Neal Kosaly-Meyer: Gradus

1:00-2:30 Drop-in concert

Room 119

Neal Kosaly-Meyer – “Three Rungs”  from Gradus: for Fux, Tesla and Milo the Wrestler [90′]

Neal Kosaly-Meyer, piano

Gradus: for Fux, Tesla and Milo the Wrestler began as a sentence, “Learn to play the piano, one note at a time.” That sentence was then interpreted as a project: to devote an extended (20′ or longer) improvisation to each note on the piano, and to all combinations of all the notes (in order to facilitate eventual inclusion of all 88 pitches, “all” combinations has since been amended to “selected” combinations (since devoting individual sessions to all combinations would require septillions of years)).

Gradus in practice has evolved into a study of making music with severely restricted resources: an active contemplation of silence (in Cage’s sense: the universe of always present unintended sound) together with deep listening (inspired especially by the work of Stuart Dempster and Pauline Oliveros) to the possible sonic variations on a single piano note; to the complexities potential in a dancing pair of any two pitches; to the infinite microverse opened when three or more pitches come into play.

Today’s performance will consist of three “rungs,” each of a different length (ninety minutes total), each including a predetermined long silence, one rung devoted to a single pitch, one to two pitches, one to three or more pitches, the selection of pitches, the order of the rungs, the assignment of lengths of silence all determined by chance operation.

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