The PIERRE BOULEZ Project -- Public Reactions




From: "Juliette Redl"
Subject: Re: BOULEZ PROJECT musings
Date: Tue, 8 Mar 2005 22:55:35 -0500


Congrats on the Boulez performance. It sounds like it was a success. It is too bad that you didn't get a bit more publicity for the event so that you could have had a bigger audience. Perhaps it's one of those situations where you will get more interest in it after the event. I like what you wrote - that will be good to have up on your web site in one form or another.
Date: Sun, 06 Mar 2005 14:25:00 -0500
From: "Christian \"Wicked\""
Subject: Boulez projet

Hi Josh,

I had stumbled upon, and thoroughly enjoyed your hilarious page a while back, but hadn’t checked it again until today. Did the performance take place as scheduled on Feb 28th? Did you film it or take pictures? Is there actually a church called “of the friendly ghost”, or is that another genius idea of yours?

Inquiring minds want to know.


Christian “Wicked’
From: "Al Eaker"
Subject: re: project
Date: Thu, 03 Mar 2005 09:10:39 -0500

if you videotaped your project,

would like to show it in an alternative film series we're doing here in Indianapolis.

please let me know if this is of interest to you.

Alfred Eaker/td>
Date: Tue, 1 Mar 2005 08:38:11 -0600
From: "Richard Kendrick"

Josh --

Great gig last night! I read this on one of the pages you tore from a book and handed out during the performance:

“In 1946 Boulez engaged in a prief, passionate sexual affair, the only
one of his life so far as I know. It was a love-hate relationship so in-
tense and tormented that he has said it could not possibly have gone
n. The two joined in a double-suicide pact; Boulez will say nothing
ore about the affair, not even whether the other person went through
   th the fatal act. The need for suicide and the release from it provided
(reverse side of page)
to be a stimulus of enormous vitality for Boulez. Within the next few
years he created a series of wild, courageous works each of which main-
tained that delicate balance between enotion and intellect. The es-
cape from death—or from the love affair—apparently precipitated a
burst of prodigious talent.”

Rick Kendrick
Subject: Your project
Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2005 17:01:12 -0500 From: "Roger Knox"

I hope you cancel your nasty anti-Boulez auto-da-fe. There is still time. Otherwise you'll join the infamous ranks of history's book-banners, art-burners, music-trashers. Find another way to get your 15 minutes of fame.

Roger Knox
From: "James Seibert"
Subject: The Pierre Boulez Project
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2005 15:57:04 -0800


So we're all to acknowledge your artistic integrity by taking the fight to Boulez? Rest assured our president would be gun-slingin' by your side if he'd ever hear that varmint "Repons." I hope you're planning some kind of Krystallnacht-type bonfire (or at least one that rivals the southern cookouts of those mean Beatles in 1966) to burn all of those recordings by Boulez, Carter, Schoenberg, Stravinsky, Varese, and all of those other power-hungry composers who have left the art world in ruins. And let's not forget those fuckers, Nono and Dallapiccola! Please don't  misunderstand me: I LOVE the idea of Ligeti drawing cartoons of the Boulez/Stockhausen "Kickfest" at Darmstadt.

I hope you all feel real smug and smart on party day. If you're still in high school, I apologize.

Subject: Boulez
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2005 12:14:13 -0800
From: Kathleen

Josh ­

I find myself at once fascinated and amused by the Boulez project. As a fundraiser, I wanted to let you know that tax donations are only deductible if you are an incorporated 501(c)3. (although as you correctly state, it’s all between the donor, their accountant and the IRS in the end!)

I will have to take a look at home and see what I have fit to contribute.

Good luck!

Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2005 00:18:31 -0500 (EST)
From: ted coffey
Subject: Re: Pierre Boulez Project UPDATE


thank *you*. your work rules.

peace, ted coffey
From: "Steve Schwartz"
Subject: RE: Pierre Boulez Project UPDATE
Date: Wed, 16 Feb 2005 11:53:15 -0600

Why on earth would you do something like this? To annoy people?

Steve Schwartz
Date: Wed, 16 Feb 2005 01:47:49 -0500 (EST)
From: Kyle Lapidus
Subject: Re: Pierre Boulez Project UPDATE

nice. congrats. let me know how it goes. hope to see you again at some
point soon.
Date: Sat, 12 Feb 2005 14:05:12 -0800 (PST)
From: Gloria
Subject: pro or con?

Dear Josh,
I could not understand from your letter to Barry if you were for or against Boulez's music...? for that is great promotion to burn the records...Let me know...
Best wishes,
Gloria Coates


Thank you for your reply. Then I was correct in assuming you did not like his music. However, most people do not like it except for one or two pieces but are afraid to say anything because of his promotion after WW II. He is a great conductor of French music, I believe, so has contributed to history. You have a wonderful passion for music!
From: Reto Mäder
Date: Sat, 12 Feb 2005 23:49:44 -0500
Subject: Re: Pierre Boulez Project UPDATE

servus josh.

thanks for interesting information. send me your address. I send you my releases as "rm74" and also the "ohne" release from the mego label. please send me a record of the church performing.

greetings from Switzerland.
From: "Barry L. Cohen"
Subject: Fw: Pierre Boulez Project UPDATE
Date: Sat, 12 Feb 2005 14:11:27 -0500

To all NMC subscribers, advertisers, staff members,

I cannot vouch for the authenticity of the attached, but if true and you are a devotee of Pierre Boulez or even a collector of CDs, you ought to be interested in this.

From: Patrick Delges
Subject: Re: Pierre Boulez Project UPDATE
Date: Sat, 12 Feb 2005 19:42:23 +0100


great to read this project is still alive! I totally forgot about it...
I had no Boulez records when you first contacted me, and still have none. But funnily, I actually work for a violin player who wants to play a recent Boulez piece with electronics called Anthèmes 2... but I have no original material, not even the right score from ircam :-)

I saw you received material from Atau Tanaka, who doesn't work for Ircam anymore. I hope it's not because of your project :-)

Good luck for the performance!


From: "Hugh Shrapnel"
Subject: Re: Pierre Boulez Project UPDATE
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2005 23:56:30 -0000

Why do you want to destroy records of Boulez? Isn't there enough destruction in the world as it is? Even if we don't like Boulez weshould find more positive ways of expressing our beliefs.
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2005 22:03:55 +0000
From: Stephen
Subject: Re: Pierre Boulez Project UPDATE

Very kind of you to send this to me, and I would be obliged if you could be equally kind and NOT do so anymore.

Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2005 12:13:13 +0000
Subject: Re: Pierre Boulez Project UPDATE
From: Raw Vision

why destroy anything??

From: John Kennedy
Subject: Only in Texas
Date: Wed, 9 Feb 2005 11:48:47 -0800

Only in Texas, home of the man who hired John Ashcroft, could someone hold a public
"book burning", call it art, and have it benefit a public library......

John M. Kennedy
From: Mike Silverton
Date: Wed, 9 Feb 2005 06:34:49 EST
Subject: Re: Pierre Boulez Project UPDATE

If I understand your email, this is how you intend to celebrate Boulez. Hitler would have approved. Mike Silverton,

[Note from Josh: Of course Hitler was a big fan of Wagner
and Beethoven, so he may have been annoyed by my project.]

Subject: Re: Pierre knows Joni, Joni don't know Pierre
From: Seth Tisue
Date: Mon, 07 Feb 2005 20:45:35 -0600

>>>>> "Josh" == Josh Ronsen writes:


From: Weiss, Steve
Subject: RE: - Contact Us: Other
Date: Mon, 7 Feb 2005 16:02:19 -0500

Dear Josh Ronsen,
Thank you for contacting  You may be interested in linking to
as part of our affiliate program.  More details here: 
In the meantime, good luck on your project!
Best wishes,
Date: Mon, 07 Feb 2005 17:40:02 -0500
Subject: NewMusicBox Webcast?
From: Randy Nordschow

Dear Josh,

I was wondering if you’ll be videotaping the Pierre Boulez Project performance? If so, we’d
like to take a look at the footage and consider webcasting it on our site. You can take a look
at our current webcast here:

If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, please let me know. BTW, one of the
first CDs I bought—I think I was 15 or 16—was Pli Selon Pli. If I can dig it up, I’ll send
it your way right away.

Best of luck with the performance,

Subject: Pierre Boulez Project
Date: Thu, 6 Jan 2005 15:53:29 -0000
From: "Sylvie Wright"

Dear Josh
I am writing to you to ask whether you would be interested in speaking to us about your views on Pierre Boulez for a radio documentary we are making here in the UK? We are very interested to hear your opinions on him and would be most grateful for any time you could spare us. 

Please do let me know if you are interested, I do hope so.
With kind regards
Sylvie Wright
From: "Ivan Hewett"
Subject: the Boulez project
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 2004 15:49:33 +0000

Dear Josh
I'm making a radio documentary for the BBC about Boulez, in connection with his 80th birthday, and I've been looking with great interest at your Boulez web-site. I wonder if you'd be willing to give us a down-the-line interview from your local radio station, describing the site, what its purpose is, and telling us what your own views are on the great man? The time-scale is fairly tight - we would want to record by mid-January. I hope that's possible for you.
best regards
From: Kristiaan Vanbrabant
Subject: Boulez-project
Date: Sun, 24 Oct 2004 20:44:13 +0200

Mr. Ronsen,

I wonder why you are even bothering to set up anything like the Boulez-project.
I don't see the fun of destroying records. And as a symbolic deed, it doesn't make much sense either, since Mr.Boulez's quote that we should "destroy all art of the past" obviously was not meant to be taken litterally.
I myself would not mind so much if all of his works were destroyed, since I am not so fond of them anyway. (And you can throw in everything by John Cage for that matter.) But in my opinion, the laws of evolution apply also to music scores: those which are appreciated will continued to be copied, whereas others which become oldfashioned in time will disappear (because no-one will bother to copy the material onto new media carriers).
Therefore I would advise everyone to hold on to what they value and simply neglect the rest. The best way to destroy art of the past is to ignore it. And I believe this is exactly what Mr. Boulez meant, although I will make sure to ask him tomorrow when I get to meet him in person as he is coming to Brussels to conduct Stravinsky and some of his own work.

Best regards,
Kristiaan Vanbrabant
From: Nicholas Hennies
Subject: Re: new Boulez FAQ
Date: Sun, 10 Oct 2004 13:34:06 -0500

Hey Josh,

I have two items to donate to your project. An LP of Pierre Boulez conducting Alban Berg's famed violin concerto as well as "Three Orchestra Pieces, Op. 6" (also Berg). Also, I have a compilation called "Orchestra of Our Time" on which the 2nd of two discs is Boulez' pieces "Eclat" and "Improvisation No. 2". If you don't mind, I'll only part with the 2nd disc rather than the whole compilation, since it's my only recording of "Pierrot Lunaire".

