101 Words – 054

@Fantasticdrfox, that’s composer Christopher Fox, pointed to a “leisurely portrait of the perennially youthful Christian Wolff” in a tweet last week.

That got me thinking back on the Cage/Feldman Radio Happenings I was listening to a few weeks ago, and how struck I was by their confidence in Christian Wolff as a pivotal figure. Feldman: “I’m convinced that Christian will have the place of Webern in terms of the mind.”

I’ve always found Christian Wolff to be the kind of composer capable of awakening a feeling of wanting to create something oneself. Perhaps that’s exactly what we need right now.

101 Words – 039

Thinking over responses to the refugee crisis during the last weeks I’m struck by what seems to be a discrepancy between positive will on the part of many individuals and reluctance on the part of politicians. Encouraging to see personal follow-up on media coverage.

Revisiting the fourth of the Cage/Feldman Radio Happenings and their discussion of the, at the time, pressing issue of the Vietnam war: Cage offers that he would like to see a composing action rather than a critical one, i.e. applying oneself to a solution.

On Aeon a poetic response to the stories of refugee children.

101 Words – 035

Yesterday, thinking about Cage and Feldman’s particular talent for conversation, it also occured to me that it was after the ‘Radio Happenings’ that Feldman, with the exception of his substantial Crippled Symmetry essay (1981), no longer wrote about music (even making a statement to that effect), preferring rather to talk, at length, as a way of both sharing and exploring his thoughts. And talking about something for two hours in a somewhat public way is of course what we have today with podcasts. Feldman’s talks (performances really) were fortunately recorded and transcribed, making available the insights of those last two decades.

101 Words – 034

In my RSS this morning: This via this.

John Cage in conversation with Morton Feldman, July 9 1966.
I know these ‘Radio Happenings’ from 20 years ago when I was working on my Feldman dissertation. Still thinking about them. Listening to the first again this morning, it struck me how close their conversational style comes to today’s podcast world. That could almost be John Roderick having a chat with Merlin. (Almost.) A more relaxed tempo back then, but the topics almost the same.

Cage: It may be that we can be with people, but at the same time at a distance.