Lately I have really been getting into Steven Stucky’s Lutoslawski and His Music. In it Lutoslawski speaks of a chance encounter he had with John Cage’s Concert for Piano and Orchestra.
Composers often do not hear the music that is being played; it only serves as an impulse for something quite different- for the creation of music that only lives in their imagination. It is sort of schizophrenia- we are listening to something and at the same time creating something else.
I have never heard the listening experience described in that way. The first time I listened to Xenakis I don’t think I actually heard the music; I heard new sound possibilities for myself. I think Lutoslawski was right.