Pictures from a fantastic concert last night with Red Desert at the Utah Museum of Fine Art. FLUXUS, In C, Feldman, Oliveros, and Devin Maxwell proved to be an artful program which engaged the senses in extremes of quietude and opulence.
In my opinion, it is important for a holistic musician to have the experience of creating while performing. So often as composers, the actual creation happens solely intellectually, over a long period of time, and ensconced in centuries-old power dynamics and expectations. Similarly, as classically-trained players, we spend our hours recreating and recreating, frustrating our imperfect and ultimately constructive inclination towards failure and variation as we learn to perfect and repeat at will the motions of a piece, almost forgetting about its content at a certain point. While I disagree with many things about both Terry Riley and FLUXUS, I believe they provide an important platform for the performer and audience alike to experience instantaneous creation and the fleeting, beautiful, imperfect moments of solidarity, expression, and even brilliance that occur when music-making is not goal-oriented but instead moment-driven. I would encourage my fellow concert musicians to take a lesson from Jazz and improvise as much as possible! Playing this kind of music increases and expands the facility of perception and is invaluable for anyone who thinks in terms of and creates meaning with sound.
Food for thought! In the meantime…