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Bernd Franke: I met Feldman at the crossroad...
(the way down is the way up) (2002)
for soprano and string quartet

Worktelegram: got to know the West Berlin Flautist and Cage/Feldman expert Eberhard Blum in 1987 at the 9th International Composers' Congress in Künstlerhaus Boswil in Switzerland; Morton Feldman died during the week and it was through Blum that I learnt of his death, indeed of Feldman's existence! - in the following years (through the stimulation provided by Blum) intensive study of Feldman and Cage - during the 90's work on my cycle half-way house - SOLO XFACH (für Joseph Beuys) which would not have come into being without such concentrated study - in Autumn 2001 commission from Musik im 21. Jahrhundert for a string quartet with Soprano solo - first idea a homage to Feldman connected with his well-known piece I met Heine on the rue Fürstenberg - request to the English writer David Bengree-Jones for a poem for this project - Bengree-Jones writes the Sonnet The way down is the way up after Agrippa and the Dürer engraving Melencolia I - out of this comes a seven part composition - the text is fragmented - 1, 3, and 5 exist only in the form of parts without a score (Quantum mechanics, Uncertainty Principle) - 2, 4, and 6 (without Soprano) "react" to this energetic bundle of uncertainty and apparently chaotic polyphony - the last movement quotes the well-known Feldman piece - the soprano ends singing (not playing) with the Feldman -F.

Bernd Franke 31.3.2002