morton feldman

KONCERT – SPEKTAKL (premiera polska)
11.05.2017 Lublin, Centrum Spotkania Kultur, Festiwal Kody



Wiktor Kociuban – wiolonczela
Demetre Gamsachurdia – fortepian
Anna Sztwiertnia – wizualizacje


Altering the state of consciousness is an important tool, one useful for those who knew how to stimulate the senses in order to directly trigger the mind. 

Today, we don’t need shamans and priests anymore. Music can use these powerful tools as well.

By listening to repetitive patterns of sound and rhythm, we may enter a state of trance. This depends on what kind of music we listen to, and it also depends on our own personal openness. Being in a trance-like state is natural for our own being, most of us are not even aware when we enter it. Anything can trigger such a state — it often happens several times in our everyday lives.

When it comes to trance-inducing music, Morton Feldman (b. 1926, d. 1987) is the master, bringing this art to heights unknown. As a student of John Cage, he was always searching for a “pure” type of music, as “true” as possible, without the additions of theatre and manner and expression. If all the extras are put aside, what will stay? Perhaps only sound and time. The relation of sound and time to the human mind Feldman called “Basic Memory.” Any kind of musical understanding works by memory. When comparing two similar things, the first one will be purely unknown, thus alien and disconnected. But as soon as we hear the second thing, we remember the first. Our mind connects both and makes some sort of a “mind map“.

According to Feldman, this happens all the time. Every time something happens, we correlate and create a kind of acoustical orientation that allows us to navigate ourselves through the world of music. 

For Feldman, creating this connection was more important than discussing it. When listening to his music, we can hear different sound modules, always highly refined, very much alive, repeating themselves over and over again … yet at the same time always changing slightly. Think of it like the leaves of a tree – from afar they all look the same, but when viewed up close, every single leaf is unique.

Morton Feldman’s music is to be played extremely softly. Staying within this unbroken, timeless softness can create a very powerful sensation of being one with silence. It is a journey through memory and time, inviting us to observe and experience sound and repetition from within.

“Patterns In A Chromatic Field“ (written 1981) is a typical Feldman composition. For those who prefer to operate within traditional time keeping, throughout one-and-a-half hours, cello and piano are constantly merging into a web made of repetitive sound modules, slowly sliding from one sound world into another time world. “Patterns In A Chromatic Field“ has no beginning and no end. It probably always was there and was suddenly discovered! It is a music that doesn’t need to be created. We just need to let it happen. In our western world, this concept is hard to understand. We are raised and taught to do things. We struggle with the idea of just let things be, and let them happen naturally. But exactly this is what the music of Morton Feldman is like – it doesn’t want anything, it doesn’t do anything, it just happens to be as it is. 

It’s no secret that the position of the body massively determines the outcome of any experience. By lying down instead of sitting, the body can relax more quickly. Our mind becomes open and more receptive. This way of listening enables us to “fall into the sound“. It is a way of listening by not so much judging or analysing but rather observing and experiencing. In a sense, we are a part of the musical installation. 

Morton Feldman’s music will not be made — it simply is.

WiktorKociuban & Demetre Gamsachurdia Delirium-Ensemble