Topic: David: Morton Feldman at Haus der Kunst, Munich / LP infinite endings

10 years ago, I decided to go to visit a friend of mine in Munich. He was organizing a new music concert as part of a big exhibition of the abstract expressionist Ellsworth Kelly in the Haus der Kunst. At that time I didn’t know much about New Music. So I was happy to have the opportunity to join the concert. It was in the biggest space of the Museum and it was a programme of about 6 different pieces. At the end of the fitfth one, my friend addressed the assembly to tell them that the next piece would last for 45 minutes and that it would be very silent and that people were free to leave as they wished but that they would be kind to remain as silent as possible. It was a string quartet of Morton Feldman. When they started something that I had never experienced before happened. The space got silent not as part of the cultural consensus that consist in a respect of the live event that is offered, but each spectator actively silent, because the musicians were playing in such a low volume that it was not enough to remain silent, you had to do it actively in order to hear and to listen to the music that was coming out of these instruments.

This music was indeed located at the verge of silence, at the edge of its own death. It navigated in a sort of illusory repetition with an implicit tension between permanence and disappearance. This music was projecting sounds into time. And as some people were competing in silence with the musicians while leaving. Me and a few others we were making the experience of true beauty. It was as if it would never end but at the same time it was only busy ending, throughout the piece.