Tag Archives: Morton Feldman

Morton Feldman’s “The viola in my life”

Morton Feldman

Morton Feldman’s four compositions with the title The viola in my life comprise a series-like cycle.

Unlike his earlier Intermissions, this series is constituted less through compositional and representational procedures than through small pregnant melodic objects that are assembled montage-like in the solo viola part over a homogeneous sonic background; these formal strategies show parallels to the combine paintings of Robert Rauschenberg.

This according to Morton Feldman: The viola in my life (1970–71) by Oliver Wiener (Saarbrücken: Pfau-Verlag, 1996).

Today would have been Feldman’s 90th birthday! Below, a performance of The viola in my life 2.

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Filed under 20th- and 21st-century music

Source: Music of the avant-garde

The journal Source: Music of the avant-garde was and remains a seminal source for materials on the heyday of experimental music and arts. Conceived in 1966 and published until 1973, it included some of the most important composers and artists of the time: John Cage, Harry Partch, David Tudor, Morton Feldman, Robert Ashley, Pauline Oliveros, Dick Higgins, Nam June Paik, Steve Reich, and many others.

A pathbreaking publication, Source documented crucial changes in performance practice and live electronics, computer music, notation and event scores, theater and installations, intermedia and technology, politics and the social roles of composers and performers, and innovations in the sound of music. Special features included custom typography, multiple paper stocks, multicolored scores, 10 inch LPs, 35mm slides, fur, and shotgun holes.

Source: Music of the avant-garde 1966–1973, a 396-page collection of reprints from the journal, was issued by the University of California Press in 2011. Below, a performance of Feldman’s revolutionary percussion work The king of Denmark. Can anyone help us to identify this very talented performer?

Related article: John Cage unbound


Filed under 20th- and 21st-century music