Feldman No. 2: Doing the Time Warp (Part I)

On March 11, 2017 we step into the 4th floor galleries of the Museum of Contemporary Art to perform a 6-hour string quartet. No intermission. Published in 1983, Morton Feldman's Quartet No. 2 is a storied piece not often played–as far as we know ours is the Chicago premiere–with the intent of bending, and compelling us to reckon with, our perception of time. In preparing this mammoth work, memories of events in which time lost (or more deeply found) its meaning have begun to surface around the group. In Part I, Maeve takes to the seas...

"For me, this piece evokes a vivid childhood memory I have of being on a sailboat with my older brother. At one point during our sail, almost without warning, the wind dropped and a thick fog began to roll in. The sensation of watching this opaque wall of vapor approach and then completely engulf us gave me a strong feeling of inexorability and then almost total sensory deprivation. I found that in the total white-out my sense of hearing felt heightened, and yet, as we sat waiting for the fog to lift, without any concept of where we were or how fast we were moving, if at all, my sense of time became completely skewed. When the wall of fog began to dissipate and we were finally able to make out the distant outline of the coast, we found ourselves in a completely different place that we had expected and it felt that minutes or even hours could have passed.

This complete fade-out of the rest of the world while on a boat in the middle of the fog created an acute feeling both of intense presence in that moment and also of being, quite literally, adrift. I think that the experience of hearing the Feldman in large chunks or in its entirety can in a similar way transport the listener to a place that is both incredibly visceral and also quite disconnected from temporal reality. The musical textures and structure of this work, at the same time both minimal and maximal, create a suspended atmosphere which sweeps the listener up in a distinct sound world, carries them to a new place, and may leave them wondering how they got there to begin with."

- Maeve Feinberg


March 11, 2017 (6PM)
Museum of Contemporary Art
220 E Chicago Ave
Tickets: $12

March 25, 2017 (5PM)
Toledo Museum of Art
2445 Monroe St, Toledo, OH
Tickets: $10