It’s not what you’ve been taught – in the conservative sectors – that you have a poverty of materials. You’re all healthy, you’re all strong enough to make sounds until the end of time. The only problem you have is deciding whether your sound is any good. What I’m encouraging you to do is not to think about that too much, not to reevaluate the sounds, but just to examine them, and see what the structure is. See what’s actually there, before you start this process of trying to ask yourself whether Nancy Reagan would like it, or Mrs. Bush. Just take the whole big first chunk, and then break it down. Follow what you know about it to where it goes… The music’s there. I’m not trying to be weird, but it’s there. I was taught that I didn’t have anything, and it was my job to work hard and get something, and that’s just not true.
Robert Ashley, conversazioni al Mills College, 1989. Pubblicato nel libretto di Perfect Lives (Burning Books Press)