And essentially the idea there is that one is making a kind of music in the way that one might make a garden. One is carefully constructing seeds, or finding seeds, carefully planting them and then letting them have their life. And that life isn’t necessarily exactly what you’d envisaged for them. It’s characteristic of the kind of work that I do that I’m really not aware of how the final result is going to look or sound. So in fact, I’m deliberately constructing systems that will put me in the same position as any other member of the audience. I want to be surprised by it as well. And indeed, I often am.
What this means, really, is a rethinking of one’s own position as a creator. You stop thinking of yourself as me, the controller, you the audience, and you start thinking of all of us as the audience, all of us as people enjoying the garden together. Gardener included. So there’s something in the notes to this thing that says something about the difference between order and disorder.
Hyperprism was performed again in November by Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra, with a siren borrowed from a local fire company. The Philadelphia premiere went “splendidly,” according to the conductor; “practically all the audience remained to hear it.” Olin Downes, music critic for the New York Times, could only describe it as a medley of “election night, a menagerie or two, and a catastrophe in a boiler factory,” but others were more willing to accept the piece on its own terms. The Herald-Tribune‘s Lawrence Gilman thought the work “a riotous and zestful playing with timbres, rhythms, sonorities.” While the audience “tittered a bit” during the performance, after its conclusion they “burst into the heartiest, most spontaneous applause we have ever heard given to an ultra-modern work.”