chapter  1
30 Pages

Listening to Process, Playing the System

Intermission 6 is unique among Morton Feldman's piano works in that it has flexible instrumentation. This chapter investigates whether our understanding of Intermission 6 may be revised in the context of the argument regarding pitch-organisation and formal architecture that has been developed here through the two analyses, of Intermission 5 and Piano Piece 1952. Intermission 6 is a work that, despite first appearances, does indeed exhibit formal attributes and analysable structures in its published form. Furthermore, it consults the sketch materials and early manuscripts; it is possible to identify organised structures of pitch-deployment and partitioning of time at the composition stage. More than this, however, these frames are in many cases homologous with the frames imposed upon the work by the field. The frames that shaped Intermission 6 are also those that shaped Feldman's position in the field in relation to the competitors who were primary consumers of his work in this period.