After Listening To Feldman's Second String Quartet

by Matthew Lee Knowles

This is my own personal experience of listening to Morton Feldman’s Second String Quartet...


Brown wood-like cuboids zipping past in a dense globular star cluster, surrounded by a massive orange star crossed with rippling rose petals / John Williams / sirens / trumpets / nuclear strike alarm / home / vital breath / slow motion raindrops / visualisation of complex four-dimensional gravitational waves dancing around the soaring elongation of a quasar’s central energy beam / my central nervous system, spread out, laid out, reduced to fuzzy red atoms that appear to eat themselves / this piece creates an exquisite test of one’s memory, linking fragments that may be minutes or hours apart / music sounds reversed / Nosferatu / mitosis in reverse / endless questions without answers, tension without release, yet this is soothing / straight, slightly fuzzy black shadows overlapping, birthing, transforming, I can see crocodile shapes and eggs falling from them / an eye slowly closing but never fully shutting / low sounds pushing from under the skin, leaving stretched welts / a circular wheel turning but as if it was anything but a circle / emotionless sentimentality / white shadow-like striations / racing through a starfield, points of light reducing, to black, then back again, twirling through a black hole, observing the hypothetical conical structure from the outside / Penderecki / Psycho / Boötes Void / Luci from Groening’s Disenchantment / whistles, controlled wind if the weather was produced by a composer / Victorian music hall / Slow Philip Glass / plucking hairs from the head of a catatonic person in an asylum / Lovecraft rubbing his fingers together / repeated low note to high note motif, with harmonics sounds like “I’m dead” / a washing machine designed only to dirty the clothes not clean them / Irish folk music / grenades exploding in front of me but producing only minimal sounds / lonely old dying goose / Escher / accordion / timpani / EDM / absorption lines / a lighthouse out of control / wood blocks, octopus suckers on plastic / Wagner / Palestrina / Stockhausen / dissonance becomes consonance, everything becomes melody, a minor second is huge / lying naked on a huge pool of custard, wobbling but never sinking / severe angular makeup / overweight mermaid swimming down an underwater tornado made from multi-coloured iron filings / black and white plasma walls stretched and rapidly receding from a room with the quartet playing / several traditional chinese instruments / whale song / glass balloons popping, somehow like ordinary balloons / waves holding hands but not joining waters / bicycle with many wheels appearing, ala Cyriak / a waterfall of wheelchairs (seriously questioning my brain right now…) / random fragments of clean metal coming to me on a zipwire / inside a large structure of fractal tree branches, with gaps but no outside / Sondheim / close up on a mouth, the corner is melting and grimacing / small rodents playing hypersonic tag / Gypsy folk music / a Francis Bacon scream, itself screaming / wandering aimlessly but never lost / colourless rainbow being produced in the sky, like a brass rubbing / impossibly long line of houses in the distance, each with a single light on, same room in each / handcuffs coming toward me, clinking together in slow motion without sound, but you can see the sound / Svankmajer / building up of a Rothko painting, coloured water lava lamp / four people talking to each other in a large room, but separated, rotating, but still as if they were huddled together / stylophone / Holocaust pleas and cries / tunnel made of storm clouds, with lizard like creatures crawling around the top / black and white static, glitch in the Mortrix? / Ravel / beating heart of bagpipes / repeatedly putting down the same whiskey glass in the same place / radar location pulsation / punching a cloud / Japanese samurai sword slicing a knife precisely through its centre / spirits reaching from below the ground / disgustingly intense, like smelling sulphur / like the ink signs from Arrival / train tracks with no parallel lines, yet the trains don’t seem to notice or care / echo of the viola line in Rothko Chapel / Messiaen / conch shell / organic fragility / line from Antony and the Johnson’s Epilepsy is Dancing “As a soldering blue line, between my eyes” – this, but black / congregating window condensation / Beckett / glass harmonica being played like a microphone getting too close to a speaker / some fragments could be airlifted into any Disney song and nobody would know / Kurtag / ballerina music box, but as she turns, she gets twisted, chewed, gruesomely deformed / musical saw / theremin / walking over a contact mic buried in the mud / Muybridge’s horse galloping towards me / some long notes (but also a few short ones) sound like a person’s entire life condensed, with attention on their final breath, a realisation that eternity awaits / Ligeti / distant rumbling apparitions / Alpine horn / Marionettes suddenly coming to life then randomly stopping / getting a chinese burn from someone you lust after / flipping a coin that bizarrely teleports itself to different locations before falling back in your hand / a bicycle bell whilst undergoing Lorentz contraction / green and pastoral / I like pieces that do everything or nothing, this is a very rare example (for me) of a piece that does both of those at the same time! / choir (this surprised me, I actually heard singing voices) / lacklustre panpipes / Pollock / an orrery with just two planets fighting against each other / licking the bubbling meniscus of a supernatural cauldron / playing “they love me, they love me not” with the petals of a flower, but some petals burn, or disintegrate, or fight back, or bleed / low note sounds like “moo”, high note sounds like “meow” – when they overlap: “moo-ow” (!) / ice rubbing against ice / bellows opening like the exaggerated beak of a raven / dolphins at slow motion play / Mica Levi / the dissipating ethereal rings of an ink drop burrowing its way through a glass of water / my eyes turning to thousands of spider eggs / two weavers on two looms, superimposed at a ninety-degree angle (this image was particularly welcome, as you’ll appreciate if you know anything about Feldman’s interests…) / Bernstein / Laurence Crane / didgeridoo / harp / the irregular carving of an iceberg / firing single drops of grey liquid directly at each other through the LHC / Laurel and Hardy theme / Debussy / Feldman drags you into experiencing the decay of the event, sometimes more than the attack / branches rubbing along the windows of the top deck of a double decker bus / beautiful alone doesn’t quite feel right – rustic beauty feels closer.