Rewiring the System

Silence Gets Its Moments Of Composition

Solvent sounds: Gaseous solute, this music, it could be liquid as it moves to dissolve the everyday noise into the great ocean of silence scribbled by composer Feldman for the Rothko chapel in Houston. Rothko Chapel, for soprano, alto, choir, percussion, celesta and viola (1970).



Morton Feldman (January 12, 1926 – September 3, 1987) was an American composer, born in New York City. I think Morton Feldman is a major figure in our 20th century music.  Morton Feldman was a pioneer of indeterminate music, a development associated with the experimental East Coast and New York School of composers also including John CageChristian Wolff, and Earle Brown. Feldman’s works are characterized by notational innovations which he developed to create his characteristic sound: rhythms which seem to be free and floating; pitch shadings which seem softly unfocused; a generally quiet and slowly evolving music; recurring asymmetric patterns. I once saw one of his graphed paper compositions. At the time I did not undertand what an important moment it was.

He is one of the grandfathers’ of the music of our times. It is amazing to see an ocean of gray heads for such sonic grace. No surprise that the conversation hovered in the negative. The beautiful sonic gift was not appreciated by most of the people sitting around me in the central section of the orchestra section seats.

This audience was not interested in selven sounds. Geeks abound here in the city by the bay yet very few put money and time to attend great new music.  This digital, computational, electronic age has its workers sitting still putting time an money into the idea space to bring the future into now. All those woman and men with present purpose, could be inspired to listen to the great masters of this age, this time and space. The current masters are expressing the sound bodies of eternal beauty. This generation of Geeks and Nurds can afford and choose to spend on orchestra tickets. The ‘Rents generally can not stand to feel themselves in the simplicity of sonic tension that layered beauty brings into the game.

notable students whose music should be both played and listened to in a concert live music

Cage, as a galaxy class composer, is perhaps best known for his 1952 composition 4′33″, the three movements of which are performed without a single note being played. The content of the composition is meant to be perceived as the sounds of the environment that the listeners hear while it is performed, rather than merely as four minutes and thirty three seconds of silence, and the piece became one of the most controversial compositions of the twentieth century. Another famous creation of Cage’s is the prepared piano (a piano with its sound altered by placing various objects in the strings), for which he wrote numerous dance-related works and a few concert pieces, the best known of which is Sonatas and Interludes (1946–48).

Rhythmic proportions in Sonata III of Sonatas and Interludes for prepared piano

I had the good fortune to have a girl friend, Mary Clare Richards, who worked closely with John Cage and Murce Cunningham. Our conversations about everything from movement to who thought up the color yellow, allowed me to open my mind to the power of bringing in the new stuff into the existing.

I have  particularly strong interest in helping climbers, movers and shakers to get to concerts so Our great city will not only be known as a great place to code and create but through their support a great place to live and listen. So many in the programing industry are consumed by their work. I delight in that focus. I imagine that the spacious field created by new music composers would open sections of thinking not yet contacted.

It was wonderful and creative to put the new music first and the Mozart Requiem after the intermission. People stayed to hear the tried and true. But would it not be sublime if MTT could get the Davies Hall filled to capacity with an all new music event or series.

On the East Coast there was a Composers Forum, with their own venue funded by many of the corporations that doted along Route 1. How about Cisco funding electronic music by paying the rent. General Electric gave the group a place to meet every month where new works were presented and the creation process was discussed. Where the constructions happend might have a place as well where creative blendes of sound could work and the product would be played at the Davies Hall.

I loved the concert, the first half brought the precision of  world class  musicians into the spaceless space of sound traveling out to the edges of the know. After the intermission the Mozart was also ver precise in the way Bach might have orchestrated with mathematical strokes. I have over the many years I have heard passionate Requiem that dug into my thoughts about mortality. I was hoping for the passionate experience. It was good but simply beautiful … The voices of both the chorus and soloists showed the range of organdy, silk and veils of joy. Everything was very professional and clean. The rhythm was wildly moving with all the trades of 4’s and 8’s that give jive to a dance song shown through the way the music was mounted; Though it was cleaner and crisper than heaven and hell, It was Crads!





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