From: "M Davison"
Subject: Boulez project.
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2004 21:07:52 +0100

I am horrified at this sick, blinkered and reactionary project.
Lift up your eyes and embrace this great musician. Your attitude is 
bigotted, to say the least, and facist in its action.
Mel Davison
Dogma breath

A reader sent me a link to the Pierre Boulez Project, in which Josh Ronsen takes at face value
Boulez's old proclamation that "all the art of the past must be destroyed." I'm not sure if journalistic ethics permit me to take part in the project, but I have a duplicate copy of Boulez conducting Birtwistle that I would happily donate to the bonfire.

-Alex Roth, posted on on August 17, 2004
From: "camilo salazar"
Subject: your Boulez project is not a joke.........
Date: Tue, 06 Jul 2004 02:56:57 +0000

From: "Zack Davies"
Subject: Boulez is a wonderful chap
Date: Fri, 18 Jun 2004 17:52:44 +0100

Hurry up and get your 100 items so you can get your infernal project out of the way! Actually, despite being a huge Boulez fan I quite like what you're doing, aside it being an excuse for some idiot John Rutter fans to gang up against arguably the greatest composer in ages.

Looking forward to seeing "Sur Incises" at the Proms in London this year. It currently gets my vote for best piece of the 20th century. Many of your contributors are under the impression that Boulez' music is in some way challenging or ugly, which reminds me of a performance of "Derive" I attended a few years back. A fellow squeaky-wheel-music fan and I agreed was altogether too pretty and refined!

One last gripe - all this DJ mullarkey is all well and good in sweaty clubs but I don't care for the idea hinted at by some people that what serious music needs to make it better (for "better" read also "entertaining to people who don't really like it) is a beat. Boulez and Steve Reich indeed!
I love Boulez and I love Reich and I love Q-Bert but there's no reason why they should go together - it's not big and it's not clever and it's certainly not funny. It's like bacon Haagen-Dazs, people.


Zack Davies
From: "Kevin Martin"
Subject: Project destruction
Date: Sat, 22 May 2004 13:16:05 -0500

I think we should also destroy the works of Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Wagner and The Beatles. I've heard they were ass holes, too.

If you honestly believe that none of these other artist  -"called for the destruction of art while at the same time entering a very lucrative contract to make exactly what he decried" -,  you have limited your concept of "destruction" and "lucrative contract" to a very narrow spectrum that obviously only serves the superficial aspects of your feelings towards Boulez.

Date: Mon, 10 May 2004 16:01:47 -0700 (PDT)
From: Robert Badger

I found your Pierre Boulez Project quite entertaining. Unfortunately, I don't have any Boulez CDs on hand at the moment to send in. Perhaps later. 

As a young composition student, I came across the works of Pierre Boulez. Of course I was quite taken with them, and begun to study his scores in earnest. Perhaps some of Boulez's work will survive, such as the Sonatas or Pli selon pli.

But for the most part, Boulez's influence has been negative. He helped to destroy the relationship that existed between composer and audience.  It isn't for nothing that the American orchestral repertoire does not extend much beyond Copland's middle period. 

So it is indeed most appropriate (and ironic) that his recordings will be destroyed in such a "Cage-ian" fashion!

From: "Robert Griffin"
Subject: Re: Boulez records
Date: Sun, 9 May 2004 21:26:33 -0500l
Hey Josh,

Just checked my "chuck 'em" box, and sorry no Boulez in there. I do have quite a few of his LPs in my stock, but they're all in nice shape and they're good sellers for the most part. There's a box or two I need to check for condition this week though, so some may turn up - if so I'll send them on to you. And if not in there, I'm sure I'll turn up a few for you eventually - classical buyers are so persnickety about condition, I probably toss 1/3 of the LPs I buy...

From: "utopian turtletop"
Subject: Re: The Pierre Boulez Project
Date: Wed, 21 Apr 2004 07:34:45 +0000

Dear Josh,

I finally wrote about The Pierre Boulez Project on my blog tonight.

Best wishes with your project, and let me know if anything I wrote strikes you well or ill. I really enjoyed browsing your web site.


John Shaw

From: "Luís Filipe Cardoso"
Date: Sun, 07 Mar 2004 20:16:27 +0000
Subject: Boulez project

Dear Mr. Ronsen,

I am a portuguese composition student and i woul like to make a request: if the quantity of Boulez material surmount the one you desire, would you be kind enough to send me your left-overs, specialy the partitions and the books (by this order of importance) but also the CDs. As you know, the scores are very expensive, and it’s impossible for me to buy them and they’re very dificult to find; in class we all use the same old editions wich makes very dificult the study of orchestral scores, for instance Notations I-IV for orchestra costs 80 ¤. If i would buy them
on the internet they would be even more expensive; the same with the books, specialy if you consider that in my country the minimum wage is less than 350 ¤, the average wage around 750 ¤, a Xerox copy 0.05 ¤, a kilogram of rice 0.66 ¤ and one of spaghetti 0.37¤. I know this is none of your business, but if you pity me you can even substitute any book for a, let’s say, a phone list with the books cover ­ I don’t mind loosing the cover. Of course this would be our litle secret, in order not to destroy the reputation of your project.

If burning all that stuff is not realy your intention, but just a way of getting free Boulez books, scores and records, can you send me the duplicates? (I only regret I didn’t have that idea first). Mail expenses on me, of course. Unless, if by any chance, you are considering a trip to Lisboa ­ everything is very cheap for most foreigners ­ and then you could give them to me directely, and I would make you a guided tour around Lisboa, including a visit to my music school, a very beautifull building where you can listen to several music classes at the same time because the class-rooms are not acousticaly isolated, and with a very small and poor library, so poor as an american musician can not imagine if he hasn't visited poor country's schools.

Sincerily yours

Luís Cardoso
p.s.: sorry about my english.

Date: Tue, 2 Mar 2004 16:16:58 -0600
From: "Fred T. Tadrowski"

Dear Josh:

I as much as I find your project amusing I do not agree your conclusions. I own about
thirty CDs of either Boulez conducting or featuring his own compositions. Those CDs would
really help your project, but Boulez is one of few great living composers and he also is
a wonderful conductor of 20th century music. When Boulez made those comments, he was like
most young artists of wanting to change the world. Now as a 78-year old man, I think he is
little more mellow in his beliefs. I see Boulez conduct about three to four concerts in
Chicago each year and even his conducting is loosening up, and he is conducting more music
from 19th century. He is not going to start conducting Philip Glass or Puccini next year
but there really is a change there. I read in interview a couple years ago where he said
that he has a fondness for Los Angeles and cheeseburgers. So he can not be that evil. Now
Stockhausen is a different story but even destroying his records or CDs still reminds me
of the Nazis or the bonfires that destroyed the Beatles or Dixie Chicks records in the our
not too distant past.

From: "Karl Henning"
Date: Mon, 01 Mar 2004 13:22:57 -0500
Subject: Boulez FAQ

Hi, Josh.

I am morally prepared to doubt that ...:

Q: Where can I see a photo of Boulez touching his chin while gazing at Ligeti?

... is anything like a "frequently asked question" :-)

Interesting project of yours. Best wishes!

Date: Mon, 16 Feb 2004 11:05:57 -0500
Subject: Boulez project

Dear Mr. Ronsen,

A friend of mine recently sent me the link to your "The PIERRE BOULEZ
Project". A couple of thoughts came to mind that I would like to share with

From a practical sense as a music teacher who often has difficulty in
attaining resources for my students it pains me to see resources that could be
extremely useful, being destroyed at a time when budgets are extremely tight.
I love the idea of using the materials for remixing or as raw materials for
sampling/reconstruction etc. and with technology available the results could
be extremely interesting - it is a shame that all of these materials will not
be put to good use by people who could do incredibly creative things with them
rather than merely destroying them who don't have access to such material.
If critique is what you are after - these students and teachers could use the
material as a catalyst for dialogue/discussion/critique - this could be much
longer lasting than the singular event you propose.

From a performance/statement standpoint and I mean no offense - the idea has
been done and done again. While some groups, and I in no way equate you with
such groups, throughout history have erased undesirable cultural artifacts
i.e. Stalin, Mao in his cultural revolution, the Nazis, the premise of the
book Farenheit 451 etc, others have destroyed work simply because they didn't
agree with a statement that the artist made or simply didn't like the music.
Not to insult the south, but many of us around the country were laughing when
many Southerners took to the streets to burn Dixie Chicks recordings last year
- your project/perfomance risks being equated with that amusing occurance.

As someone who despises censorship of any kind I think that from a "freedom of
speech" standpoint there is no issue of whether or not this can/should be
done. As I stated before my reaction is one of disappointment that 100
recordings/books/etc. will be destroyed forever when they could have been
donated to people who could have put them to some good use. I hope that you
consider donating the works to underprivillged schools/organizations or
interested schools/orgs as an alternative or at the least donating every item
over the 100 you need for your "performance".

I look forward to your response - E
Date: Thu, 5 Feb 2004 20:22:48 -0800 (PST)
From: Alex Temple
Subject: Boulez project

Geez -- isn't a guy allowed to CHANGE HIS MIND?
Date: Wed, 4 Feb 2004 13:41:55 -0800
Subject: re: boulez burning
From: weasel walter


Your "burn the boulez" project doesn't offend or make me angry, so much
as it bores me. It's tired and reactionary. A rallying cry for people who
have sour grapes for some dude and/or his music. It's like, you're taking
a 30+ year old comment by a socially retarded musical genius at face
value (and one who is historically prone to shooting his mouth off) and,
I don't know, rubbing his face in it to make some very diffuse point?
Snore. Nothing personal. Best of luck.

His original comment? It's fucking hilarious. It doesn't bother me one
bit. In fact, I've said shit like that too! It's funny! It's "punk rock".

Morton Feldman -- a well-documented crank of a son of a bitch -- isn't
exactly the greatest source of objective ammunition. When Feldman says
"Boulez only cares how things are constructed, not how they sound", he's
talking out of his ass. I'm listening to "Eclat/Multiples" right now and
the sound is undeniable - as a matter of fact the liner notes remark that
Boulez was investigating the non-occidental concern of how things sound
as opposed to the more occidental interest in structure, rhythm, etc.

I have to mix a record now, so I'm not going to babble on anymore. I like
Boulez' music a lot -- and it's not a power issue. I'm not anal
retentive. I have sex about three times a week and it's not with a sheep.

