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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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After Teleology

After Teleology

After Teleology
Draw a Straight Line and Follow It

Jeremy Grimshaw

Oxford University Press

This concluding chapter includes brief discussions of some of Young’s later works (including Chronos Kristalla and Just Charles & Cello) and seeks to draw together the various strands of Young’s oeuvre using Daniel Albright’s examination of the figure of Laocoön. Albright outlines the concepts of the “decorum of time” and “the decorum of space” as they operate, respectively, in the arenas of music and visual art, and shows how they become blurred in the modernist era. Young’s works fit problematically within this framework, because his agenda of “getting inside the sound” results in works that conflate the temporal with the spatial. This chapter also considers the concept of teleology, or goal-directedness, and argues that even Young’s most temporally static, spatially oriented works have an element of teleology, grounded not in the music’s temporal unfolding but in its mystical aspirations.

Keywords:   musical teleology, Daniel Albright, Just Charles and Cello, Chronos Kristalla, Laocoön

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