What music are you listening to lately? - Page 536
You really can't lose with Feldman quotes:
"My past experience was not to 'meddle' with the material, but use my concentration as a guide to what might transpire. I mentioned this to Stockhausen once when he had asked me what my secret was. 'I don't push the sounds around.' Stockhausen mulled this over, and asked: 'Not even a little bit?'"
"My teacher Stefan Wolpe was a Marxist and he felt my music was too esoteric at the time. And he had his studio on a proletarian street, on Fourteenth Street and Sixth Avenue. . . . He was on the second floor and we were looking out the window, and he said, 'What about the man on the street?' At that moment . . . Jackson Pollock was crossing the street."
I like to believe that a not insignificant consequence of the proper understanding of a proper theory of music is to assume that a composer who asserts something such as: "I don't compose by system, but by ear" thereby convicts himself of, at least, an argumentum ad populum by equating ignorance with freedom, that is, by equating ignorance of the constraints under which he creates with freedom from constraints.