working on in 1969
i showed the piece to emmett williams, my teacher, (and i mean that in the deepest senses of the meaning), and he spoke it out-loud and said,
now that is a beautiful phrase
so i tucked it away and trusted that at some point i would know to make a piece worthy of his comment
by 1974 i had begun to work with the process of permutation and knew that permutation would be the means to realize such a piece
however, while i could generate permutations up to 5040 lines [seven elements], 40320? not possible
[and years later, when i began to study the Book of Formation, in chapter 4 verse 4 i read:
how does one permute them? 2 stones build 2 houses, 3 stones build 6 houses, and so on till 7 stones build 5o4o houses,
but beyond that calculation the mouth cannot speak and the ear cannot hear
so coincidentally, in 1974 i was living in winnetka and just down the road was a college that i had hesrd had just started a computer science department
and so i went in and spoke with the director to see if it was possible for them to produce the piece — which they kindly did
and so this enabled me to approach Tom Marioni who ran the Museum of Conceptual Art in San Francisco with a copy and ask him if i could present it in a performance there, with one voice per sentences beginning with each word, for a total of 8 voice
and to my surprise he decided to include it in the Second Generation show that he would be having the following year
so on 14 March 1975, the piece had its premiere performance with the voices of Faryl Bell, Lorry Benjamin, Ilyse Feder, Mary Ann Melchert, Emi Ozaki, Judy Parks, Margaret Pethick, and Carol Schaler
here then, the first page and the last page [note that first phrase is repeated, as the last phrase is the original phrase in reverse]