Who needs hot water (new mantra) when there's alva noto + ryuichi sakamoto. They somehow managed to coax me into a snowflake-configurated cotton wool cloud. Or something similarly soothing. Nice contrast with Rolf Hind's performance of Morton Feldman's Palais de Mari the other afternoon.

Feldman's concise droplet-clusters of notes insinuate form, as if traced from memory. They are untouched contours, not lacking a physical dimension, just inherently unknowable. As if each shape was glimsped at from afar, and in that moment infinitely understood. Replicated tenderly, a relief rubbing thereafter. Inflicting a similar stillness, and exerting a similar self restraint, Nicolai and Sakamoto hold back the very thing Feldman wishes to hold onto. They don't let us touch the dendrites for too long.

+ Sakamoto and Nicolai's set up.

++ Rolf Hind's piano.

From my seat I could see the string movements reflected in the piano lid. Mists, in all its stochastic, arborescenced glory, is complex for the fingers. And also beautiful.

I'll never underestimate the role of the page-turner either. In the ladies' afterwards (seriously, it's where everything happens) I heard said person exclaim "Never again! If I had seen the score before I'd never have agreed to it!" Wow.

Xenakis' work does that to people. Quote: "Yes. You have to punish, yes. The gods have to punish."

More on him later.


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