4 may. 2011

More Feldman Notes

(6) I like that anti-ideological spirit in Feldman. It is not anti-ideological in the cheap postmodern sense--which is just a reinstatement of another ideology. It is not "anything goes." Neither was Frank O'Hara, despite facile readings of him. In contrast, Cage's seeming openness is very ideological, very didactic.

(7) Duration is a key concept. How long something lasts, whether a note or an entire composition. In a comment on the last post, Vance Maverick has noted the extremes of brevity and length in his early and late compositions, respectively. The early sequence "Durations" might hold a key to this concept.

(8) If you didn't know the early pieces were indeterminate, would you think of them that way when you heard them?

(9) I'd like to do an amateur essay on Feldman. Obviously I could do nothing else, lacking the technical ability to do the non-amateur kind. But it would still be about the music, not just about his connections to literary and painterly comrades from Guston to Beckett. I think he was writing music for me, not just for musicologists. Nor do I think of this as "cerebral" music.

(10) Another approach would be a sort of nationalist, Americanist reading. This strain is evident in Feldman's writing, but is it what most interests me? Only very indirectly.

(11) What does Feldman mean for my other writing projects? Will he be roped in for some project in which I can speak from the point of view of the expert academic? Would this be a good or bad thing?