...composition is only a very small thing, taken as a part of music as a whole, and it really shouldn't be separated from music making in general.This is an important document about a seriously overlooked composer, an interview with Douglas Leedy by Valerie Samson, 1974. From EAR (the original, west coast EAR, of course), vol.4 no. 4, April 1976. While the discussion is decidedly of its historical moment, it is astonishing how current the themes remain.
Leedy discusses a number of topics central to the west coast radical music: the turn to world musics, the re-examination of musical time that would be central to the music tradition later identified as minimal, the increasing focus on musical intonation, studying composition alongside La Monte Young and Terry Riley, the problems of musical training — both the advantages of voluntarily entering a master-student relationship and the "the problems of being up against people whose thinking had completely petrified" —, the real reason why one should not care about audiences, and more about the west coast musical environment.
Read the whole thing here.