I’m beginning to wonder whether there is any discernible theoretical difference between Cage’s “gamut” technique of the 1940s, by which he precompositionally limited what sonorities he would have available, and what I’ve been calling postminimalism all these years. I’ve been tempted all along to refer to Cage’s pieces like The Seasons and In a Landscape and the 1950 String Quartet (and even Feldman’s 1951 string quartet Structures) as “protopostminimalist,” but now I’m beginning to question what purpose the “proto-” serves. If there is a difference, it’s that the postminimalist limitations of Bill Duckworth’s music, and Janice Giteck’s, and John Luther Adams’s, tend to fall within a system, or a scale, or a logical set of rhythms deployed over a certain range, while Cage selected the elements of his gamuts for maximum disjunction and diversity. But that’s a tenuous disctinction, and when you get to a totalist work like, say, Michael Gordon’s Thou Shalt!/Thou Shalt Not! or Mikel Rouse’s “Tennessee Gold,” even that falls apart. Could one, I’m thinking, draw a line extending from Satie through Cage and Feldman – skipping over or around both serialism and minimalism – to the postminimalists, showing the rise of a new way of thinking about music, as a nonsyntactic play among discrete sonic objects?