The Parisian pianist Ivan Ilic has sent us his translation of an historic 1967 interview by Jean-Yves Bosseur, which has only been available until now in French.
At the time, Feldman was fairly unknown, but he was not afraid of taking a slaughtering knife to a herd of sacred cows. Sample:
Last year, Cage was invited to the University of Honolulu. When he got back, I asked him, “What’s going on over there?” and he replied, “They’re one hour behind us!” The musical life of big cities like Paris, London, New York, Moscow (Moscow is a big city, you know!) is wrapped up in the artistic politics of the country. I would say, wisely, that an artist can never rise above the politics of his country. Whatever the politics, such will be the art. Let’s take a city like Paris, which has its own politics. All the young composers can get caught up in its politics.
I’ve come to the conclusion that the closer you get to big cities, the more you realize that the intelligentsia there is rigid, jaded. Living in Paris or in New York is like having a passport for stupidity.
Read the full interview here.