[Morton Feldman Page] [Feldman: Homages]

Chris Meloche:
Endgame (for Morton Feldman 1926-1987) (1987)

In 1986, fellow composer Gerry Collins returned from Darmstadt spinning tales of the interesting music which he heard that summer. One of the pieces that seemed to have had the greatest affect on him was the premiere of Morton Feldman's "For Christian Wolff". Clocking in at 3 1/2 hours, Gerry observed that after the first 20 minutes one would just sink back in their seat and let the sound wash over them for the duration of the work. The following year, we traveled down to see Feldman lecture at the Detroit Institute of Arts. His topic was "Setting Beckett to Music". During the course of the 3 hours in the lecture hall, Feldman told numerous stories highlighted by the presentation of many lengthy pieces of music. As we sat in the front row, Feldman sat down beside us and passed along a copy of the score. These huge pages with countless staves of music were scarcely dotted with ink.

The music played and one would lose complete track of time. Each note seemed to hang suspended in the air and exist in its own universe, divorced from what came before or would eventually follow. Instinctively, I knew that this very special effect was something that I wanted to incorporate into my own future compositions.

A few months later, Feldman passed away and I composed "Endgame (for Morton Feldman 1926-1987)" in his memory. At only 13 minutes in duration, I managed to capture some of the essence of suspended time into this composition. Correspondence from Samuel Beckett referred to it as "strange and moving and a worthy tribute to Morton Feldman". Equally positive reactions were received from audiences at its premiere in 1989 and its subsequent presentation in Montreal at the Perspectives CEC Electroacoustic Days event in 1991.

Chris Meloche

[Morton Feldman Page] [Feldman: Homages]