Thursday, April 8, 2010

Philip Glass on Forging Ahead

“A new language requires a new technique. If what you’re saying doesn’t require a new language, then what you’re saying probably isn’t new.”

Composer Philip Glass, from an interview in "Glass, A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts," a documentary about his life and work. I think this is one of the most profound statements about art and creativity I've stumbled across in a long while. I've understood something of this from the other side, from the perspective of the work's audience: new, living art seems to come into the world complete with its own set of newly written laws. This really hit me the first time I saw photos of Frank Gehry's Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain. It seemed to me that an entirely new form or category of beauty had entered the world. I hadn't thought of it from the artist's perspective before: At some point, technique only leads to more technique.

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