Eclectic Curiosity

Infinite Number of Possibilities

Posted on June 15th, 2005, by Steve Hardy in Archives, Uncategorized. No Comments

Anne Galloway of Purse Lip Square Jaw offered the below post a couple of days ago. Composing, infinite number of possibilities, specialized academic tracks… I’m not sure how exactly it relates to what I normally post here but it seems to. Her linking Górecki to dissertations is an interesting one and the Coates essay she links to thoughtfully presents the downside of doctoral studies and PhD students (“they’re going to be too smart for their own good, too ivory-towerish, too specialist, out of touch with the way that the “real world” works.”).

“Composing is a terribly personal matter: the overcoming of difficulties, gaining knowledge, deciding upon a certain order, a certain method of constructing a new piece. This is important. You have to choose your way, you have to pick a proper path from an infinite number of possibilities.” — Henryk Górecki

In describing the doctoral experience, Tom Coates suggests that we are more likely to succeed if we “take on relatively unambitious projects which don’t stretch the assumptions or structures of the discipline too much”. Sadly, I have to agree. But then again, I suspect that experience is common to many, if not most, people outside of academia as well. I mean, really, when has it been easy to change the ways things are done?

When – in composing my dissertation and myself – I do not have before me Górecki’s “infinite number of possibilities” can I not still choose my own way?

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