// When contemporary composers keep adding more and more ridiculous extended techniques to their music//
It doesn’t end. As long as there are techniques, we will extend them.
E X T E N D
I’m inclined to make a case that all currently standard techniques began as extended techniques themselves. Vibrato, overblowing to the second or third note in the harmonic series, thumb position, double-tonguing, sul ponticello…
Hell, even just the idea of an instrument is pretty far out. “Hey, I’m going to blow into this tube with holes in it.” “Cool, I’m going to attach strings of desiccated animal innards to a wooden box and scrape them with horse hair attached to a stick (or initially probably a literal archery bow).” “Hey man, wtf are you doing stretching that gazelle hyde over a hollowed-out log?? I was going to use that as a rug!”
… although I will concede that some extended techniques are stupid and probably attempts to play the game of “I’m-More-Avant-Garde-Than-You-So-This-Music-Must-Mean-Something-And-If-You-Don’t-Get-It-You’re-Unintelligent-And-A-Square”. (I’ve been guilty of this occasionally.)
But still, in the process of trying any and all ideas we can think of, we find much which is rubbish, but more importantly, a little of what is truly valuable.
One of my favorite quotes:
Niels Bohr — “An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field.”
…perhaps a bit of hyperbole, but I think expresses a profound and often ignored truth. It turns out that fear of mistakes is, for many, a prison for ambition, inner passion, curiosity, and the joy of exploration and discovery. So shove an orange in a clarinet and try to play it underwater while sitting on a timpano with two angry cats inside it.
(I like percu22’s succinct comment better than my long-winded one though)