From: Iv‡n Rivas
Subject: Pierre boulez proyect?????
Date: Sat, 31 Jan 2004 23:28:04 +0000

I write this mail from Argentina, because i have been informated that you are a Pierre Boulez
enemy and you want to destroy 100 recordings of Boulez's music. MyÊquestion is....Why?, you are
a musician or you have even heard one of the Boulez's recordings?, don't you think that mr Boulez
is a recognized composer andÊconductor?.
I'd liked to knowÊwhat is the finality of this proyect and what do you expect to change with this

Ivan Rivas

P.D:sorry if my english is not the best
From: robertas
Subject: vilnius
Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2003 15:02:55 +0300

hello, josh ronsen

thanks for your invitatio. as i understood, you need records by pierre
boulez. sorry, i don't have any of them. but i wish you good luck in your
all the best,

robertas kundrotas
tango magazine
Date: Wed, 17 Dec 2003 13:29:42 +0100
From: guy chenevier
Subject: Boulez Project Invitation

I got your message from Nick Didkovsky. I am a french musician and composer...I am also really
critical about Boulez music but most of all, against his arrogance etc... By chance I made a funny
project in 2000...The project was to be "married" to a small village in the center of France and
spend some time in Village to work with the people of the village, make some music (in my case etc)
...By chance an old housekeeper of Boulez was living in this village and disliked him very much !!
I interviewed her, and use some of her purposes in a Cd about this project...
So it's not recordings of Boulez, but just a funny case you would be interested, just
tell me !!
Guigou Chenevier
Date: Wed, 17 Dec 2003 10:06:04 -0000
From: Rob Gawthrop
Subject: RE: Boulez Project Invitation


(Un)fortunately I do not have any Boulez recordings either wanted or unwanted! but I am enthusiastic about your project.

Best Wishes

Date: Tue, 16 Dec 2003 11:25:33 +0000
Subject: Re: Boulez Project Invitation
From: John Russell

Dear John,
Thank you for the email.I don't have any recordings,but good luck with your project.
John Russell
Subject: Re: Boulez Project Invitation
Date: Mon, 15 Dec 2003 12:29:14 CET

sorry: although this project does look interesting, I have nothing from Boulez I'd like
to get rid of.

Date: Mon, 15 Dec 2003 02:40:42 -0500
From: Russ Gershon
Subject: Re: Boulez Project Invitation

I think you're taking his statement too literally, but good luck anyway.

Date: Sun, 14 Dec 2003 20:20:58 -0800 (PST)
From: Leandra Louder
Subject: Re: Boulez Project Invitation

Gee Josh, I never thought of you as an optimist....

Date: Sun, 14 Dec 2003 21:53:18 -0500
From: Nick Didkovsky
Subject: Re: Boulez Project Invitation

Hi Josh

Would be tempting if he wasn't such a friggin' brilliant conductor. The Rite of Spring,
with Boulez conducting the Cleveland Orchestra, is a truly incredible work. I'd hate to
see it ripped up.

But hell, have fun! The new piece(s) that will emerge from this should be interesting.

Date: Sun, 7 Dec 2003 13:34:35 -0800 (PST)
From: neil wahlert
Subject: boulez project

Hi Josh!

I learned of your project at the Classical Music Guide Forum. I was just wondering: have
you achieved your goal of 100 donations? If not, I have an open-reel aircheck & an LP or
two--all of Boulez conducting--that I could send you. I think a lot of Boulez's philosophies
are hypocritical myself.

Thanks much,
Neil Wahlert
Date: Wed, 3 Dec 2003 12:31:44 -0800 (PST)
From: Paul Hartsaw
Subject: boulez project

i always thought it would be apt to write an essay called 'boulez is dead' as a little play
on boulez's essay on schoenberg. maybe someone already has? the point is the more he 'breaks
with the past' the further entrenched he becomes in it. not to mention the ego-maniacal rigor
of his compositions is in fact his greatest weakness.

ill get my donation in the mail.

poor pierre,

paul hartsaw

p.s. i still enjoy figures, doubles and prisms ;)

i just noticed on your page somebody did write a 'boulez is dead' essay.

great stuff!

Date: Sun, 07 Sep 2003 23:09:57 -0400
From: Martin Suckling
Subject: Capitalists, Inc.

Hi there,

Was just randomly trawling the net and came across your site - which incidentally I
think is a great idea, though being an impoverished student, most of my Boulez CDs are copies :)

Anyhow, on the Cage subject, I thought you would be interested to know that he was in
close correspondence with Boulez when he was thinking of setting up his little club, and
in fact Boulez said that of course he would want to join. This was around 1952, I think....

I don't usually do this kind of pedantic thing, but I just happen to have read the book
recently and thought you might be interested!

Good luck with the project!

Date: Fri, 15 Aug 2003 16:52:33 -0800
From: silvio ferraz
Subject: boulez again

i will write in portuguese
because i have a great disgust in writing in this stupid new fascist
language that anglosaxonic language becomes.

caro ronsen
o projeto de vocs Ž fascista
t’pico de griana mimada
por que vocs n‹o tentam se afogar nas besteiras que falam?
o que o boulez fez a vocs?
n‹o bajulou a linda amŽrica...a mesma amŽrica que mata pessoas na ‡sia?
por que vocs n‹o caem na real e n‹o saem fora do mundo...
ser‡ que vocs n‹o perceberam que o mundo t‡ de saco cheio de vocs!

Date: Mon, 11 Aug 2003 14:15:29 -0400
From: Helene Prevost
Subject: RŽp. : Boulez Project Invitation


Just took note of your project. Very interesting.

Please keep me informed of the progress of the project.

Thnak you.

HŽlne PrŽvost
From: Jos Smolders
Subject: RE: Boulez Project Invitation
Date: Wed, 30 Jul 2003 08:02:11 +0200

sorry, not interested
Date: Mon, 21 Jul 2003 10:11:48 +0200
From: philippe-petit
Subject: Re: Boulez Project Invitation

thanx for the information, the idea is interesting so I'd be happy to hear the final
result after destruction
have a nice week - philippe
Date: Fri, 18 Jul 2003 20:30:13 -0700
From: Jon Leidecker
Subject: boulez project

recently discovered the web page. nice links on the main site, enjoyed the
quotes. it's nice to hear boulez still gets on people's nerves, as many of
his young comments really make me feel kind of bad for the guy.

I own seven discs containing his own compositions, I seldom listen beyond
'pli selon pli' and that other one, 'hammer without a handle', but would
even miss the boring ones if they weren't in the house somewhere, in twenty
years I'll be pretty boring myself and might suddenly want to hear one.
I'd be happy to burn 7 CDR copies of what I have and mail you the clones,
though, that'd be an enjoyably pointless way to participate.

thanks for your site

[Note from Josh:
In order to spare Mr. Leidecker from undue ridicule, in a separate email, the spurious title "Hammer Without a Handle" was described as a joke on the typically translated title "Hammer Without Master." Please do not assume that critics of Boulez know nothing about him.]
From: marc garrett
Subject: Re: Boulez Project Invitation
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2003 14:51:16 +0100

Hi there,

I am going to send this to a composer friend who does work on the net & in
real space to se iif he can help you in some way...

From: Aaron
Subject: Re: Boulez Project Invitation
Date: Sat, 12 Jul 2003 03:36:41 +0000


thanks so much for the invite.we'd love to be a part of your project,but unfortunately
right now we're pretty swamped.thanks again for considering us and i can't wait to hear

thanks again.

From: Debe White
Subject: Re: Boulez Project Invitation
Date: Fri, 11 Jul 2003 17:22:31 -0700

Josh, if I had any Pierre Boulez, I'd send it along- i think... but keep me in
mind for any other things I may be of assistance for...
debe white
Date: Wed, 09 Jul 2003 19:14:47 +0100
From: Benjamin Green
Subject: pierre boulez project / one hour as...

hi josh,

just returned to my computer after being away for a while. noticed mention[s] of this
project in e:list, and it seems it would make good radio material. if by chance it reaches
60mins duration i'd be mor than happy to air it on my radio series on resonancefm, london,
uk ["one hour as..."].

let me know what you think,
Date: Wed, 09 Jul 2003 10:50:06 +0200
From: Francois Pachet
Subject: Re: Boulez Project Invitation

great project, I support it.
Unfortunately, I already burnt averything related to Boulez some time ago...
Date: Wed, 09 Jul 2003 10:31:25 +0100
Subject: Re: Boulez Project Invitation
From: David Ward

Intriguing: keep me posted.

David Ward
From: Dusan
Subject: Re: Boulez Project Invitation
Date: Tue, 8 Jul 2003 10:54:51 +0200

hi Josh,

i am sorry, no boulez recs here :/
interesting project, anyway ;)

From: bryce beverlin II
Subject: Re: boulez performance
Date: Tue, 08 Jul 2003 09:57:36 -0500


i'll go record shopping this weekend...see what i can dig upXIX
Date: Tue, 8 Jul 2003 03:46:19 -0500
From: Courtney Wilder
Subject: RE: Boulez Project Invitation


I'd never heard of Pierre Boulez, but it sounds like a cool project. If you
are sending out promotional cd's once you are done, please send us one to:

Box 9100 Station B
Nashville TN 37235

Thanks and good luck!

Courtney Wilder
From: Ian Nagoski
Subject: RE: Boulez Project Invitation
Date: Mon, 7 Jul 2003 17:14:30 -0400

thanks for your note, Josh.
I have fastidiously avoided owning any Boulez or Boulez-related items for some years.
I'll forward along your message to a few friends who might be able to help.
best luck, though, and let me know how it goes.
From: bryce beverlin II
Subject: boulez performance
Date: Mon, 07 Jul 2003 13:34:27 -0500

surfed to your site from microsound digest . fabulous idea! when is your deadline for submissions? i'm interested in submitting some boulez materials. is the performance scheduled yet? urkXIX
Subject: RE: Boulez Project Invitation
Date: Mon, 7 Jul 2003 09:40:52 -0700
From: "kusc"

Dear Josh Ronsen,

We're sorry, but we have no unwanted Boulez recordings. Good luck with your project.


Anthony Lux
91.5 KUSC
Date: Mon, 7 Jul 2003 09:17:45 -0400
From: KS
Subject: Re: Boulez Project Invitation

We do not have one.
61 Fourth Avenue, pmb 126
New York, New York 10003, USA
Date: Mon, 07 Jul 2003 13:44:53 +0100
Subject: Re: Boulez Project Invitation
From: eva gross

Hello Josh

Thanks for your email and for sharing your project ideas with us. Unfortunately, we don't have any unwanted Boulez recordings to send to you. I'm sorry that we can't be of any help!

