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Extensions, Intermissions and Intersections

by Morton Feldman

(Original information supplied by John Holzaepfel)

The following paragraph is taken from the programme notes for a recital given by David Tudor at the University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois, USA, on 22 March 1953. Tudor opened his recital with Feldman's Extensions III and Intermission V:

Morton Feldman was born in New York City in 1926. He studied with Wallingford Riegger and Stefan Wolpe. Some of his works (the Projections and Intersections) are written on graph paper, the composer indicating only high, middle and low with regard to pitch, and, in the case of the Intersections, only a boxed duration with regard to time, the performers being free to play any pitch within the range indicated, and to enter at any time during the duration indicated. Of his Extensions, Feldman says, "By extensions I do not mean continuities. I had the feeling of a bridge where you don't see the beginning or the end, where what you see seems transfixed in space." Of the Intermissions, the composer remarks, "Intermission means between; I wrote a number of them as a part of living, that is, I did many other things during the day than just writing music. The writing of one of them never took more than two hours."

Feldman's explanation of the title "Intersection", published in Section XVII of "Anecdotes & Drawings" - an article in: Morton Feldman, Essays, Walter Zimmermann, editor (Kerpen: Beginner Press, 1985), is repeated below:

When I first did my early graph music, things had to come in a certain time span. Now it didn't have to come exactly in the beginning of the time span, and as you know it can come anywhere, like crossing a street, that's why I called them "Intersection", to me time was the distance, metaphorically, between a green light and a red light. It was like traffic, it was a control. So I always controlled the time, but I didn't control the notes.

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