Dante Oei, piano
John Cage - Etudes Australes I ñ VIII (book 1) -
(1912 ñ 1992) (1974-75)
Morton Feldman - Last Pieces -
(1926 ñ 1987) (1959)
Slow. Soft. Durations are free
Fast. Soft. Durations are free
Very slow. Soft. Durations are free
Very fast. Soft as possible. Durations are free for each hand
John Cage - One -
Samuel Vriezen - Landschap met 6 pianostukken -
(geb. 1973) (1999-2000)
3. Ornaments Wild, neurotisch (haperende cd-speler met soort freejazz)
5. Toccatina Almost as fast as possible
Toon Vandevorst -Vergeelde Foto's -
(geb. 1970) (1993)
III. Presto veloce
Intermezzo: Voor Rose (2000) Lento con tenerezza
Etudes Australes I-VIII (Book 1)
John Cage: "In the writings of Erik Satie, somewhere, I don't know just where, I read that
music notation is nothing but points and lines.
In the late forties, proportional notation came about as a result of making music directly on magnetic tape. Space on
the tape was equal to time: therefore the lines which had been used in music notation were unnecessary. All that music
notation needed were points: they would make clear what notes were to be played; where they were on the page would
indicate when they were to be played.
At the time I am recalling I was in the Center for Advanced Studies at Wesleyan University in Middletown,
Connecticut. I had just accepted a commission from the Montreal Festivals Society to write a piece for orchestra. As
usual I didn't know what it would be, and I was sitting there wondering what form it would take. I had seen that the
university had a telescope; it was just up the hill. Before I knew I was on my way to it. I asked them when I got there
whether they had a library. They had a very good one. I browsed rather quickly. What I was looking for were points,
points that were stars in the books that would become notes in my music. The photographic maps were useless, but I
found a number of other maps that were simplistic, published in Czechoslovakia, that were nothing but points of
various sizes and colors. I chose one of these, Atlas Eclipticalis, borrowed it and began my piece for orchestra which
has the same title.
In 1964 I went around the world with the Cunningham Dance Company. When we came to Prague we were paid but
were told that the money we received had no value except in Prague. I used what I was given to buy books about
mushrooms and maps of the stars. Atlas Eclipticalis maps the great circle around the Sun, Atlas Australis the southern
sky, Borealis the northern.
I have used these books to write a great deal of music, not all of my music, but some of it.
The title of these etudes begun in January 1974 for Grete Sultan comes from Atlas Australis, a book of star maps
printed in six colors.
In order to write one of the 32 two-page pieces, I begin by placing a transparent grid over a particular one of the 24
I decided to distinguish between the six colors, so that though at times all stars might be traced, at other times only
certain of them would be.
I also made use of the I Ching, not as the book of wisdom it is, but as a means of answering questions through chance
operations in relation to the number 64. Thus, having placed the transparent grid over the star map, I ask which stars I
am to trace and how many.
When this tracing is finished for both hands, I translate the points in space into musical notation (the 12 tones), and
then distribute these tones into the available octaves by means of chance operations.
For each single etude at least one tone remains unplayed. This unplayed tone is held down (by wedge or tape)
throughout a single etude, producing a tonal drone of harmonics that arise as the other tones are played.
I then ask whether a given note is a single tone or whether it is to give rise to an interval, triad, quatrad, or quintad."
Richard Kostelanetz: "The etudes get gradually denser in texture. Whereas only one of the I Ching options yields an
aggregate (or chord) in the first etude, two of 64 produce chords in the second, sixteen of 64 in the sixteenth, and 32 of
64 in the thirty-second, giving the entire piece a roughly accumulative structure."
John Cage: "It was when it was not clear to me how to write this music that I decided to begin again from the
beginning, that is to go back to Grete Sultan herself. Sitting beside her at the piano, I asked her to place her hands on
the keys. I began to imagine duets for her two hands, each doing its own work unassisted by the other. I then went
home and made tables, as exhaustively as I could, of what a single hand unassisted by the other can do. I was surprised
to find 546 quintads, 520 quatrads, 81 triads, and 28 intervals (all within the interval of a ninth). Thus, by means of
chance operations I am able to introduce harmonies into a music which is not based on harmony but rather on the
uniqueness of each sound, of each combination of sounds.
