Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Reception History

Here's a time-lapse video by the composer Lee Weisert, assembled from samples taken every minute, of someone listening to the complete recordings of works by Ferneyhough over twenty-four hours time. It's interesting, although perhaps inevitable -- coincidentia oppositorum and all that -- that such complex music should elicit such a minimalist response.

My own youthful all-nighters usually involved minimalist musical fare, more food and drink, and were seldom done in solitaire. But then again, those days were generally more convivial, as well as better fed and better lubricated. It's sobering to consider what conviviality we have lost in a generation's time.

In any case, I predict that there will someday be a dissertation on the importance of the sofa in the reception of recorded contemporary music, importance that is second only to those exquisite Anatolian carpets, upon which guests of Morton Feldman were allowed to lounge like beached whales while luxuriating in Feldmaniana of exquisite length and aural charms.

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