When I left Europe in 1987 I did so with the thought that my relevance as a composition teacher would benefit from a certain cool distance to certain tendencies I had been observing for several years with increasing disquiet.
Questioning the nature and implications of liminal instances necessarily involves failure if only in the specifically technical sense of entering spaces where prevailing criteria of success scarcely apply.
There would seem to be a limit even for an art preoccupied with boundaries and transgressions beyond which a work reaches its breaking point and becomes an actual failure a mere experimentation.
When I speak of ‘cycles’ I am referring to lengthy intervals of relative homogeneity if not in the resolving of problems than at least with respect to the consistency of their capacity to productively irritate.
With respect to the respective French and German traditions you are no doubt correct although I am reluctant to see individual achievement reduced to archetypes.