Through the use of the star maps and the I Ching, the hands more often than not are leaping, widely leaping here and
there through the keyboard territories open to them.
I had become interested in writing difficult music, etudes, because of the world situation which often seems to many of
us hopeless. I thought that were a musician to give the example in public of doing the impossible that it would inspire
someone who was struck by that performance to change the world.
Just before Christmas I visited my mother who lives in a nursing home.
I told her I'd written three texts on world improvement. She said, 'John! How dare you? You should be ashamed!'
Then she added, 'I'm surprised at you.' I asked her, in view of world conditions, whether she didn't think there was
room for improvement. She said, 'There certainly is. It makes good sense.'"
Eerste uitvoering: 26 april 1959, New York, The Village Gate; David Tudor
In de vijftiger jaren schreef Feldman zeer veel pianocomposities; de 'Last Pieces' lijken het einde van deze periode te
markeren (volgende pianowerk ontstond pas in 1963).
Morton Feldman: "The attack of a sound is not its character. Actually, what we hear is the attack and not the sound.
Decay, however, this departing landscape, this expresses where the sound exists in our hearingóleaving us rather than
coming toward us.
I was once told about a woman living in Parisóa descendent of Scriabinówho spent her entire life writing music not
meant to be heard. What it is, and how she does it, is not very clear; but I have always envied this woman. I envy her
insanity, her impracticality."
For Juan Allende-Blin on his 60th Birthday
'One' is n van de eerste zgn. 'number pieces': stukken die Cage aan het eind van zijn leven schreef waarvan de titel
overeenkomt met het aantal uitvoerenden. Structureel hebben deze stukken het gebruik van 'time brackets' gemeen.
John Cage: "There are ten time brackets, nine of which are flexible with respect to beginning and ending, and one, the
ninth, which is fixed. No sound is to be repeated within a bracket. Each ictus in a single staff is to be played in the
order given, but can be played in any relation to the sounds in the other staff. Some notes are held from one ictus to the
next. A tone in parentheses is not to be played if it is already sounding. One hand may assist the other."
0'00" <-> 0'45" 0'30" <-> 1'15"
1'00" <-> 1'45" 1'30" <-> 2'15"
2'00" <-> 2'45" 2'30" <-> 3'15"
3'00" <-> 3'45" 3'30" <-> 4'15"
4'00" <-> 4'45" 4'30" <-> 5'15"
5'00" <-> 5'45" 5'30" <-> 6'15"
6'00" <-> 6'45" 6'30" <-> 7'15"
7'00" <-> 7'45" 7'30" <-> 8'15"
8'45" <-> 9'30" 9'15" <-> 10'00"
Andy Warhol: " I believe in living in one room. One empty room with just a bed, a tray, and a suitcase. You can do
everything either from your bed or in your bedóeat, sleep, think, get exercise, smokeóand you would have a
bathroom and a telephone right next to the bed.
Everything is more glamorous when you do it in bed, anyway. Even peeling potatoes.
Suitcase space is so efficient. A suitcase full of everything you need:
One suitcase and one empty room. Terrific. Perfect.
My ideal city would be one long Main Street with no cross streets to jam up traffic. Just one long one-way street. With
one tall vertical building where everybody lived with:
One washing machine
One garbage can
One tree out front
One movie theater next door
Main Street would be very very wide, and all you'd have to say to someone to make them feel good is, 'I saw you on
Main Street today.'"
Landschap met 6 pianostukken
Samuel Vriezen: "De zes stukken in dit landschap zijn alle gebouwd uit dezelfde toonladders, telkens in een andere
constellatie; in elk stuk ontbreekt n noot. Het tweede stuk is het enige stuk in deze eenvoudige vorm dat ik ooit geschreven
heb: typisch iets voor aan het eind van je studententijd. Het vierde deel verweeft vijf passacaglia's, ofwel passacaglie."
