Via NPR, check out some video footage of John Luther Adams’s Sila: The Breath of The World, which premiered last weekend at Lincoln Center as part of Mostly Mozart Festival and Lincoln Center Out of Doors. ”Absent a stage, the traditional walls between musicians and listeners dissipated absolutely. That intimacy created a marvelous cocoon of shared experience and silky, ethereal layers of sound,” says Anastasia Tsioulcas of NPR.
I maintain a list of my favourite recordings of any given piece from the Art of Fugue – this is squarely at the top, along with Glenn Gould’s organ version of Contrapunctus VI. They both make me break out into big dopey grins, overwhelmed with joy.
Today I learned that a composer named Erwin Schulhoff wrote a completely tacet piece as the third movement of his “Fünf Pittoresken" for piano. His piece pre-dates John Cage’s 4’33” by 30 years, and is actually much more suggestive as to how the silence should be shaped, containing really complex rhythmic rests and lines to the rests. His successful career was cut short due to the Rise of the Nazi Regime in Germany and their strict rules on music, and because of this, his pieces are very rarely played or referenced to.