In his essay on the performance group, "Morton Feldman and Soloists", Eberhard Blum writes:
The story of the work "Crippled Symmetry" began in 1983, when I had the opportunity to arrange a series of performances [...] at the Akademie der Künste in Berlin. [...] Work on the programme began with my calling Feldman to ask him to write a new trio for us, the ensemble now consisting of Nils Vigeland [piano/celesta], Jan Williams [percussion] and myself [flutes]. With great delight, he agreed to do so [...]. Feldman gave me regular transatlantic lectures on his new
discoveries regarding patterns and imperfections in handmade antique rugs, and in due course, closely connected to this preoccupation, the title
"Crippled Symmetry" emerged. What he had begun in "Why Patterns?" was now carried on in a more refined manner. The trio "Crippled Symmetry" also has no score, but rather three independent parts relating to each other. These were calculated by Feldman in such a way that the linking of the musical figures would always take place in certain ways, and not in others. Even the slightest inexactness in performing the complex rhythmical figures has the effect - as in
"Why Patterns?" - that the three parts become superimposed in a different way. Feldman compared this effect - after experiencing it himself in performances of "Why Patterns?" - with the unexpected impressions one receives when viewing a picture from different angles.
The Feldman Soloists first performed the work in Berlin on 5 February 1984. The performance below took place on 24 January 2016 in the Carole Nash Recital Room at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, UK. The soloists, all students at the RNCM, were: Claire Cormie, flutes, Aidan Marsden, percussion, and Aaron Breeze, piano/celesta. The recording is presented here by kind pemission of the soloists.
Listen to: Crippled Symmetry (1983) [82:27]