Repetition and variation are important components of the music of Morton Feldman—components that he extracted from his observation of Persian carpet designs.
Rug design and music are arts that use symbolic language to express certain concepts with a focus on the idea of unity in multiplicity. The designs of some Persian carpets are based on the weaver’s mind map, which resembles Feldman’s musical approach. Key elements of these carpet patterns correspond directly to Feldman’s use of repetition and symmetry in his works.
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! Above, the composer in 1976; below, a performance of The viola in my life 2.
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.
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