Conglomerate

My favorite kind of rock is conglomerate. All sorts of stuff butted up against each other to make a unique whole. What a great aesthetic. Too much music assumes that to be of any import it must consist of a single type of rock within the conglomerate. “Can’t have too many ideas in one piece!” the tradition and its zealots shout from the rooftops. One thing that is certain about art (and science!) is that nobody possesses any authority; individuals can only possess perspectives or ideas that are more or less valuable or insightful.

“I was not influenced by composers as much as by natural objects and physical phenomena.”

—Edgard Varese

“Concepts that have proven useful in ordering things easily achieve such authority over us that we forget their earthly origins and accept them as unalterable givens. Thus they might come to be stamped as “necessities of thought,” “a priori givens,” etc. The path of scientific progress is often made impassable for a long time by such errors. Therefore it is by no means an idle game if we become practiced in analysing long-held commonplace concepts and showing the circumstances on which their justification and usefulness depend, and how they have grown up, individually, out of the givens of experience. Thus their excessive authority will be broken.”

— Alfred Einstein in an obituary for physicist and philosopher Ernst Mach, Physikalische Zeitschrift 17 (1916)

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