Toon Vandevorst: "Zeven Vergeelde Foto's werden in 1993 geschreven ten behoeve van mijn piano-examen, een
examen DM waar je geacht wordt in 40 minuten te laten horen zoveel mogelijk stijlen uit zoveel mogelijk perioden te
beheersen. Omdat ik nog maar 10 minuten te besteden had voor naoorlogse composities, en zoals u weet deze alle 12
minuten duren (waarschijnlijk vanwege de tariefrichtlijnen voor compositieopdrachten), besloot ik zelf stukjes te
schrijven van maximaal 1 minuut 'in de stijl van.' Ergens tussen 1995 en 1998 raakten er vier kwijt. Na reconstructie
raakte nummer IV alsnog zoek. 'Fuck it,' dacht ik toen. Voor Rose werd geschreven voor Rose."
John Cage: "I had just heard The Messiah with Mrs. Henry Allen Moe and she said, 'Don't you love the "Hallelujah"
Chorus?' and I said, 'No, I can't stand it.' So she said, 'Don't you like to be moved?' and I said 'I don't mind being
moved, but I don't like to be pushed.'
We've now played the Winter Music quite a number of times. I haven't kept count. When we first played it, the
silences seemed very long and the sounds seemed really separated in space, not obstructing one another. In Stockholm,
however, when we played it at the Opera as an interlude in the dance program given by Merce Cunningham and
Carolyn Brown early one October, I noticed that it had become melodic. Christian Wolff prophesied this to me years
ago. He saidówe were walking along Seventeenth Street talkingóhe said, 'No matter what we do it ends by being
Morton Feldman: "How many times have I felt, while listening to a work of Cage, a sense of regret, or loss for its
creator? And when we meet face to face at these concerts, I would really like to say to him, 'Let me extend my
condolences to you personally, but tell Atlas Eclipticalis it was the most thrilling experience of my life.'"
Paula Kopstick Ames: "Perhaps unique to Feldman's musical aesthetics was the powerful influence of the visual arts.
Of particular importance was the "New York School" of Abstract Expressionists: Mark Rothko, Philip Guston, Jasper
Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Jackson Pollock, Willem De Kooning, and others. Feldman spoke of how these New
York painters had been 'such a strong influence on my creative life, much more so than composers in general.' He also
wrote: 'The degrees of stasis, found in a Rothko or a Guston, were perhaps the most significant elements that I brought
into my music from painting.'"
Andy Warhol: "When I paint:
I look at my canvas and I space it out right. I think, 'Well, over here in this corner it looks like it sort of belongs,' and
so I say, 'Oh yes, that's where it belongs, all right.' So I look at it again and I say, 'The space in that corner there needs
a little blue,' and so I put my blue up there and then, then I look over there and it looks blue over there so I take my
brush and I move it over there and I make it blue over there, too. And then it needs to be more spaced, so I take my
little blue brush and I blue it over there, and then I take my green brush and I put my green brush on it and I green it
there, and then I walk back and I look at it and see if it's spaced right. And thenósometimes it's not spaced rightóI
take my colors and I put another little green over there and then if it's spaced right I leave it alone."
CONCERTEN TOT EN MET
Is vier jaar geleden begonnen als podium voor jonge componisten en jonge uitvoerenden om naar believen erop los te
programmeren. Inmiddels hebben vele bijzondere concerten plaatsgevonden, met musici als het Zephyr Kwartet,
Daniel Rowland en Bernd Brackman, het Amsterdams Kwintet, het Malle Symen Kwartet, ensemble Insomnio, met
werken van componisten als Martijn Voorvelt, Rozalie Hirs, Cynthie van Eijden, Calliope Tsoupaki, Brian
Ferneyhough en vele anderen, naast speciale projecten zoals multimedia-avonden en concerten met schoolkinderen.
Volgende concert in deze reeks:
24 maart ñ CONCERT XXII ñ Lydia Forbes, viool en Danny Tunick, slagwerk spelen een programma in het kader
van de Tera de Marez Oyens-prijs met werk van Tera de Marez Oyens en nieuwe stukken van Rocco Havelaar, Dante
Oei, Toon Vandevorst en anderen.
Voor informatie kunt U zich wenden tot Samuel Vriezen: sqv@xs4all; 020-3640437
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