and down, and with a kind of high monkey squeal, screeched, 'Isn't that marvelous. Isn't that wonderful. It's so beautiful, and he doesn't know how he made it.' Quite frankly, I sometimes wonder how my music would have turned out if John had not given me those early permissions to have confidence in my instincts." -Morton Feldman (from "Liner Notes")

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