le centre de la bombe university
To teach composition it's a hard job. In my student life, I never met a composer who knew how to teach contemporary composition in general. Most of them communicated their own technique of composition. Iannis Xenakis was a really bad professor but a very interesting composer. His conception of writing music was unmusical (in classical way of composing music) and that was an other window open for music creation. He didn't care about harmonic details, the global process was his focus. Pierre Boulez was a professor teaching with passion. He was so excited to show us how musical parameters can be combined and combined again with his serial music technique that gave us his enthusiastic virus to try to do it too. Boulez was more "musical" than Xenakis because he was always controlling the "harmonic" sound details of his compositions, but his serial technique had its limitation of un-repeated structure. Costin Miereanu was a good professor to communicate us how to resolve technical score problems to be well interpreted. Cage didn't care about teaching: just following his concept. Did he was really a musician? Horatio Radulescu was convinced that his technique of music creation was the best. His approach of writing music was interesting for timbre investigation (no notes,) but just for static effect. He had some good ideas to transform musical instrument, like his Bowed Piano with nylon strings attach to piano stings and played with colophoned fingers. Karlheinz Stockhausen was the most hermetic composer I never met. His courses was: this is the way I compose, do what you can! André Riotte taught us how in music composition it is possible to create automaton, today algorithmic music. He shown us how even in Bach or Messian compositions, it could be composed out of time: algorithmically, very math!
Each of one transmitted what they could: his own world of conceiving music WITH NO SOUND. How can we learn composition with no music? Even here, in the next pages you will see: there is no music! I wrote this paper to try to get out from our quantified Western Music, and try to understand how culturally we are so attached to this way of music creation. It is still a question... All my music is a question. This paper is not a course of composition, I wrote it just to clarified some dark points in today's musical composition.
mathius shadow sky, University of Miami 1998.