Abstract Expressionism music
Some occasions actually are life-altering, and Morton Feldman, the United states composer whoever songs is done recently within the Lincoln Center Festival, satisfying John Cage in 1949 at a show in Carnegie Hall had been one. By then Cage currently understood everybody really worth knowing inside arts, or at the least he understood those who knew those people, and additionally they gathered at his loft regarding the Lower East Side of New york.
There, through Cage, Feldman became acquainted not just with other gifted composers but also with visual artists. He shortly became section of a circle that included Philip Guston and Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Franz Kline: the leading Abstract Expressionists, just who additionally became referred to as ny class painters. Feldman hung on with them during the Cedar Bar in Greenwich Village and committed ratings to them, and, he later on insisted, these people were the people just who many influenced their songs. These days it really is a given among artists that Feldman's music is somehow akin to Abstract Expressionist art.
But just how? That's an awfully difficult question, maybe not minimum because it isn't completely clear just what connects the many Abstract Expressionists. There's the added issue with Feldman that through the belated 1970's, as he began to create much longer and longer pieces, songs critics began to describe him, with different composers like Philip Glass and Steve Reich, regarding another art movement, Minimalism. What was Feldman, eventually, an Abstract Expressionist, a Minimalist, or both, or neither?
Very first a term about the man. A Rabelaisian figure with a dense ny twang, he when described himself as a cross between Ludwig Wittgenstein and Zero Mostel. He had been created in nyc in 1926, examined aided by the American composer Wallingford Riegger as well as the German-born Stefan Wolpe, and passed away in 1987 in Buffalo, where he had been the Edgard Varese Professor of musical during the State University of New York. It is paradoxical that Feldman ended his profession as an academic, due to the fact, in 1950's and 60's, at least, their songs represented a definite substitute for the type of stuff taken from universities.
Most that scholastic songs revolved around elaborating on the intricacies of Serialism. Combined with various other alleged New York School composers (Cage, Earle Brown and Christian Wolff among them), Feldman was thinking in different terms. He wished to provide performers freedom and mobility, away from which, he thought, would come a kind of collaborative creativity.
Initially he had beenn't as worried about precisely which notes they played much like the quality of the sounds they made. Therefore he conceived a brand new notation that contained rows of containers with numbers in them, the containers and figures suggesting just how many records to relax and play at the same time, and just how long to try out them, yet not which notes to try out, beyond an extensive designation of large, center or low register.
Feldman wanted to get a handle on the thickness and combination of timbres, and also the characteristics, which were mostly to be quiet or very quiet. He had been highly affected by Cage's fascination with silence plus in just what Cage, a follower of Eastern philosophies, called the Void. Feldman's music, with its attenuated, tremulous expressions, seemed like moving breezes: meditative, disembodied, free-form, often sliding toward inaudibility.
In later works like "Piano (Three arms), " of 1957, and "Last Pieces, " of 1959, he indicated which pitches to relax and play however their particular length. Later on still, when he returned to conventionally notated scores, his focus stayed on washes of sound, though today of severe extent. His String Quartet #2 (1983), if played as he composed it, continues around six hours. (The Kronos Quartet will have fun with the whole thing on Saturday night at Alice Tully Hall included in the event, and you will find three other Feldman concerts, concerning different musicians, at the community for Ethical society, 2 West 64th Street, on Friday, Saturday and next Sunday.)
What, if any such thing, does all of this want to do with Abstract Expressionism or, for example, Minimalism? It is somewhat beside the point but interesting that particular experimental scores from 1950's by Feldman's colleagues Cage and Brown, indicating the specific pages of the songs, look like abstractions by Kandinsky or Mondrian: in Brown's case, by way of example, the rating of "December 1952" comprises of dots, dashes and diverse rectangular pubs irregularly disposed on a blank web page in a way that looks like a Mondrian of approximately 1917 or, even more, a Guston from early 50's.
For their component, Feldman thought of the resemblance perhaps not in terms of results but of sounds: he talked about noise as though it were one thing physical, malleable, some thing becoming formed, like pigment. At one of his true very early concerts (which were attended, by-the-way, mostly by music artists), he informed the audience, "I have always been thinking about touch as opposed to musical types."
This comment is exposing, because Guston, who had been his nearest artist-friend, when stated virtually the opposite: "Look at any motivated painting. It really is like a gong sounding; it sets you in a situation of reverberation." Obviously, Guston and Feldman inside 1950's had been considering anything comparable, particularly, the undefinable territory between songs and art: an abstract concept that allowed each of them to stimulate the immateriality they certainly were targeting.