Kind regards,
From: SŽbastien Hayez
Subject: the pierre boulez project
Date: Mon, 07 Jul 2003 10:44:51 +0000

it's seems to be interesting but, don't you think that destroying music of the past is better for creating now's music and for the futur of music? I guess Boulez is a creator not a destroyer. Why not create a score, a music, composition (call it like you want) with this act of destroying his music. Record the sounds of the breaks of records, the sound of fire burning vynil and paper cover· This is alvo vanish but it's turned to futur· not to past.

Date: Sun, 06 Jul 2003 22:43:52 -0600
Subject: Boulez project
From: Michael Arnold Mages


Although I don't have any unwanted Boulez recordings (I really like my full set of Webern) a tip for future reference... You may want to put a kill date in your e-mail--something like "The project will be concluded by August 30th, 2003. Although you may continue to forward this message to inform
people about the event, please don't send recordings after August 30th, 2003"

Though some people will undoubtedly change the date and keep forwarding it, it may keep you from getting totally inundated with Boulez recordings for the next five years.

Best, and good luck with your project.
Date: Sun, 6 Jul 2003 19:08:35 EDT
Subject: Re: Boulez Project Invitation

I'm not sure what I can provide for you.. if you'd like, you can advertise with us, for other possible submissions?

Raquel Bruno
editor of aquatulle

From: Etienne Abelin
Subject: Boulez project
Date: Mon, 7 Jul 2003 00:38:57 +0200

Dear Josh,

I got your Boulez project Email forwarded and have some thoughts to share. Congratulations on the mail art article by the way - sounds exciting.

I'm just a simple musician who happened to have had the chance to work with Pierre Boulez twice. He was a softspoken charming elderly man with great wit. His conducting of repertoire works seemed to live from very strong musical ideas and the ability to create a very personal hearing space. Many times we in the orchestra had the impression that our ears opened while we worked with him and we started hearing things we didn't before which made it easier and very enjoyable to play together. His Notations 1-4 were delightful and enriching to play.
Of course, other people must have had different experiences with him as a person and as a musical figure, but these were mine. Although having an (unfortunately rather weak) intellectual claim, your
project seems to be very much in the tradition of burning books, country music CD's or letting people loot museums. The fact that you are in Austin, Texas, it's 2003 and Pierre Boulez is French doesn't really help to change that impression. I'm just a musician and don't know why you should care for my respect or interest. But in case you do: I would respect you showing that you're not interested in the applause of the bookburners - who, contrary to Buddhist monks and other artists who did similar things before you, don't destroy or let destroy their own art but always someone elses. So insisting on destroying the records of your own project would be a start. Creatively
destroying something that you created yourself - and if only your own idea (of destroying recordings of PB) - would actually be very interesting to me. Here's some talkshow lingo if you like it, not really my style but seems to be in fashion these days: "Be a man and blow up 100 opera houses instead (to
carry through another polemic Boulez quote literally) - but probably you cowardly lack the courage to face the (in Texas rather grave...) consequences of that."


Etienne Abelin
From: Reynols
Subject: Re: Boulez Project Invitation
Date: Sun, 06 Jul 2003 16:41:14 +0000

Hi Josh:

thanks for the invitation

will check if we can find any argentinian Boulez recording to donate for your project

all the best

Date: Sun, 6 Jul 2003 11:11:37 -0400
From: gmh
Subject: Boulez project Invitation / sub rosa

dear josh, i must say that i find fun what you want to do. but in second thought, i am not sure that destroying a minority music is a good idea (it remains me autodafe etc.) personnally i am more against the big market, show business industries etc. i would prefer to destroy that. best thoughts anyway - - - guy-marc

[Note from Josh:
There must be at least one million (1,000,000) Boulez records in existence (and 17 of those have one Grammey Awards!). I only want to destroy one hundred (100) of them. To call Boulez "minority music"...]
Date: Sun, 06 Jul 2003 10:52:56 +0100
Subject: Re: Boulez Project Invitation
From: Joe Gilmore


good luck with your project, it sounds good. unfortunately i do not own anything by boulez and am unfamiliar with his music. i can however pass your mail on to a couple of music lists i am registered to.

good luck,

From: "pricilia:records"
Subject: Re: Boulez Project Invitation
Date: Sun, 6 Jul 2003 10:19:27 +0200

i'm sorry but i haven't anything about boulez recordings. good luck.

hugo roussel.
From: "Phil James"
Subject: Boulez project
Date: Sat, 5 Jul 2003 12:46:21 -0500

Hello Josh --

A couple of quick reactions to your Boulez project:

1. Boulez is clearly a victim of his own posturing and bluster, and true enough, he has not practiced what he preached as an excited young aggressive idealisticÊEuromacho artiste. So what. His early statements had no real importance to the world, nor do his later qualifications and retractions. Is his inconsistency over time really worthy of that much energy? 2. As for his music itself, I have no problems with it. It is at times overblown, but often it is beautifully sensuous. If you listen to it without referring to his statements, I would say it is quite enjoyable and, ironically in the face of his supposed severe intellectualism, very pretty. He is a minor composer in the history of music, with the same relationship to high modernism that Bruckner had to Romanticism: a last sad pretty gasp of the "concert era" that depends on the complex capitalist infrastructure of patronage and sponsorship and galas and chandeliers. He is outside any musical history that is really happening, so again I say so what. 3. Your project has, for me, a quaint academic and "historical" feel to it: you are attacking
something that not much of the world is concerned with, using an artistic method that is reminiscent of early-60s fluxus or even earlier conceptualist approaches. I suspect that you are a very interesting artist in your own right, and I hope this project doesn't distract too much from more positive and less wise-cracky contributions you could make to a culture that could use some REAL revolution.

Very best wishes to you,
Phil James
Date: Sat, 5 Jul 2003 18:16:23 +0100
From: andreas berthling
Subject: Re: Boulez Project Invitation

sorry I have no Boulez records

From: "catsup plate admin"
Subject: RE: Boulez Project Invitation
Date: Sat, 5 Jul 2003 11:53:17 -0400

Thanks for the heads up on the project, josh. I'm not much of one for the classical music--for better or for worse--so I'm afraid I don't have anything to contribute at this point. I'll keep my eyes peeled on trips round town though and if I find something, I'll send it along.

Best of luck with the project.

Date: Sat, 5 Jul 2003 08:45:13 -0700
From: Paul Griffin
Subject: Re: Boulez Project Invitation

good luck!

From: "crouton"
Subject: Re: Boulez Project Invitation
Date: Sat, 5 Jul 2003 10:01:23 -0500

Hello Josh,

Thanks for the note. However, I do not have any Boulez recordings to donate. Best of luck with your project though, and sorry I could not assist.

Best wishes,

From: "Martin Archer"
Subject: Re: Boulez Project Invitation
Date: Sat, 5 Jul 2003 12:25:24 +0100


I'm sure Boulez has lived to regret that statement, and has come to realise that the art of the past feeds into and nourishes the art of the present, and that all music activity worldwide should be seen as part of a continuously developing whole.

Any destructive energies you may have could better be directed at any of the millions of genuinely bad things in the world, and not at a music innovator for a sensationalist and off the cuff remark made years ago. Have you never made such a remark?

I thank you for the opportunity to participate, I will have to decline on this occasion.

Good luck with your project,

Martin Archer
Date: Sat, 5 Jul 2003 14:46:55 +0200 (CEST)
From: costes
Subject: Boulez Project Invitation

it is very good you destroy all this boulez bullshit
i hate manifestos
i will look for boulez records and send them to you
Date: Sat, 05 Jul 2003 11:20:40 +0200
Subject: Re: Boulez Project Invitation
From: erikm

hello josh
beautiful project :)))
i post 1 LP this week
see you soon
From: "Andrew Clare"
Subject: RE: Boulez Project Invitation
Date: Sat, 5 Jul 2003 09:18:48 +0100

Hi Josh,
i have a couple of Boulez recordings but i'd like to keep them. sorry!
good luck with your project.
From: "acidfake"
Subject: Re: Boulez Project Invitation
Date: Mon, 30 Jun 2003 15:36:03 +0200

this is interesting but unfortunately
i dont have any of his records
thanx for invitation
all best
From: "jofus markey"
Date: Thu, 08 May 2003 13:57:46 +0000

Interesting Idea this project of yours,

I reckon Boulez contradicts himself for his own amusement, He is as Frank Zappa observed "serious as cancer". But he is not without humour, and I suspect he has a very dry wit, saying controversial things to get up the noses of the establishment.

Here is a recent quote from the master as to why he said such controversial things earlier in his career about the establishment and how he is seen as the antithesis of a french musical establishment figure....

"When a stream begins, it twists and turns and bubbles and has much energy. But when the stream grows into a river, its is evidently more calmer, but is bigger and stronger. Alternatively, when the dog is outside the house, he will bark and bark, but once he is in the house, he bites".
Hope this quote was of use to you,
Date: Thu, 17 Apr 2003 11:59:29 -0300
Subject: Boulez Auto-Da-FŽ
From: Alexandre Enkerli

Interesting that some people should see this project in such a negative light. Not to take
anything away from your ideas but they have a number of precedents and, as a whole, do as
much to make Boulez known as they may do in debunking him.
After all, it all depends on what you do with the recordings. Audible results of an act may
be appreciated for themselves.
Clearly, apathy has taken over much of the world of art and ideas. And stirring them up may
simply be a matter of rethinking processes of the past.
Good luck!

From: gustavo ARTILES
Subject: On Boulez
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 2003 12:31:41 +0100

Dear Josh,

I came to your page while looking for comments on Boulez music for one reason: I am in the middle of writing a book for students and laymen on capital modern musical works of my choice, and I wanted to remind myself why I was leaving him out.

I have no Boulez CDs, not as a composer. My test for new music is simple: is this piece so interesting and satisfying that I will want to part with my money and take a CD home so I can hear it over and over again? In Boulez's case the answer is no.

I have indeed obtained encouragement from all the material in your page. But of course, I also
agree with those that say that destroying records is like burning books. Any art that doesn't fulfill certain human needs is doomed to vanish...not with a bang. Intelligence and cleverness are not enough.

Because I love music passionately, I despise those who hijack it for political purposes. But Boulez is above all an artist, he too must love music, so one wonders how he arrived at such extreme positions.

Then there is the fact that, in time, the left becomes the right, etc. We have seen all it before.

