Decontamination 9 – CNRR, Royal Northern College of Music, 8pm
Morton Feldman – Three Voices
Juliet Fraser – soprano
The final Decontamination of 2016 happens tomorrow I am entirely chuffed that the RNCM welcomes Juliet Fraser to perform her new interpretation of this classic late Feldman work.
There is a sense of loss elusively embedded in Morton Feldman’s Three Voices, a spectacularly unusual setting of Frank O’Hara’s short poem Wind. Written, in part, as a response to the deaths of Philip Guston and O’Hara himself, Feldman consider this in the music. He later said:
Frank O’Hara had died several years before. I saw the piece with Joan in front and these two loudspeakers behind her. There is something kind of tombstoney about the look of loudspeakers. I thought of the piece as an exchange of the live voice with the dead ones – a mixture of the living and the dead.
Like much of his late work this is long (55-minute) and in this case inspired by the pattern and weave of fabric. It’s a particularly surprising setting given that O’Hara is a poet who’s work is often associated with the pithy, scenester and urban. Characteristically small motifs are repeated irregularly to create asymmetrical patterns and intricate permutations; a weave of sound.
Juliet has recently recorded this work. You should buy one if you haven’t already and if you haven’t then, well, the perfect Christmas gift for all your friends and relatives… Buy it direct from Juliet here.