CAGE

When a composer feels a responsibility to make, rather than accept, he eliminates from the area of possibility all those events that do not suggest this at that point in time vogue for profundity. For he takes himself seriously, wishes to be considered great, and he thereby diminishes his love and increases his fear and concern about people will think. There are many serious problems confronting such an individual. He must do it better, more beautifully, etc. than anybody else. And what, precisely, does this, this beautiful profound object, this masterpiece, have to do with Life? It has this to do with Life: that it is separate from it. Now we see it and now we don’t. When we see it we feel better, and when we are away from it, we don’t feel so good.

John Cage, quoted in Michael Nyman, Experimental Music: Cage and Beyond, p. 1

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