(21stCent) Morton Feldman Reading and Listening

I’m going to hold off on the psychological perception articles for now. Instead, I’m linking to some texts by and about Morton Feldman. Next week I’m going to present Feldman and his work Triadic Memories for solo piano. The duration of this work is right around 1:30 (one hour and thirty minutes). It can stretch longer depending on the performance.

You can get an mp3 of Roger Woodward performing here. The work was written for Woodward and Aki Takahashi. I’ll probably have to leave a copy or two of the score in the SOM Computer Lab. It’s 11×17 and doesn’t scan easily.

You can also listen to a chamber piece of Feldman’s, Crippled Symmetry, for flute/picc, piano/celesta, vibraphone/glockenspiel. I use it to illustrate a few key points, but listening to it isn’t required at this point.

I’ve found some online texts that will help introduce you to Feldman. All are fairly short.

Feldman’s short bio for Universal Press (his publisher) explains his fascination with long-form works.

Feldman Explains Himself, writings about lectures Feldman gave in the 1960s. This period doesn’t reflect Feldman’s later interest in exact notation and long form, but help to understand his general aesthetic principles.

Liner notes include Morton Feldman: Three Periods of Working, which helps to explain his different style periods.

This interview gets interesting around the time Feldman remarks that “FELDMAN: You’re absolutely right. I’m making a parallel to how I work. I’m involved with “problem solving,” but I don’t know what the problem is. In other words, a piece starts to develop, and problems arise. I don’t begin with problems; if you begin with a problem , you’ll solve it.” Look for that spot and continue on.

This article has a nice section on Feldman’s fascination with Turkish (Coptic) rugs, and how they influenced him as a composer. (scroll down to the “Rugs” section) Feldman remarks directly on Triadic Memories.

A collection of short reviews of the premiere of Triadic Memories.

Finally, program notes, including some words by Feldman, for Triadic Memories.


Leave a Reply