American Sublime




American Sublime. Photo courtesy of Bowerbird.

Bowerbird produced American Sublime, a multi-day festival featuring three meditative works composed by Morton Feldman (1926–87) late in his career: Three Voices performed by Joan La Barbara, Crippled Symmetry performed by Either/Or, and Feldman's six-hour long String Quartet No. 2 performed by the FLUX Quartet. Feldman was a pioneer of indeterminate music—compositions that rely on chance and fluidity over set specifications—and is associated with the experimental New York School of composers that included John Cage and Christian Wolff. Festival programs were produced in collaboration with the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Rotunda, and included a workshop led by La Barbara, a presentation on Turkish rugs (a source of inspiration for Feldman), and the development of an microsite with audio, photos, performer interviews, and commissioned writing by New York Times music critic Paul Griffiths.