So, I thank you for the stimulus and will keep an eye on your page to see how things develop.

Gustavo Artiles
From: hamburger lady
Subject: PIERRE BOULEZ Project
Date: Fri, 21 Mar 2003 00:46:38 -0500

> Also needed are experimental DJs to mix music, guess whose?, during the performance.
> Scratching is encouraged.

interested in this trying opportunity. be on the look out/ shape up on a one-of-kind pierre boulez treasure box for you too. i use to live in austin....currently a new englander ....but i am a texas native. so stumbling down south for a soothing scratch, doesn't sound so bad.

let me know when you need me.

and i'll work on that treasure box.

your lady
From: pierremmanuel Evesque
Subject: Boulez
Date: Thu, 13 Mar 2003 06:21:47 +0000

Dear Josh,

I just read your web page concerning your performance piece on Boulez. I see no artistic substance in this project. I have to agree with Dimitri [27 0ct 2002]. It smells art of the 70's and the smell of death is stench.

Anybody can pick a comment from someone, remove it from context, interprete it in such a literal way and then do a simplistic rereading of it. I really don't think you can take Boulez's words on such a literal level. It just shows you don't understand them.

You have picked a really tough animal to deal with: this Boulez. I find it legitimate that you don't agree with his artistic vision. I find it legitimate that you want to express this in a work of art. Everyone is allowed his opinion and the expression of it. Problem is, if you deal with a strong beast you must deal strongly and intelligently.

The shallowness with which you deal with the idea of this project will not be able to support
the heaviness of the subject itself.

But, using Boulez's glory, you have made nice contacts. People from Ircam for example. Remember
that these people write to you not because they are interested in your artistic activities but, instead, because they have a superficial hate for Boulez the man. Everyone here who said they hate Bouelez's music, first said they hate Boulez the man....hmmm.

Maybye someone could make a work by destroying your website. Any pirates out there?! No stop isn't worth it....

The shallowness of the subject would undermine the use of forcefull destruction and time spent coding.

Wait a minute!!! Am I undermining this very email?

good luck,
From: Hutton, Erin
Subject: Boulez Project turntablist
Date: Thu, 6 Mar 2003 14:27:17 -0600

Hi, Josh!

I'm an editor at Remix magazine, a national publication focused on the tools and production behind electronic and urban music. EM editor Gino Robair gave me a heads up on your Boulez Project, and although I don't have any Boulez works to donate, I think the idea is fantastic. I'm particulary intrigued by your request to have a turntablist scratching Boulez works during the performance. I wish I had a DJ in mind that I could refer you to; I'll keep my ears open. If you do find someone, I would love to get a photo of the person scratching at the event and include it in the front section of Remix. I understand that this could be some time in the future, but I want you to know that I'm interested in finding out more when the peformance draws near.

Thanks! Erin
From: Jesse Canterbury
Subject: Re: AUSTINNITUS #106
Date: Wed, 5 Mar 2003 10:28:47 -0800

Hey Josh,

About the Boulez Project. Funny idea -- I wish we had more ideas like this in the art world to shake things up from time to time. Seems like even in the avant-garde community, such as it is, things can get stagnant (and sometimes you don't realize it until it's too late). Anyway, I like the idea for a number of reasons...(1) I agree with the statement's spirit -- that we must release ourselves in some sense from our musical past in order to advance and to really create (of course this can never be
accomplished in practice, but it's a good goal I think); (2) I too am disappointed that Boulez has spent so much time on the classics; (3) turning his own statement against him in the form of a performance, is an excellent way of making the point.

However, I'm not sure I have anything to send! The Boulez records I have are ones that I actually like! I respect his opinions on music of the 20th century, and I like listening to his own music too (esp his clarinet music). Some of his stuff I don't like, but then I don't own those records. But I'll look anyway...perhaps there's something I've forgotten.

I like your website. The responses from people are amusing. Why do some people feel the need to be so mean? Are they really offended? Weird.

[personal notes deleted]

Talk to you later,
From: Howard Stelzer
Subject: le boulez doit être détruit!!!
Date: Mon, 06 Jan 2003 12:38:51 -0500

Bonjour Josh!

I'd be thrilled to hang "Burn Boulez" posters up around Boston, in the record stores and at the Massachussetts College of Art where I go to school (zzzzzzzzz). You know my address!


L'Howard Stelzer

From: Bai'd Sikh Scokt m Sp' iyr Ay'ble J'dot
Subject: boul-ay? boul-ezz? or boul?
Date: Sat, 16 Nov 2002 4:39:6 -0500

received your envelope today with ono pieces, other pieces, bits, etc. lovely, muchas gracias

and was especially intrigued with your project regarding one mr. boulez....... i must admit to laughing, first simply at the picture of boulez and his declaration then upon flipping the card over, and reading about the performance itself

now, i badly wish to contribute to this piece but, i regret to say am somewhat attached to my boulez collection (which consists of one lp, one cd, one cassette) oh how i love my modern classical!

however, i noticed also your call for "experimental djs" to mix boulez music during the performance and, while, i am nowhere near austin, i was wondering if i could make such a contribution in pre-recorded form i gots me a fine "sound collage" radio program, on which, if so compelled, i could do a rather deconstructive boulez mix which you would be free to mix in during the performance, or, i'd even be pleased if my prerecorded boulez mix was smashed to bits without being heard.....
along with the rest of it

though, i do semi-frequently see records of boulez conducting the rite of spring,
or mahler or what have you at local thrift stores, and in the event of finding one of these, i will purchase it and send it on down your way......

at any rate, i hope i can somehow contribute to the festivities the glory and aptness of the project, i jus' a-couldn't ignore

thanks again, and keep up the fine work

-skt spr rr r rr r

From: Alex Keller
Subject: boulezerie
Date: Fri, 21 Feb 2003 11:11:28 -0800

hi josh,

i have managed to find some boulez vinyl - will try and get it out to you early next week.

hope all is well. we are still planning on emigrating to austin on july 1. i have a few new releases that i will throw in the package as well.


From: David Gable
Subject: Boulez project
Date: Sun, 16 Feb 2003 00:19:52 EST

I don't really like your project. I love Boulez's music, admittedly some of it more than others, and I can't live without it. There is no more sensuous music than his stuff. His sense of poetry and fantasy is what keeps me coming back. The first time I heard the first version of Repons I thought I had died and gone to heaven. Of course, I don't have any use for the totally serial stuff like the first book of structures, but Boulez was one of the first of the Europeans who experimented with so-called total serialism to move beyond it. ("We must turn our backs on the monstrous polyorganization or condemn ourselves to deafness." Quaint French rhetoric, don't you think?) I wanted you to know that I've got way more than 27 Boulez recordings, but I'm not donating them. I have about 40 CD's of Boulez's music and I've kept all my LP's of Boulez's music. If you get more than your required 100, consider giving them to me. You're in the book burning business. I'm more in the listening business.

-david gable
From: "the pink harp"
Subject: boulez box. Date: Wed, 05 Feb 2003 14:34:23 -0500


Hi Josh,....I will be sending the only two Boulez recordings I have, also,....

-Eric Anderson

From: Iain Edgewater
Date: Tue, 4 Feb 2003 00:55:25 -0800 (PST)

Do you have any previously recorded interview material regarding this project, or recorded musical/sound art works of your own, that could be sent out here to the Seattle area? It might be interesting to do a segment of my radio program on this project, possibly in conjunction with some of Mr Boulez' music as well, maybe around the time of his birthday in March... it might also be possible to set up a telephone interview or something (or maybe not, depending on a variety of parameters I won't bore you with now -- let's see how that goes). Let me know what you've got and what's going on with
you on your end.

All best,

--Iain E.
From: Jon Rose
Date: Mon, 03 Feb 2003 02:35:22 -0500

Dear Josh,

great project. Unfortunately I trashed all my Boulez recordings back in the early 1980s - so I have nothing to send you.

However I send you my best wishes for the project and when you have assembled that pile of pretentious, over subsidised french retention - may I be the first one to strike the sympathy match.

Jon Rose
From: Ann Carr-Boyd
Subject: Re: Invitation to Pierre Boulez project
Date: Mon, 3 Feb 2003 09:48:39 +1100

Dear Josh,

Your concert sounds novel - a bit like the Anna Lockwood glass concert I attended many years ago in London.
I do not own a single Boulez recording so cannot contribute - sorry !
All the best, Ann
From: Gordon Kerry
Subject: Re: Invitstion to Pierre Boulez Project
Date: Mon, 3 Feb 2003 09:04:35 +1100

Dear Josh Ronsen
That's very amusing. Of course you'd know about Boulez being arrested as a terrorist in Switzerland on 2001 - his gag about blowing up the opera houses (made decades earlier) came back to haunt him big time. best
[Reply from Josh:
A brief version of the real story can be found on the main project page, but briefly, Boulez's name was placed on a list after a music critic recieved a theatening phone call from someone claiming to be Boulez after a negative review by the critic. His opera comment was cited as a reason for his arrest in a few newspapers, but this was not the reason.]

From: Derek Strahan
Subject: Re: Invitation to Pierre Boulez project
Date: Sun, 2 Feb 2003 22:22:51 +0100

Hi Josh - Congratulations on your project. Although (for reasons similar to the ones you outline, I have no CDs or anything of Boulez to send you for instant immolation, I do commend you for confronting his hypocrisy - which is typical of the now old-fashioned post-modern mindset of the (thankfully now elapsed) 20th century, during which opinionated musicologists presumed to set the agenda for creative musicians, often blocking the creativity of any who dissented from their ideology (which generally involved a blanket condemnation of the works of the past) yet found no contradiction in deriving financial benefit from continuing to showcase them (as examples of what not to write, of course!).

In conducted such academic turf warfare they were merely behaving like the territorial mammals that all humans are, but, while doing so, deluded themselves they represented a superior wisdom.

Please keep me posted on the progress of your project.

Best regards

Derek Strahan

PS I will check through my collection to see if, in error, any Boulez has crept in (through review copies of CDs donated by record companies for my weekly radio review here in Sydney). If you wish to cite my views as outlined above, you have my enthusiastic permission.
From: Mike Silverton
Subject: Re: Invitation to Pierre Boulez project
Date: Sun, 2 Feb 2003 08:02:09 EST

An amusing if somewhat stale idea but too reminiscent of book burnings by earnest authoritarians. Boulez said things I'm sure he'd like to retract. Be that as it may, some of the recordings you propose to burn are splendid.
Mike Silverton,
From: Dominique Leone
Subject: Re: Invitation to Pierre Boulez project
Date: Sat, 01 Feb 2003 15:09:23 +0000


Thanks for the invitation, but I don't happen to own any Boulez. I'll post your link at the ILM messageboard to see if there are any takers.

