The Viola in My Life

Morton Feldman


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2008, ECM

After a long period of working with indeterminacy and graphic notation, Morton Feldman fixed every parameter of The Viola in My Life (written in 1970/71) - notes, timing, duration, dynamics - and still the feeling conveyed is of an exquisite tenuousness, as if the viola is a visitor to the composer's musical universe, where sounds seem to be discovered in the quiet moment of their playing: "My intention was to think of melody and motivic fragments - somewhat in the way Robert Rauschenberg uses photographs in his painting - and superimpose this on a static sound world more characteristic of my music." 'Painting with sounds' is central to Feldman's music; he was a composer at least as close to the abstract painters as to musical contemporaries.

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