Moderato non troppo
You know the thing about instant coffee: it is immediately soluble. My Instant Music on the other hand rings out as soon as the musicians play the correct notes, and can also be heard at the same moment. So it is in no way different from any other music. End of introduction.
There's a lot more one could say in addition (e.g. about the relationship to the Instantaneism of Francis Picabia, and always to the Musique d'Ameublement - 'furniture music' - of Erik Satie), but there's not enough space to write about all of that. Enough then! And, as I say, get your tickets early, etc. ...
At last, more and more people are seized by a different concept of progress, or rather, it is being seized by more and more people. For example, it's no longer considered progressive to flush barrels of poison into the ocean. Progressive is instead what we call discoveries which permit us to do without a good deal of poison. Or, more acutely, it's no longer considered progressive to develop more progressive weapons; the only aim of progress can be the development of the sense of responsibility of those people in whose hands they are - and, in the final analysis, that's all of us.
In this sense, art was always progressive. But, unfortunately, in this sense it wasn't successful. The failure of art to provide people with a complete education, or at least to shake them up, is certainly an important reason for the phenomenon by which every new generation of artists appears on the scene as if they were the first.
Until now, however, nobody has deactivated the diabolical mechanism which nips all these wonderful dreams of manifestos in the bud, and which drives many enthusiastic innovators into resigned acceptance.
© Kurt Schwertsik
(trans. by Trevor Burvill)
This programme note may be reproduced free of charge in concert programmes with a credit to the composer