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Slow: for John Cage

Wed 25 Apr 2018

Slow: for John Cage

Morton Feldman For John Cage
Darragh Morgan violin
John Tilbury piano
Julia Bardsley visuals

‘I tried to bring into my music just very few essential things that I need.’ Morton Feldman

In this mesmerising late masterpiece for violin and piano, Morton Feldman pays tribute to his friend John Cage. Darragh Morgan and John Tilbury, renowned for their performances of Feldman, present the work with a newly commissioned immersive lighting design by Julia Bardsley.

Darragh Morgan writes: ‘I was first introduced to the music of Morton Feldman nearly 25 years ago by my then musical mentor, violinist Paul Zukofsky, who had premiered For John Cage.’ This close connection to Feldman’s art form had a profound effect on me. I learnt so much from Zukofsky about Feldman’s use of mean-tone intonation and the obvious influence of this on the expressivity of his string writing, but it was only when I met pianist John Tilbury and had conversations with composers who knew Feldman personally – Chris Newman and Howard Skempton – that I felt I was really beginning to understand his musical personality.

I was already experimenting with using a baroque bow in performances of certain music by Cage and Feldman. The ethereal tone these more curved and lighter/shorter bows can produce seemed the most natural tool for conveying the desired articulation, and also Feldman’s constant wish and marking in his late scores that every gesture should dissipate naturally.

Having played For John Cage with John Tilbury internationally from the Austrian Tyrol to St Paul’s Hall in Huddersfield, and on record, I find this music offers the most special experience in the world to me; each new performance is a unique musical journey.’

Date:Wed 25 Apr 2018
Start time:8pm (Doors: 7.30pm)
Venue:Hall One

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