Philip Corner – Pieces from the Past

Philip Corner

CD – Pogus
Philip Corner configured these five scores specially for the violinist Malcolm Goldstein, using a non-traditional notation (sometimes linear or with graphic and verbal notations). They were mostly recorded in live performance, leaving the residual noise of the public and of the environment in order to preserve the particular texture of the sound plots as much as possible. Goldstein is no stranger to the poems of Philip Corner, an esteemed author with whom he has collaborated since the early sixties. He is well accustomed to the variety of Corner’s improvisation and familiar with his experimental background through collaborating on a trio project with James Tenney called the “Tone Roads Chamber Ensemble”. According to Corner improvisation is already inherent in sound; it is the “here and now” of making music – every moment is unique, without any past or future. He has stated: “In the academy of music they play dead music, and in this way it remains dead… at the time of Corelli, if you do not improvise you were not a musician”. Corner has an unconventional, almost superior awareness of improvisation – a perspective which could offer many benefits if shared with the experimental music culture at large. In the track “Pieces from the Past” the intention is clear in the free form sequences, in the unspecified conceptual elements that are apparently not organized according to preconceived structural lines. The music employs an infinite range of pitches and meticulous and sublime changes to vibration. These scores are, however, not very approachable for audiences unaccustomed to the style and thrills of the avant-garde.