The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

Baker's Dozen

Oh Yes! Jamie Stewart Of Xiu Xiu's Favourite Music
Hannah Pezzack , April 7th, 2021 09:03

As Xiu Xiu release latest album Oh No, Jamie Stewart guides us through his 13 toppermost records – including three compilations! I only want the best ice cream, he tells Hannah Pezzack


Morton Feldman – Edition 6, String Quartet 2 (mode 112)
Together with my appreciation the musicality of Morton Feldman, Edition 6, String Quartet 2 (mode 112) hits especially hard because he wrote it just before he died. Maybe I’m projecting my own assumptions, but I get the sense that’s the reason why it’s so long. It feels as if he wanted the last thing he ever composed to be fully and completely present. Finding an opportunity to get through all five hours in one sitting is near impossible. I’ve actually never made the time to do it. I’ve always returned to it episodically, pressing pause and jotting down a note to come back to later. As an experience, it’s sort of like drifting in and out of an expansive world that envelopes you entirely, taking you away from whatever you were doing beforehand. I first came across it about six months ago, during COVID. Everyday, I’d take a walk listening to part of this album. That became my ritual; a way to stop myself going crazy. Things are cooling down now, but the neighbourhood I live in LA was very badly affected by the pandemic. So encountering this very lengthy piece of music with its theme of mortality, knowing that, all around me, people were also dying... well, it didn’t help anything, exactly. I suppose it felt like an acknowledgement of what was happening in the world.