I’ve just posted the essay I wrote to accompany Aki Takahashi’s beautiful recording of Morton Feldman’s For Bunita Marcus.
for bunita marcus
Notes for the Mode Records release of Morton Feldman’s “For Bunita Marcus”, performed by Aki Takahashi
An explanation of why my page numbering doesn’t match the Feldman scores now sold by Universal Edition.
After attaining a state of deep concentration in pages 20-22, For Bunita Marcus breaks off and scatters a bit over the next few pages. This is another section where Feldman rearranges earlier music, disorienting our memories.
As I noted at the end of the last installment of my trek through For Bunita Marcus, the end of page 19 signals something altogether different. What happens over the next three pages is an expansion of time and a sharpening of concentration in the piece.
Here in the blog, I’ve been describing my progress through Feldman’s For Bunita Marcus one section at a time. I’ve gotten through page 19, which is about halfway through the piece. In reality, I’ve been much further ahead of the blog. A couple of weeks ago, I finally reached the end.
In a recent lecture on Feldman’s music, Bunita Marcus said that Feldman was ”playing with memory and the evolution of memory.” The next part of For Bunita Marcus (pages 16-19) is devoted to this “playing with memory”.
In my last post, I noted the way that these first pages of For Bunita Marcus contain such a diversity of music. With page 14, Feldman begins recycling patterns and music from earlier in the piece.
The next several pages of Feldman’s “For Bunita Marcus” is more unsettled, moving forward and backward in time and changing imagery and focus more frequently. I’ll start with a description of the next three pages, which feel like a unit to me.
After I learned the first seven pages of For Bunita Marcus, I allowed myself to continue to the next chunk of music, where Feldman plays with a single pattern for four minutes.