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Draw a Straight Line and Follow ItThe Music and Mysticism of La Monte Young$
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Jeremy Grimshaw

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199740208

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199740208.001.0001

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Getting Inside the Sound

Getting Inside the Sound

The Works from 1959 to 1960

2 Getting Inside the Sound
Draw a Straight Line and Follow It

Jeremy Grimshaw

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the transitional but highly influential works La Monte Young composed as a graduate student at U.C. Berkeley, as a composer for Anna Halprin’s dance studio, and as a new arrival in New York City in 1960. It also gives an account of Young’s experience at Karlheinz Stockhausen’s composition seminar in Darmstadt (as recounted in correspondence with his former mentor Leonard Stein), the influence of his study with electronic music pioneer Richard Maxfield, and his relationship to David Tudor and John Cage. Specific works examined in this chapter include Vision; Poem for Chairs, Tables, Benches, etc.; Arabic Numeral (Any Integer) to H.F.; Compositions 1960, and other works. This chapter also examines Young’s work on the publication An Anthology, his connection to the Fluxus movement, and his relationship with such avant-garde luminaries as Yoko Ono and Andy Warhol.In tracing Young’s career during this period, this chapter examines Young’s effort to, as he described it, “get inside a sound”—a notion that becomes more and more literal as Young’s musicbecomes increasingly obsessed with long-sustained tones.

Keywords:   Ddarmstadt, Karlheinz Stockhausen, David Tudor, John Cage, Richard Maxfield, Yoko Ono, compositions 1960, fluxus movement

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