Morton Feldman: Intermission 6, again

A good while back, I wrote about Morton Feldman’s Intermission 6.  I’ve been playing it some more this month and just made a recording of it (below).

To recap the prior post, the piece is a single page with fifteen single notes and chords scattered across it. The instructions are to start with any sonority and move to any other, playing them with minimum of attack and holding until barely audible. Playing it, you get a natural rhythm of attack/decay, attack/decay, and the rhythm varies a bit depending on how loudly you actually hit the chord and on how high or low it is on the piano. You spend most of your time listening. I like the description I had when I wrote about it in 2010: “a slow rippling of the silence in the room, the sounds barely intruding and receding.”

Over the past two weekends, I recorded the piece a few times. Each time I did it for about ten minutes (Feldman doesn’t say how long it should last). The recordings picked up the ambient sound in the room, which is more Cage-y than Feldman-y, but they were subtle and I think worked well: the clicking sounds of the radiators cooling off, wind chimes outside, a murmuring cat (Pauline). Feldman indicates that you can do Intermission 6 with one or two pianos, so I took the two best takes and mixed them together. The two takes were made a week apart and with no reference to each other, so any synchronicities are completely unintentional.

Morton Feldman: Intermission 6 (1953)



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