Feldman, Painter of Pages

There is an obvious issue in Morton Feldman's compositional technique that I have never seen anyone write about - though I can't be the only one to notice it, and perhaps some discussion of it has escaped my reading. Through some passages of Feldman's late works, it is remarkable - too remarkable for mere coincidence - how often his textures change at the end of a page. It doesn't seem true at the beginnings of pieces, which will often be seamless. But at some point in a work, he will begin to settle into a rhythm. A texture or pitch set will … [Read more...]

My Last Theory Professor Rant of 2007

My tombstone is going to read: Here lies KYLE GANN Remember to raise the seventh scale degree in minor so that whenever my students drop by with flowers they'll get an extra reminder. I wanted to also include the rules for acceptable resolutions of the six-four chord, but I'm afraid the engraving costs would be a hardship on my heirs. Why is it that some students cannot be persuaded to write a triad without adding a seventh on it? I assume these kids had a jazz teacher in high school who was very, very successful in drilling into them that … [Read more...]