From: Thierry
Subject: RE: Invitstion to Pierre Boulez Project
Date: Thu, 30 Jan 2003 12:57:19 -0500

I dont know who you are and I usually dont answer undesired mail. But a charming idea occured to me, while reading your illuminated project. Since it seems to me you introduce yourself as an artist, I would recommend you to seriously look into the idea of self-immolation. This would be more interesting to every one and would show some courage that your present project does not. It would also show a real cut off from your eager attachement to Pierre Boulez. Some kind of emancipation, in other word.
I am sure you deserve it.

I wish you a long and fruitful career in Texas.

Thierry Lancino
From: Seth Tisue
Subject: Re: Cage/Boulez
Date: Mon, 13 Jan 2003 12:05:30 -0600

>>>>> "Josh" == Josh Ronsen writes:

Josh> This weekend's NYT had a 1989 photo of Cage shaking Boulez's
Josh> hand, both smiling, Boulez utilizing the "double hand," in front
Josh> of Oliver Messian who looks like he is afraid to be touched or
Josh> spoken to by Cage.

I think you should publish this in MMPP with thought bubbles added by you,

Seth Tisue
From: Sharon Cheslow
Subject: Re: Pierre Boulez Project
Date: Mon, 6 Jan 2003 13:03:15 -0800

Hey Josh,

Happy new year! Yeah, I like the idea of erasing everything but the Boulez. So I'll do that and send the tape off to you. I'd love to hear your music - and I promise not to destroy it. That's wild that you have the Red Eye 7"...I don't remember sending it to you!

What address should I send this to?

From: "Jillian Leonard
Date: Fri, 10 Jan 2003 17:36:48 +1100

Dear Josh,
Although we are unable to assist you in this area we wish you well in your endeavours !
Jill - Listener Enquiries, Adelaide.

From: Simon Barrow
Subject: Deconstructing Boulez
Date: Fri, 10 Jan 2003 05:15:14 +0000 (GMT)

Dear Josh:

Even as someone who appreciates Boulez as a conductor and composer, I find your project
interesting and entertaining. I've posted something about it on my eclectic new music

A couple of other thoughts and questions: Do you accept *already busted* Boulez discs or
tapes? That seems only fair if you're going to avoid artistic bias ;-) Under those terms
I might let you have something, as 22 isn't doing that well given the number of anti-
modernist zealots there are in the world. Couldn't be that they haven't got round to
listening too carefully to the stuff they diss, could it? Nah... thought not.

The turntablism dimension is a *wikkid* idea. I certainly fancy beatmatching and skratching
'Pli Selon Pli' to, oh I dunno, something by Reich maybe.

And will you allow salvidge performers as well as destuktors? I fancy getting my hands on
a couple of those discs... and its' only fair that someone should be there to stand up for
the past, Boulez's especially.

Lastly, let me know when you get it together. I'll happily publicise in NewFrontEars. And if
I can't make it I might organise a listen-in to Boulez's music in the UK, just to give people
a choice...


From: Dawne Moon
Date: Fri, 27 Dec 2002 09:17:58 -0600

Hi, Josh Ronsen-- I forwarded your request to my girlfriend's mother and step father, who might be
able to help you out. It's such a treat to hear from you! I am glad to see you're keeping
yourself out of trouble... cheers, Dawne
From: "Claire Sykes"
Subject: Pierre Gets Boulezed!
Date: Fri, 6 Dec 2002 21:23:11 -0800

Hey Josh!

I LOVE your project and suspect that even Boulez himself would get a chuckle out of it. With
that said, I should also say that I have been an ambivalent Boulez fan for 25+ years. I own
many of his recordings, scores and books. I even wrote a rather lengthy review of his "Repons"
(Computer Music Journal's Fall 1999 issue). Actually, IF I had a recording of the three piano
sonatas, that would be what I'd send you for some REAL scratchin' and sniffin' - dreadful stuff.

Anyway, while I feel that Boulez is one of the greater (not greatest) musicians of the 20th
century, I also believe he is more than slightly prone to hugely misguided and ridiculously
pompous pronouncements. The one that you have chosen to so suitably illustrate is prime idiocy,
sans doute.

Listen, Pierre will be doing two nights of his music at Carnegie Hall on 22 and 23 March.
Perhaps you could find a way to mount your project in NYC while HE is in town? If a serious
effort gets underway to fund such an outing, count on me for a token check.

Seriously "en souriant,"

Bob Priest
From: patrick david barber
Subject: boulez project
Date: Thu, 05 Dec 2002 09:43:35 -0800


this is patrick barber from, uh, i can't remember how i know you but we traded tapes of Braxton once, or something like that. i just read about your Boulez project in the Tentacle newsletter. I live in Oakland now (used to
live in seattle) and am doing all sorts of things, not much music lately but> digging up a Boulez recording for you sounds like a good idea. I think I have something that connects Boulez and Zappa...(?) which would be a good

makes me think. what are materials? sacrifices? If something is not worth
sacrificing an object to, then what is it worth?

what else are you up to? i am self-employed making graphic design for a
living...working with a lot of transit advocacy groups in that, and being a
bicycle activist/rider as usual...playing some folk music, and making folk
music out of music that was not intended to be folk
cooking some beans today.

anyway, glad to see you're well and super creative. love to hear what else
you're doing


From: Kevin Puts
Date: Sat, 30 Nov 2002 18:55:06 -0800 (PST)

is this a joke...?
From: William Pursell
Date: Fri, 29 Nov 2002 18:08:24 -0600

Josh: What's the real point here? Maybe he was drunk, or stupidly "into himself" when he
said it. Obviously he has contradicted himself by his recordings, scores, etc. and why not
just leave it at that? Your project is going to take a lot of needless time (none of us has
that much spare time), and afterwards, then what?

Dr. William Pursell
Associate Professor of Composition
Belmont University Music School
Nashville, Tenness
From: RŸdiger Axel Westphal
Subject: Pierre Boulez
Date: Fri, 29 Nov 2002 18:26:10 -0300

with kindest Regards RAWestphal
From: Paul Kelly
Subject: Boulez
Date: Thu, 28 Nov 2002 18:47:46 +0000

Hi Josh
I happen to have a record of Boulez piano works which I bought on a
market for virtually nothing. Seems appropriate.
Strangely enough I've always felt a sort of affection for PB - I
think it's the comb over and his humourless approach, nearly in the
same league as Stockhausen. And the whole chilly academic thing -
I have an idea for the final phase of your project - play all the
records simultaneously on the crappiest players in Texas, record it
and distribute it. Like Ligeti's 100 Metronomes piece...
Send me the flyer and I'll put it and your project on my site. This
could mean I don't ever get gigs at the Centre Pompidou. I hope you
understand what a risk I'm taking.
From: "Philip Krumm"
Subject: your boulez project and possible poster...
Date: Mon, 25 Nov 2002 14:09:41 -0800

"Blue" Gene Tyranny forwarded you note along to me. I have a pretty large lp collection
plus lots of scores and more, and might, depending on what I can fish out when, be able to
contribute to your endeavor. But if you're able, I'd like very much to have a poster. Will
check your website, too. I'm a longtime new music composer, former Fluxus artist, etc.


Philip Krumm
Date: Mon, 25 Nov 2002 23:58:01 -0500
From: pearla@ .edu
Subject: great idea

Concerning your Pierre Boulez Project; I have an even better idea. How about, because I am too poor to afford 19 CDs of intelligent and thoughtful musical interpretations to further enhance my musical education and enjoyment, you send me that little collection of 'CDs to destroy' you've got going. Meanwhile, you can immerse yourself in a fantasy that I have destroyed them; which will be happening anyway because few on this earth except for wasteful, bombastic idiots like yourself will waste their time sending you more CDs of music made by a man whose past public opinions are so inconsequential to many lives. I'll even give you a couple of bucks if you want. Think about it; wouldn't you rather go buy a good book than be a moron? I think you would.

From: Gerald Levinson
Subject: boulez project
Date: Fri, 22 Nov 2002 10:30:03 -0800

Dear Josh Ronsen,
Suggestion for your project: get a life.
Jerry Levinson
From: DWarbur928
Date: Thu, 21 Nov 2002 03:22:19 EST

Dear Josh,

Your mail had already reached me via Guy Livingston, with whom I run the Paris
Transatlantic website ( I found so interesting and amusing
I forwarded it to 250 people on my mailing list, including the editorial staff at The
Wire. My future career at IRCAM is definitively fucked as a result, but hopefully you
might get some stuff you can use.

best wishes


Date: Wed, 20 Nov 2002 13:42:27 -0500
From: Leslie Gerber
Subject: Boulez project

Dear Josh,
A friend of mine who issues jazz CDs in England sent me your
announcement. I think it's a trip. I am dealer in classical LPs and CDs
and I find plenty of Boulez LPs I can't sell. I'll start saving them up
for you and I'll send you a package. Let me know when your deadline is
and I'll wait until shortly before then so as to accumulate the maximum
number of Boulez LPs.
I'd like two of your color posters, one for my own office, and
one for the radio station where I produced a weekly program, WMHT-FM in

From: Guy Thompson
Subject: Re: boulez?
Date: Tue, 19 Nov 2002 16:05:23 -0800 (PST)


[Reply from Josh:
Boulez has conducted Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 on no less than 3 occasions: 27 Sep 1966
in London, 26 Nov-8 Dec 1968 (unsure of how many times No. 5 performed) in London/
Croydon/Brighton, and 3 Aug 1969 in Cleveland

Boulez has also conducted Beethoven's Symphonies No. 1 (30 Oct-1 Nov 66), No. 2 (27 Sep 66,
27 Jan 1973, 12 Jun 73), No. 9 (30 Oct-1 Nov 66), Mozart's Symphonies No. 38 (Jan 1965),
Symphony No. 36 (7 Apr 73), Vivaldi's The Four Seasons (20 Sep 1964) and Bach's Brandenburg
Concertos No. 6 (2 Sep 1966) and No. 3 (20 May 72). He has conducted many
other lesser works by Beethoven and Mozart throughout the '60s and '70s.

You can find references for these in Jean Vermeil's "Conversations with Boulez: Thoughts on
[7 December 2003 update from Josh:
I now have a copy of this recording, it is catalog number Columbia M30085]
From: George Nicholson
Subject: Re: Boulez Project
Date: Tue, 19 Nov 2002 10:33:32 AM CST

Toying with neo-fascist methods? Is this a tribute to Goebbels, the Red
Guards or the Taliban....? Whichever, it's something the neo-Nazis
everywhere can approve of.

