Henry Flynt - Excerpt From The Crystallization of Concept Art in 1961

Works of art present, point out, cause us to perceive the various elements and relations contained in them. One comes to "know" the art objects or processes themselves. Every work of Serious Culture has the "cognitive value" of provoking in part of its audience the activity of perceiving its elements, apprehending the relations between them, and thus coming to know the object or process as a whole.1

[Henry Flynt] was convinced that [Henry Flynt] had shown this phase of appreciation, strictly, to be delusive.

That recognition of structure in music can be delusive was illustrated by [Karlheinz] Stockhausen's analysis of a cantata by [Luigi] Nono, and the excuse he subsequently had to make for it.

Soon after the publication of [my] interpretation, Nono informed me that it was incorrect and misleading, and that he had neither a phonetic treatment of the text nor more or less differentiated degrees of comprehensibility of the words in mind when setting the text -- not even with respect to a possible representation of the sense of these farewell letters, and if I could interpret a quasi-serial vocal structure into II, it was a mere coincidence. The reader must therefore not take my reflections and analyses as being demonstrations of Nono's composition, but rather of my own -- demonstrated in the work of another composer.2

1 Jackson Mac Low, KOH (1962, unpublished)
2 Karlheinz Stockhausen, "Music and Speech," in Speech and Music [die Reihe No. 6] (1964), page 49, footnote.

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