online: 31 august 2005
modified: 23, 30, 31 august 2005

18 august 2005 writing and reading to music

if possible, to be read aloud at the indicated times while listening to the recording, and after

19:59 while
listening to morton feldman's piano and string quartet*
long duration (79:33 minutes)
slow tempo
gradual working-out of progressions
i remember him saying that
when he'd completed it
he felt he could relax or sleep easily*

[*those are not his actual words]

and now, after 24 minutes
i seem to be listening with more grasp
of what is happening in the music
in what seem to me at first like repetitions
but which on hearing several times seem
like new statements of something
on piano or strings.

33 minutes have gone
to the sounds of brief notes
in rising sequences
with occasional deeper notes sustained

these recurrences are the main ingredients
of this long poem to his perception
of both earth and of heaven
in indescribable conjunction
or the imagining of such

at this point i drink some water
in the knowledge that this slow tempo
will permit that or any other physical reality
to be included in these long moments of exploration
of something quite sublime

now after 45 minutes of listening
without describing more than the incidentals
of this music
which to me to speaks notes and thoughts that aren't heard
i turn briefly to other things
that i was thinking before it began:

i was trying to rescue my lifeworks
from oblivion or misunderstandings
without intended result
but the moment this music started
all negations seemed to have gone

and now
having read these incomplete descriptions
i pause to listen more carefully

at which the telephone rings
to say that someone will be late
but the music progresses
as if limitless
and as if it hadn't moved at all

79 minutes and 33 seconds and it's over
and i get ready to eat and walk...

after eating i decided
it was too dark to go walking
so i wrote this...

hours later, 01:14
only a faint memory of the music now
but something remains as i read this
as if my life were somehow changed
as if action and context
had become forever linked
as if thinking and doing
had ceased to conflict
and so they have
in these words
and this is

*Morton Feldman, Piano and String Quartet , Kronos Quartet with Aki Takahashi, piano, (1985), Universal Edition, 007559-79320-27.

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