["Where books are burned, human beings are destined to be burned too."
Heinrich Heine]
From: Mapman923@ .com
Date: Mon, 18 Nov 2002 21:56:39 EST
Subject: Bou-Bou-lez

If I had anything of his, I'd send it.

This is the man who booed Stravinksky for his "Four Norwegian Moods." He
never had an original thought in his life. Thank goodness he can follow
directions when he conducts.

I just wonder what he thinks when he realizes that he is a dinosaur in a
world of mammals. Composers are rejecting what he stands (stood) for without
even giving a thought as to who he was (is?).

He's an creatively impotent wimp. Why bother with him?

From: Guy Thompson
Subject: Re: boulez?
Date: Sun, 17 Nov 2002 19:45:34 -0800 (PST)

Projects,projects.....sounds like bitterness and it seems like all of your views are set
in stone. But still this earth is big enough for both of us....Boulez did not do the 5th...
From: Bai'd
Subject: boulettez
Date: Sun, 17 Nov 2002 11:26:21 PM CST

hmm, which feldman is it that you'd be willing to trade?
(i've got a whole lotta varese)
actually, you know.....
i listened to my lp and cd again last night
and in regards to the cd, which is of two pieces "repons" and "dialogue de l'ombre double"
i would say your assesment of boulez being interesting merely for a passage here and there holds true
and found, after a couple of hours of hacking it to bits on the computer last night
that considering how much more i liked my newly remixed version
that i really needn't keep this old one
thus, one pierre boulez cd will be on its way to you
to hopefully be received and destroyed by you and your comrads
(though the record i keep, as i still enjoy it, though the sounds from it to were hacked up and added to the mix)
it's all true, i know no one who would rank boulez amungst their favorite composers
though for me there are entire pieces that are interesting, they aren't consistently so
he would seem to have the lowest hype/result ratio amungst the big name "modern" composers
and when the boulez parody piece occurs
be sure to post them where we all (including mr boulez)
can find and enjoy them.........
SUBJECT: Boulez End
DATE: Sat, 16 Nov 2002 10:17:32 AM CST

I'm a clarinettist in London, involved in both music of the present
and the past, and I got a copy of your mail from Dan Warburton in Paris. You'd
be welcome to my copy of the solo part to Domaines, which is pretty big - 10 sheets
of A3 and 2 of A2, plus cover and instructions - so it might be quite theatrical
to destroy. Do I get to suggest how?
From: A
Subject: the Pierre Boulez project ;-)
Date: Fri, 15 Nov 2002 13:29:22 +0100

Hi Josh

On your site, you wrote

Q: Will donating to the project jepodize my chances of working at IRCAM?
A: Probably (if anyone over there would notice this project, which I don't think
is likely). You can always keep your donation anonymous.

Well, fact is that I work at Ircam full time, that I indeed noticed your project,
and that I greatly appreciate it !!!

I know that is quite difficult to believe, but not all the people working there are
tight assed ! Well, sadly, a lot of them really are, that's true ...

Needless to say, Boulez as a composer may be rather good and insteresting, but as a
writer and theoricist, well...

Good luck and congratulation for your project indeed... It would be a good idea to
film your performance and put it on the web... Do you intend to do this ?


[JOSH]:Last year I read Born's "Rationalizing Culture" and I assume the IRCAM of today is
similar to the IRCAM of the mid-80s, although I wonder how recent developments in
consumer computers (the Mac G4 processor) have affected IRCAM.

Well I wasn't there in the mid 80s, so I guess Born is right.
However, Ircam is what the people there are. From my point of view, there are four kinds of people there (in the reserach department, where I'm working)
the "old guard" members of the old guard who where very gifted and now work in the US
the "converted" new guys
the "independant" new guys

People from the old guard were already there in the mid 80s, some of them being there from the beginning. As far as I'm concerned, there are not good. They lack the ability to make the link between music, audio ans science. They are not open minded and above all, their practical sense is often ridiculously bad. Furthermore they never really listen. I don't even know if the wold "listen" makes any sense for them.

Second category, the guys who sere very good and went to work in the US. There is one named Jean Marc Jot, which devised a very interesting concept named "spatializer", which was almost working. I say "almost" bacause Ircam never went as far as to actually develop it. So he was frustrated his ideas never really got real, and went to work for Creative Labs / EMU near San Francisco. For example, he has developed the "super bit munger" in EMU sampler last series.

There was another one, the name of which I don't remember, who participated in the french movie "Farinelli". The main character of this film, Farinelli, was a "castratto" opera singer who lived in the XVIIIth century if I remember right. His voice was incredible, and no one could sing like him nowadays. Then the voice had to be recreated artificially, by hybridating sampled tenor and soprano voices using "analysis/synthesis" techniques. A really good and interesting work. The guys was never credited in the movie (!!) - instead, it was Ircam that was credited (and paid). His name never appeared in the movie. So he decided to quit and went abroad.

Third category, the young guys who come to work at Ircam and don't have the will, or personality maybe, to resist the "local ambience". They think working at Ircam is a great honour, they deeply revere the old guard, their ideas become Ircam ideas, their personality fades. They are generally penetrated with the idea that it is an honour to work there. They think that any idea they have is right, because they had this idea working at Ircam. That could be funny, but these guys incerdibly get on my nerves !!!!

Fourth category, the young guys that keep ideas of their own : they think working at Ircam is nice, because you get to do all kind of interesting things, which is true. And it is always good to put on a CV. They try to work at their best and propose ideas which could change Ircam the good way, if only a little. They also try not to lose their practical sense, which isn't this easy at Ircam.

To answer your question concerning the use of Macintosh computers, well I don't think it has drastically changed anything. Computers, to my opinion, remain tools, and are not instruments. So it all depends on how you use them. At Ircam, a lot of people don't have really assimilated what I think is the good way to work with Macs : they obstinately refuse all third party audio software, and work with Mac versions of their old Next / Unix programs. I may be exaggerating, but well... it seems only too true for me...

That being said, some guys are currently integrating the Spat into ProTools by making it a suite of TDM plug-ins. Others are trying to simplfy the old softwares in order to make them more practical and more like any audio software, with real graphical interfaces. But it is not easy, as the Ircam institution does not want to encourage them : it was meant to be a research center, not a development company : consequently, the softwares crash and are not practical *at all*. Personally I can't use them: too much problems, too much wasted time.... This time it is the institution to blame ( and the director...) not the research guys.

[JOSH]: Let me ask you a question: in the past 10 years or so, what do you think
(your personal opinion) has been the most worthwhile works to come out of IRCAM?

This question is difficult to answer. I believe that the most worthwhile works may be music works : a gifted composer is a gifted composer. If he comes working at Ircam for a while, he will still be gifted.

Now come to think of it, Pierre Henry made a piece at Ircam ( Le Livre des Morts Egyptiens ) and it is a very bad piece, very unlike him, so well my last sentence may not be this true.

If you want my personal opinion, nothing good came out of the research department. This institution just relies on its ability to communicate : "we are doing high level, excruciating, complicated things, here is the explanation, you won't understand anything so you guess how interesting and how deep it is". In french, I would say "c'est du vent, tout á". But when I go to the Ircam concerts, sometimes I hear very interesting works musically speaking. Some composers working there are quite good. Ircam is a place for them to work, it gives them money... well, just for this reason it is good that Ircam exists I think.

Fell free to spread this opinion wherever you wish. Maybe it would be wiser not to associate my name with it LOL
From: David Jaggard
Subject: The Boulez project
Date: Fri, 15 Nov 2002 13:17:00 +0100

Information about your project was forwarded to me by a composer friend. I am an American composer living in France and I have always despised Boulez, in particular his pompous posturing, a category of behavior that includes his early calls for destroying old art. "Look at me -- I'm such a radical iconoclast!" This was of course before he became such a conservative icon.

I regret that I have nothing to contribute. Loathing the man and his music as I do, I have never acquired any Boulez material.

But please keep me updated on this project.

David Jaggard
From: kevin mayo
Subject: that man Boulez
Date: Tue, 12 Nov 2002 09:48:26 -0000

Dear Josh,

I was highly amused by your website request for old Boulez paraphanalia. It
is quite possible that destruction is the best thing to do with it. I'm sorry I cannot contribute as I do not have any of that rubbish in my possession.

I might say that I have studied Boulez's music in some detail over the years in an attempt to discover what I am missing. He undoubtedly has written some interesting music (explosant fixe) but the vast majority of it is an affront to my musical senses. From a position of knowledge, I can dismiss him as a minor musical figure.

I now realise that his efforts to destroy our beautiful musical heritage will fail, and in 200 years time no-one will be playing his music. Thank
From: "the locus of"
Date: Mon, 11 Nov 2002 10:40:29 -0000



From: Clemente Padan
Date: Tue, 9 Nov 2002 08:07:46 -0300

I congratulate you for your excelent work on Pierre Boulez...!
But, I have no recordings and works from him.

I hope the best for your projects, fraternally,

From: Geoff Poole
Subject: Pierre Boulez Project
Date: Tue, 5 Nov 2002 07:41:58 EST

Yeaar! - Great Idea but why stop there?
Mahler "Tradition is Slovenliness" - he must be pretty saggy by now, time to bin.
And Henry Ford "History is Bunk", well it must be time to destroy the family automobile.
Geoff Poole
From: "Anne Meier"
Subject: Pierre Boulez Project
Date: Tue, 05 Nov 2002 11:59:11 +0000


I recieved your mail about the Pierre Boulez Project, and I think it could be very interesting! I am in charge of the classical music for the newspaper Le Courrier in Geneva, and I'd like to recieve further information about you and your project!

Thank you

Anne Meier
From: "Jennifer Jerome"
Subject: boulez?
Date: Mon, 4 Nov 2002 19:09:53 -0800

This sounds like you have to much time on your hands...boulez is a genius not a saint. His views are not set in stone like yours seem to be!!!! e-mail me to discuss this more,
if you care to. Wolfgang
From: Ted Mentele
Subject: Re: boulez quote revelation
Date: Tue, 29 Oct 2002 16:43:51 -0500


I'm not sure I'm fond of the May 68 roits or the situationist Debord. A fine artist, but if violent anarchy is your cup of tea... you be loco. Another figure that embraces the Marxist discourse, but was not 'orthodox' (and is often lionized by the LEFT) is Antonio Italian Negri. There is an interesting writeup on him in the current NYRB.

