Seminar, Concert/Sound

Sounding Philosophy: Intuition in the Late Works of Morton Feldman

Sunday 4. February
Concert: Valen trio performs Feldman's Trio

Monday 5. February 2024
Concert: Fidan Aghayeva-Edler and the legacy of Feldman

Conference Monday 5. February 2024
14:30 – 17:30 in Prøvesalen

Workshop Thuesday 6. February 2024
14:00 – 1700 in Gunnar Sævigs sal


All events are free and open to the public

From February 4-6 2024, the project Sounding Philosophy will once again focus on compositions of Morton Feldman (1926–1987), looking into how intuition and stasis play a role in his late works.

Welcome to concerts, workshop and seminar at the Grieg Academy this February.

Feldman’s monumental Trio (1980) will be performed by the Valen Trio on February 4 in the University Aula. A second concert on February 5 in Gunnar Sævigs sal will investigate Feldman’s legacy from the vantage point of his colleagues and students, as performed by Grieg Academy piano alumnus Fidan Aghayeva-Edler.

During the conference on February 5 the roles of intuition and stasis in Feldman’s work will be analyzed by Prof. Walter Zimmermann from the Berlin University of the Arts as well as by Fidan Aghayeva-Edler and members of the Valen Trio. A workshop by Fidan Aghayeva-Edler on February 6 will present works of Grieg Academy students and discuss her research into extending sonorous possibilities on the piano.

Program Monday 5. February, 14:30 - 17:30 in Prøvesalen

Dániel Péter Biró: 
“Polarities of Distinction: An Introduction to the Late Works of Morton Feldman” 

A brief introduction to the late works of Morton Feldman, their aesthetic framework and connection to philosophical concepts of intuition. 

Walter Zimmermann:
“Memory-Seismogram in Morton Feldman’s Trio (1980)”

What is important to me about Morton Feldman? It is that he very consistently formulated what all the other music that was characteristic of the post-war period had left out. In essence, he redefined the concept of the subject. Intuition took the place of serial construction and, although his pieces were highly constructed, they were constructed on the spur of the moment. He opposed the suppression and control of sounds by allowing them to breathe, giving the sound its own breath, the duration it needs. This, ultimately, attacked the ritual of listening, replacing the teleological listening-stream with listening that frees the listener from being told something: the listener is released from the imposition of following a message, programmatic or domesticating.

Feldman invalidated that kind of listening with his sound carpets or sound screens, which replace the old listening with one that becomes active, exploring the sound, taking time to explore the various constellations and crystallizations, allowing the sounds to become themselves. So, simply, he became important to me as another magnet that enabled me to do my things independent of the German school, and I thank him for that. Besides collecting Morton Feldman’s Essays for publication (Beginner Press 1984), I organized performances of these new long pieces, including the world premiere of the piano trio (on April 15th, 1984), in long sessions on three consecutive days in my Beginner Studio in Cologne. A bar-by-bar memory-seismogram of the Trio for violin, cello and piano (1980) (published in Melos 4/1984 p. 33-75).

Coffee Break

Fidan Aghayeva-Edler, Einar Røttingen and Ricardo Odriozola:
"The Degrees of Stasis"

Morton Feldman was inspired by contemporary artists, such as Mark Rothko, Robert Rauschenberg, Philip Guston and by oriental rugs, which he collected. In his writings he often mentions stasis (as utilized in painting), scale and pattern as important components for his work. The (a)symmetry in his patterns, the way he proceeds from one thing to another in his music, the importance of silence as "positive void", the notation's effects on composition and the antagonism of attack and decay in relation to instrumental sound will be analyzed, as found in Feldman’s Trio (1980) and Palais de Mari (1986) presenting sections from these works.

Program Tuesday February 6 14:00 – 1700 in Gunnar Sævigs sal

Workshop with Fidan Aghayeva-Edler
Fidan Aghayeva-Edler will present a workshop about extended piano techniques, presenting a new work by Grieg Academy student Simão Alves as well as other works from the 20th and 21st centuries

The project Sounding Philosophy, funded by the Norwegian Artistic Research Program (2021-2025), integrates the fields of music composition, philosophy and science to understand how theories of reason and the mind can be approached from creative, metaphysical and scientific perspectives