Goodwin notes that Adorno sees modern music as faced with the alternative between the fetishism of the material and the process, and unfettered chance in the form of aleatory music
. "After the collapse of tonality in the early twentieth century, composers could choose either to ignore this fact and compose music that could make no claims to being autonomous art, or face complete isolation from musical expressivity.
(A related, forthcoming piece extends the conceit: Coat Check Chimes, 2008, will be installed in the cloakroom during this year's Whitney Biennial in New York and will consist of specially fabricated coat hangers--essentially, tuned metal triangles--that will produce an aleatory music
when in use.) Thomson's art, in other words, actually needs people in order to be completed.
finds a parallel in the changing codes of etiquette, dress, speech, and behavior since the late 1960s; in all of these areas choices have become much more a matter of individual preference than they once were.
Despite his association with Cage and personal interest in musical indeterminacy, Brown drew together music from a variety of aesthetic positions, representing the extremes of serialism (e.g., Luigi Nono's Polifonica-Monodia-Ritmica) and aleatory music
(e.g., Feldman's Durations), as well as points in between (e.g., Berio's Circles, Stockhausen's Zyklus).
Historically, it is a good, early example of aleatory music
. The piece is printed in facsimile with instructions in four languages.