Too bad about the TCRP dinner.
From: Drone Records
Date: Tue, 29 Oct 2002 18:51:15 +0100

Hi Josh,
thanks for the invitation, but we have to tell you that our knowledge of boulez is too small to contribute to this project. if you like, i can forward your invitation to the drone records mailing list (about 200 really interested people on there).
let me know
From: Jeff Talman
Date: Mon, 28 Oct 2002 15:06:03 -0500

hi josh,

very amusing project.

i would be happy to send my boulez recordings for the project but i destroyed them a couple of years ago after writing an article that received quite a bit of attention.

please feel free to link to that article "Boulez is Dead" at Music and Vision (a British daily e-zine on classical music):

btw on your website, i question the originality of timothy oullette's quote: "he has, at times, presented himself as little more than a Napoleon complex with a comb-over."

my article, published on mar 25-26, 2000, noted his "fascist control..." and queried whether we can "trust a man with a comb-over..."
keep up the good work.

From: "David Canfield"
Date: Mon, 28 Oct 2002 10:10:49 -0500

This is about the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard of. There must be something out there that you could do to help society, and I encourage you to seek out some really worthwhile project.....
Dave Canfield
From: Steve Roden
Date: Sun, 27 Oct 2002 09:13:38 -0800

hello josh-

thanks for the note. i don't know if we've had any correspondence in the past, but i know your name from the lowercase list if nothing else... appreciate the offer to participate in your project - a few thoughts:
i don't own any boulez recordings of his own music, which i have no interest in. i do have one recording of him conducting a schoenberg piece that i love and have not found it recorded with any other conductor, in which case i would switch it out as i have very little interest in boulez (whom incidentally i believe follows a long line of folks who have completely misinterpreted schoenberg's interests and purposes of his methods of composition).

i can understand your interest in initiating such a project based on an inane and contradictory statement such as 'all work of the past must be destroyed' - whether said in stupidity as a kind of avant garde pose, or in sincerity as a fascist or ultimately super egotistical gesture. the> statement doesn't work for me in any way as i have much interest and find inspiration in all that has come before me; and in no way feel intimidated by, nor exhausted by, what is the history of cultural or artistic activity. sad that mr. boulez can't seem to step out of the shadow of his artistic parents until he feels that they are erased - i suppose he doesn't like to have something to work with or against.

for myself, the the lack of interest in boulez's work isn't in the pomposity of his grand posturing and overblown statements such as the one you mention - but in the simple fact that his music holds no interest for me as a listener and his dialogue (and music) is overly academic and likewise somewhat 'exclusive' without an access point for someone like myself. for me it is all rather marginal and fairly boring stuff. that said i can view your project in two ways - positive and progressive, or negative and somewhat stale. i have a great interest and a love of taking things have little interest or no substance and creating something that i would love very much as a result - a new work that has substance and the case of audio that is interesting, beautiful, etc. to listen to - to take something that is not worth my time and to make it something holy. on the other hand i have no interest in destruction for destructions sake; chaos as an 'avant garde' gesture; nor any project simply built on negativity instead of creativity. i am not sure of your intentions in the process, nor your intended result - but i hope that something positive other than the loss of a bunch of recordings that someone else in the world might be interested in hearing or obtaining would be of interest.

i would ask the question what do you mean by destruction? there are so many ways to approach this idea and process. the taking apart and reconstructing could be of interest - possibly even alchemical. the simple destruction would be more like burning beatles records or jewish literature simply because you oppose someone's ideaology. what can be built from the fire..... simple destruction seems to fall into the dilemma boulez himself was struggling with; while reconstructing the past (in this case boulez himself) into something of the future seems to be a challenge he was never willing to take on himself - and would be the ultimate in taking his petty negative arguments and standing them on their empty heads.

sorry to have rambled on here - the real answer is that i have no boulez vinyl so i can't help you with this.

take care and good luck with whatever path this project takes.

From: Rolf Langebartels
Date: Mon, 28 Oct 2002 22:13:51 +0100

Hi Josh,

in the last days I have received your mail concerning your PIERRE BOULEZ PROJECT. I find your activity interesting. Sorry I don't have any Boulez records and so can't participate in your project.

I run an internet project called SOUNDBAG and I invite you to participate in that. Please send some images which I could integrate there together with a part of the text which you have sent already.

I look forward to hear from you.
Best Rolf.
From: dimitri
Date: Sun, 27 Oct 2002 04:07:28 +0200


I do not really understand why so many people today want to destroy what is around them.

Just keep in mind ray bradbury's "farenheit 451" and remember how the nazis actually did burn millions of books.

Isn't your project referring to "op-art" anyway? Your project is definately a work of art of 1970. Old school.

And don't forget to destroy it along the go, just to be consequential.

I can't really condemn you, since you are playing on an intellectual twist, just like it was some kind of computer software analyzing data. And maybe there resides the idea.

But don't flunk it by destroying the works.
Stop your list at 99 items.


From: Paul De Marinis
Date: Sat, 26 Oct 2002 15:58:45 -0700

Hi Josh - Wondeful idea. I'd love to participate but I must confess that, after a careful inventory of my collections of Edison cylinders, Pathe discs, 78s, LPs, Cds, DVDs and DAT tapes, I actually don't have any recorded materials composed or conducted by Boulez. So perhaps I can instead contribute a suggestion for an action that will semi-permanently relegate the works of Boulez to the future: inhumation. If you bury the recorded materials carefully so that no one from the present can find them, they will remain hovering somewhere in a possible future to be discovered. Thus you would accomplish for Boulez what Stockhausen only dreamt of doing - to make music that is eternal future. Anyway, good luck and please keep me posted on the project.
P.S. I am told that people in Texas have no cultural memory. Is that true? If so, why not try to obliterate the works of one of your great Texas artists like Jerry Hunt or Jim Pomeroy?
From: Amy Knoles
Date: Sat, 26 Oct 2002 12:35:06 -0800

Great idea..I did a piece many years ago by Jack Vees called "Schoenberg is Mort" based on a Boulez essay. In the piece I scratched Schoenberg and rapped Boulez , also playing excerpts of his own pieces that did the nasty he was dissing...

I'll see if I can find anything...

From: "Matt Shimmer"
Date: Sat, 26 Oct 2002 05:17:55 +0000

Hi Josh,

I do not own any Boulez records, so I can not help you out in that sense.
But, I run a music webzine (dedicated to independent and challenging sounds)
called Indieville ( - probably where you got my
e-mail address from. Your project really interests me, so I'll make sure to
do a write-up about it in our News section.

Aside from that, I was wondering if you'd be interested in doing something else for my website... I'd love to review some Brekekekexkoaxkoax material or do a little interview or something.

Future updates about this project would also be lovely.

Take care,

From: rl
Subject: Re: NMA magazine index
Date: Tue, 22 Oct 2002 07:42:00 -0700

Hello Josh

hey thanks for the Cage site, that's great work and congratulations.

As for the boulez site, well its about time... Would you accept a vinyl copy of Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire conducted by Boulez? Its a pretty good example of Boulez destroying the music of the past, it being a sung version that should never have been released (as it was, on the occasion of the manifestations inaugurales of IRCAM)..
have you perhaps considered taking this piece to paris..?
cheers Rainer
From: David Cotner
Date: Sat, 19 Oct 2002 13:18:00 -0700

Dear Josh:

That's fucking brilliant. I'll dig some up and send them your way. Do you want me to get word to M. Boulez himself? :)


From: "Geoffrey King"
Subject: Splendid Project
Date: Tue, 15 Oct 2002 00:15:26 +0200

What a splendid project, your initiative is marvelous. I would send something but all my Boulez material is extremely valuable to me. Your not getting my score of Le Marteau, etc.
By the way who gives a fuck about Henri Sauget? He might be quite good though. I'd like to hear something of his. How desperate the French colleagues of Boulez must be about "Le Roi Boulez".........poor darlings.

Geoffrey King.
From: "Mentele, Ted"
Subject: Pierre Boulez Page
Date: Tue, 14 May 2002 14:26:38 -0500

Another page for your hero:

I'm a bit bored; so I'm poking through the andante site.. maybe too musty
for you though.
From: "Matthew Davies"
Subject: your Boulez project
Date: Wed, 01 Aug 2001 07:10:11 +0000

Hello Josh - good luck with this. I'd have loved to send you my P.B stuff but I sold my 'Pli Selon Pli' and 'Le Marteua sans Maitre' scores some years ago. He is a **great** disapointment to me. He was wonderful here on the London scene some 20 years ago......he probably peaked with 'Repons' but doesn't now write any new stuff. He breezes in for 2 days doing mainstream 20th century lollipops and is *so* vain about his hair - slicking that little strand across his dome - and shipping his glasses on & off very quickly so that no-one notices. At least Stockhausen is still being creative and turning out his 'Licht' cycle.

All the best Matthew
From: paul robertson
Date: Fri, 23 Feb 2001 18:44:20 +0000

Hi Josh
I don't think I have any in inventory at the moment. Sorry

From: Elisabeth Boisset
Subject: Boulez stuff
Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2001 22:42:09 +0100

Great idea !! But done before, by Hitler or the KKK. Next time you burn Jews, maybe ? Get a real job, asshole.

From: "James Marshael"
Subject: Boulez said something stupid......SO WHAT!!!
Date: Tue, 26 Dec 2000 16:08:22 -0800

Dear Josh,

Boulez said something stupid we are all guilty of that. However the man is a musical genius (influenced a lot of people) you can't deny that whether you like his work or not. His whole life has been firmly dedicated to music and nothing else. Either you agree with his vision or you don't. Ronald Reagan said that "Facts are stupid things." (American Historical Figure) from his address to Republican National Convention in 1988. Now take that one literally!!!! Josh you really must not be that intelligent to think up something as stupid as take one statement literally. Inform yourself and don't listen to what others say. Read the books on him, examine the scores, listen to the music, see the list of accomplishments. Boulez is the "REAL DEAL" whether you like to admit it or not. History will remember him as being one of the greatest pioneering musical innovators and visionaries of our time. History will not remember you.

P.S Any person can perform/dream-up your mail/performance piece. Most people cannot do what BOULEZ is capable of doing.

Good Luck heh heh............
From: "James Marsheal"
Subject: Re: Boulez said something stupid......SO WHAT!!!
Date: Fri, 29 Dec 2000 15:09:02 -0800

Dear Josh,

5 years in the making??????????????? Truly sad and pathetic. I have most of Boulez's own recordings and the one's he's conducted as well. Your getting none of them. Boulez has been in the music business for 50yrs, as acomposer, conductor, writer and teacher, as founder of new ensembles, research centres and planner of concert series so you have an awful lot of destroying to do. lol


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