Ne(x)tworks’ Free Performance of Landmark Feldman Quartet Streams Live from Brooklyn
On Sunday, April 11, Q2, Classical 105.9 WQXR’s contemporary music stream, will present a live audio webcast of the historic first public concert from 110 Livingston Street, the future second home of Brooklyn-based performance venue ISSUE Project Room.
Starting at 11:30am, Q2 – in partnership with WNYC Culture – will provide a live audio webcast of a performance of Morton Feldman’s String Quartet No. 2, which will be played in its entirety. Lasting more than six continuous hours, the landmark composition has been called “a disorienting, transfixing experience that repeatedly approache[s] and touche[s] the sublime,” by Alex Ross of the New Yorker. The webcast will be available at www.wqxr.org/Q2 and at culture.wnyc.org/.
This free, pre-renovation, candlelit opening concert will be hosted by vocalist and performance artist Helga Davis, WQXR’s late-night host, and will showcase new music stalwarts Ne(x)tworks, who invite the audience – both in person and online – to come and go as they please. Contemporary music fans around the globe will be able to hear the groundbreaking work, which has never before been broadcast live, beginning at 11:30am EST and concluding around 5:30 in the evening.
"Exposing experimental music to larger and more diverse audiences was an important mission of our late Founder and Artistic Director, Suzanne Fiol," says Steve Wax, ISSUE Project Room's Board Chair. "This rare performance at our future home will provide a glimpse into the thrilling and superior programming that ISSUE will continue to provide to its audience and the community for years to come. The fact that WQXR's Q2 shares this vision, and will broadcast this unique and unconventional performance to the corners of the earth, makes us proud to partner with them."
Limor Tomer, WQXR’s Executive Producer for Music, comments on the partnership: “The event marks a pivotal moment not only for the new WQXR and Q2, but also for the community of active, exploratory and scene-changing artists and ensembles who have already found in the Gowanus venue of ISSUE Project Room a supportive environment and like-minded community of artists, administrators and audiences. We are thrilled to partner with ISSUE Project Room and to bring the work to an international audience.”
A member of the experimental New York School of composers that includes John Cage and Earle Brown, Morton Feldman was a pioneer of indeterminate music and a major figure in 20th-century composition. His String Quartet No. 2 (1983), which incorporates his signature free rhythms, muted pitches, and quiet and slowly unfolding music, dates from his period of experimentation with works of marathon length. Being the most extreme example, the second quartet has been performed in its entirety only a few times. The first of these, at Greenwich Village’s Cooper Union in 1999, was by the FLUX Quartet, which then featured two future members of Ne(x)tworks: founding director, violinist Cornelius Dufallo, and violist Kenji Bunch. “The focus at the time [of the premiere in 1999] seemed to be on how we were going to play for six hours without stopping,” Dufallo recalls. “As we immersed ourselves in the music, however, this began to change: we found that duration is by no means the most interesting aspect of this work. The ‘athleticism’ became more of a secondary concern to us. In this work, duration acts as a canvas, on which Feldman paints a stunningly beautiful encomium to the eternal marriage of sound and time. The piece must exist on a large scale in order to portray this relationship.”