E: I used to use a particular generative piece for all of my sound and light installations for many, many years. I must have listened to that piece for thousands of hours unfolding in its various different ways. I was setting up a show in Venice once with my assistant. It was late at night and the show was due to open the next day. Suddenly, the beginning of Tammy Wynette's "D-I-V-O-R-C-E" came out... _hums_
W: Pure chance?
E: Pure chance, yes. The thing had suddenly clustered together to produce the first couple of bars of "D-I-V-O-R-C-E", and we were both very tired, and we looked up and just fell on the floor laughing, it was so funny. It never happened again.
W: Well, you just didn’t listen long enough. That’s interesting because that kind of implies the vast space that music occupies, the fact that it took that long just to hear one tune out of the thousands of tunes--
E: One tune that I recognized, out of several thousand hours, yes.
W: It kind of implies that composers are finding this very small amount of listenable space within this vast, astronomically large sea of potential sounds.
E: Yes. And whenever you think of a space like that, and you think of the possibilities that have been explored so far, you immediately start to think of all the ones that haven’t been explored.