Toni Lester


This article explores how the idea of trust-based dialogue can give us an alternative understanding about the nature of authorial control and inter-pretation across identity-based differences. Part One will discuss the respective personal stories, philosophies, and competing historical understandings that influenced Cage’s creation of Solo and Eastman’s interpretation thereof. Part Two will offer definitions of trust and communication from the fields of feminist relational psychology, philosophy, and law. Throughout Part Two, I will reflect on the extent to which a trust-based dialogue could have taken place between Cage and Eastman. My general sense is that the answer is “no.” Both men had fairly fixed views about the trajectory their art should take, and talking about it probably would not have changed that. Nevertheless, with my conclusion later, I suggest that contemporary composers/authors should still try to create the conditions under which honest, self-aware dialogue about control and trust can arise. Who knows what kind of joint innovative and thought-provoking work could be developed as a result.