I no longer dislike Morton Feldman…


…well, that’s not entirely true. Most of his music is still not going to be on any playlists of mine anytime soon, and I probably won’t be rushing out to hear any six hour compositions of his. But his Rothko Chapel, which I heard Thursday night, is one of the most gorgeous and incredible pieces of the 20th century. It really is magical, and I’m sorry that I wrote off a composer for so long just because of one bad experience with his music. I encourage my students to approach modern music with an open mind – I’m glad I took a lesson from myself and went out to hear Feldman again Thursday. It is an experience I won’t soon forget.

I “get” what Feldman is trying to do in most of his music – philosophically and aesthetically I “appreciate” his artistic stance. I just can’t listen to most of it. I’ve had this conversation with people before about John Cage: is he a great composer or a great musical philosopher? I tend to think the latter, which is not to say that Cage doesn’t have some absolutely beautiful compositions (especially his pre-Silence, pre-indeterminacy material). I feel the same way about Feldman. Incidentally, I much prefer looking at Mark Rothko’s paintings than I do listening to Feldman’s music, even though they come from the same artistic place.

The Rothko Chapel in Houston, TX

Read my “official” review below:

Consequence of Sound is a New York- and Chicago-based, worldly influenced music blog that seeks to cover the music world as it has never has been covered before. Features news, reviews, mp3, and festival outlook

via Live Review: Axiom Honors Morton Feldman at Tully Scope Festival in NY (2/24).

I feel like I haven’t been blogging a lot exclusively here recently. That’s partly because I get these deadlines for Consequence of Sound which, when combined with my already taxed workload from school and work, amounts to little time spent on the ol’ Smooth Atonal Sound. But that’s changing rapidly — I’m currently working up a paper that I’m giving in a little less than 2 months about jamming and improvisational strategies of the Grateful Dead and Phish, and I’ll be writing “drafts” of some of my analysis here. Up first: why the 4/5/98 Cavern was one of the most important musical moments of Phish’s career, and how they got to that point.


~ by Jake on February 27, 2011.

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