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Note: Click on the composers' names to go to their web page.


 


Morton Feldman has often been lumped together with other "friends/followers" of John Cage, but his importance and influence is becoming increasingly recognized. He was a pioneer in using the indeterminacy of performance as a compositional element, in contrast with Cage, whose works generally used chance to create a fixed piece. Feldman also forged a unique identity by creating highly intuitive works in which short, quiet motives repeat, overlap, and disappear over very long durations.


Below are three composers who studied with or were influenced by Feldman. At the bottom, a recording of Feldman's Projection IV for violin and piano (with score).


 


Orlando Jacinto Garcia (b. 1954) is a Cuban-American composer and a student of Feldman. His music has been described as "time suspended- haunting sonic explorations" with "moments of supremely delicate magic." Check out his latest disc, Temporal, which is available for streaming on Last.FM [here]. I especially enjoy his work Como Un Coro de Clarinetes Celestiales.


 


Kyle Gann (b. 1955) is a composer, author, and critic who studied with Feldman in 1975. Long Night, for three pianos, is a work from 1980, with textures that sometimes resemble those of Feldman. Although inspired more by the polytempo works of Conlon Nancarrow, Feldman's idea of short looping motives that are not connected rhythmically is felt here.  Listen: [here] Notes/Score: [here]


 


John Luther Adams (b. 1953) did not study with Feldman, but cites the composer as a major influence. Adams is based in Alaska, and much of his music is soft, yet expansive, evoking the winter landscape. Several of Adams's albums are available for streaming on Last.FM. A favorite of mine is The Far Country [here].


 


 

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