Triadic memories, like all late Feldman, is a series of repeated patterns, musical images that are extended in time by repetition. In some pieces these repetitions are of larger chunks of music, with a system, set of systems, or even pages of music reappearing, often with permutations. I’ve always thought of these larger-scale repetitions in terms of the whole pattern: pitch and rhythm together. Playing through Triadic memories, I’ve become aware of them rhythmically, repeating even as the pitches are moved around.
An ongoing, sporadic series examining aspects of Morton Feldman’s Triadic memories for piano. The series has no overarching structure, but instead takes up individual moments, images, and questions about the piece and follows them where they lead. Triadic memory #1: Hand-made music Triadic memory #2: A question about rhythm Triadic memory #3: A figure in memory
There is a figure that appears about a third of the way into Triadic memories. It catches my attention, wakes me up: it is a signal that something is changing. Where are we going now? And haven’t I heard this before somewhere?
The manuscript score and early performances reveal an alternative interpretation of a persistent rhythm in Triadic Memories
To start on Feldman’s “Triadic memories”, I knew I needed to get a new copy of the score, but what I really wanted was a facsimile of the manuscript. Here’s how to get these scores and why I prefer them to the newer computer-typeset ones.