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Baker's Dozen

Compiling & Filing: Jan St. Werner's Favourite Albums
Nick Hutchings , April 30th, 2015 11:23

With his operatic performance-cum-radio play Miscontinuum released as an album earlier this year, the Mouse On Mars man takes Nick Hutchings on a trawl of his favourite avant-garde and experimental records


Morton Feldman - Why Patterns?/Crippled Symmetry
When they played it the three players had no combined score. They had fully notated parts so they knew what to play but not how to play it together.

It's a masterpiece of repetition that doesn't come across as repetitive and I like the mood of it and the harmonic and melodic structure too. It has a kind of gloomy Californian sunrise light to it. I like it not because it's a strong intellectual statement, but because it works so incredibly well and I think it's a profound understanding of how the human brain likes to be teased. Feldman gives you enough information that you're kind of triggered and teased, but then you do the rest and you understand that you don't need to get all the shit in sync. We perceive things in life as running on different speeds and we're perfectly capable of syncing these elements and making them sync to a steady beat, but we sync them quite casually and unconsciously like a good cook. Like spicing up the dish while you're already preparing the pan. You heat up the oil in the other pan and you're also peeling something at the same time and thinking about placing the plates. All these things have their own timing and their own rhythms and Feldman is giving you this. He is super-arrogant and magnificent because he's doing it with a twist of his hip, as if it was nothing, but it's a major act of self-definition.