can we produce a framework for life, for chance, as with the sheet in the wind.  provide criteria which will take life w/ chance.  where upon we let go + give it a life of its own.  free of our control.  (spark memory and let it burn)  we set up a context which will incorporate life + chance.  something which self perpetuates + renews + changes.  like a sheet in the wind.  random lights on a skyscraper.  curtains in the breeze.  rain on the roof.  sand on a black floor.  headlights on the walls.  neighbors voices laughing in the gangway.  the smell of coffee.  or bacon.  crickets.  shadows.  drafts and breezes.  the clang of pots and pans.  soft voices in the morning.  the creak of a house.  the squeak of a floor.  a refrigerator hum.  the clanging of the gate.  a door as it opens, squeak and draft and light and sound, into the dark womb of morning.  a clock ticking.  a car starting.  leaves blowing on their branches.  thunderstorms are rolling in.  lightning in the distance.  dimly lit blue clouds against a bottomless night.  stars.  lots of stars.  and the moon.  and moon shadows of course.  queen anne’s lace.  dandelions.  the ripple of a creek.  sunspots, the yellow and then the purple ones.  big puffy clouds floating across a sky too big to imagine.  the smell of the crook of your arm on a warm summer day.  bullfrogs.  bats.  briars.  detours.  and the long way home.  fields so thick they cut your arms.  the horizon.  fog.  the muffled tv of the neighbors.  and the blue light it casts on the walls.  windows from the road.  yellow boxes of light casting yellow boxes of light into the darkness.  a snow covered ground brighter than the sky.  a warm burning of whisky in your blood.  voices in the distance.  are they coming or going?  a dog’s bark.  a rooster’s crow.  a door slams.  the garbage truck in the alley.  languages i can’t understand.  fresh bread, moist and warm.  calloused skin and blisters.  water in the ears.  goose bumps.  footsteps.  the call of newspaper boys.  street musicians, guitar soundless to the incoming train.  train whistles.  the ticking of a turn signal.  wheels on a wet road.  the city lights sprawled beneath you.  sunrise.  sunset.  curvy mountain roads.  gravel roads.  alleys.  snowflakes as big as a quarter.  steam on car windows.  frost patterns on kitchen windows.  water.  reflections.  the view through a crack.  taking off your glasses.  camping.  the smell of smoke.  driving without a destination….

“the basic idea behind cage’s music is the lack of authorial intention.  yet each musician should play her or his part with the greatest attention to each and every detail, carefully and calmly and with extreme control, that is, as perfectly as possible.  during the entire piece absolute precision has to be the guiding principle.  each musician has to play her or his part as if he or she were alone and without allowing oneself to be pushed aside by the others or drawn to them.  our goal is to allow the tone-to-be-played to play itself and not to let ourselves be influenced by what the others are doing.  one should never intentionally try to bring things into harmony with the others.  / one should have the impression that one is no longer playing the music, but instead that one is being played by the music.  it is only then (when your own intentions do not dominate the music) that the music can make itself known.  / do not inflate anything intentionally, and do not reduce anything intentionally.  do not interpret.  do not phrase.  do not play figures.  avoid banalities and everything you have ‘at your fingertips’ and what might remind someone of something.  add a detail only when it wants to add itself automatically; otherwise refrain from adding it.  / when we play ‘thirteen’ in two different versions, we do so full of uncertainty, for it may be that the music will be sensitive to or wounded by any and all intentionality, or even that it will unmask our intention and stand in the way of its realization.  and numerous questions will have to remain unanswered.  if we are bold enough to carry out this experiment, then let it be an experiment in the spirit of john cage, an action without a predictable outcome, suspenseful and certainly revealing.  these versions cannot be the final ones.  they are attempts at finding a position with respect to the tones, as when one tries out various sitting positions while learning to meditate (and no one learns the art of meditation in a short time).  the versions are snapshots along a path with a goal that remains beyond our view, at least beyond our direct field of vision.  / it was john cage, almost more than anyone else, who stimulated me to think about what music might mean for our life and what it might enable us to do if only we were able and ready to let it be free.  if one cannot view emptiness and nothingness from the zen perspective, if one confuses selflessness with a weakness of the self, then one will not understand john cage.  and this may mean the failure of his project: our lack of independence, our indolence, our lack of courage to engage in a creative act in independent fashion – we, as musicians and listeners.  i wish us such courage.”  (manfred reichert, liner notes to ‘thirteen’ by john cage)