03. April 2009

Klangraum Krems Minoritenkirche

Morton Feldman "For Philip Guston" Ensemble Recherche

Martin Fahlenbock (flutes); Klaus Steffes-Holländer (piano, celesta); Christian Dierstein (drums)

„For Philip Guston“ / for flutes, mallet percussion, keys / by Morton Feldman.
Philip Guston stops / asking questions / in his late pictures.
Morton Feldman also / stops questioning / in “For Philip Guston”.
Musician John Cage / introduced musician Feldman / to painter Guston.
Feldman, Guston, Cage / became inseparable / friends seeking art.
At the beginning of their / friendship they listened to master / Suzuki with Zen.
Searched for the (almost) Nothing, / an imaginary / art of the Little.
Said about themselves: / Cage is deaf, Guston is blind / and Feldman is dumb.
The artist shall end up / with less / than what he started with.
Superfluous the / ballast of history and / of the personal.
“For Philip Guston” / starts with C-G-A(s)-E(s), / an anagram.
C-A-G-E / is later on followed by / B-A-C-H.
In between lie / stages of dissolution of the / four-tone theme.
Until only / simple intervals / are left as sound.
Until only / bars follow, in which sound / remains repetitious.
Then, permutations / of the C-A-G-E theme / follow.
The instruments / imitate free tones, / the rhythm stays the same.
In “For Philip Guston” / Feldman tells his whole life / twice.
Feldman, big, robust, / and Guston, of similar strength, / loved to live.
After twenty years / Guston suddenly showed / a totally new form of art.
To Guston’s question / how he liked the picture, / Feldman didn’t respond.
From then on / they had nothing to say to each other. / And thus remained silent.
Yet, Guston / painted Feldman’s portrait. With / his head turned to the side.
Guston’s last / will: at my grave / Morton speaks the Kaddish.
After Guston’s death / Feldman understood / his friend’s late pictures.
He melodised / this understanding without questioning: / “For Philip Guston”.
Neither the question of / style Feldman / did care about anymore.
What we see / does not result from / what is visible. Guston.
What we hear / does not result from / what is audible. Feldman.
“For Philip Guston”: / constructed time gives way / to real time.
Music, vertically / composed, continuous, / yet never polyphonic.
Four hours and a half / of music, dissolved in almost / Nothing of rhythm, form.
Feldman’s reduction: / less material, / more permanence.
From this form of / ascesis calm / ecstasy emerges.

© Philip Guston

© Philip Guston