Wednesday, April 11, 2007
So, I went and wrote Douglas Hofstadter, acting on the presumption that he might be unaware of works like the Lucier (and related, in a self-referential, iterative sense, stuff like Tom Johnson's "Failing...") and how well, imho, they illustrate some of the ideas he's sought to get across with different sorts of allusions. Received a very nice reply (I love e-mail) from the professor and, indeed, he has no real knowledge of this field (though he was aware of early Reich and Riley music that abuts the territory). He is of the persuasion (common, I'd guess, among people whose main work is in the sciences?) that there's some essential difference between "intellectual" and "emotional" art, in his case preferring the latter (as exemplified by his oft-cited love of Chopin) and guessing the Lucier would fall into the former category. I disagree, finding for example the eventual emergence of semi-melodic material in Lucier's piece to be very moving emotionally, but whatcha gonna do? Pleased that Hofstadter proved to be so open to dialogue, though, having been a big fan since about 1980.