Erv Wilson is asked for a simple explanation of his work as if he is explaining it to a child. Instead, he is more interested in what an uncorrupted child understands before we all got so smart.
INTERVIEWER: I’m five years old. Explain your work in the tuning field. Explain it.
ERV WILSON: Just talking to them…
INTERVIEWER: Yup, just talking to a five year old.
ERV WILSON: You don’t just talk to a five year old. You play with them. And you have toys–you have got to give them a toy that makes sounds–when he does something to that toy, it will make a sound. And show him slowly and carefully how to build up a little tree out of these sounds. Let him learn it that way. I wouldn’t just talk to a… they are very playful. They love to play. That’s the way they learn.
INTERVIEWER: What do you want children to know about your work?
ERV WILSON: I want to know what they know before I got so smart ass. Children have clean slates and they have not been corrupted by dominating teachers telling them what to do. So it’s as if we gave them any choice of notes and instruments the way they wanted them. Be as creative with sound as they are with crayolas. Then, just stand back and see what they do.