Monday, March 16, 2015

Morton Feldman

Robert Motherwell Untitled (ochre and black open) 1968

“Well, my approach to an instrument is finding instruments where terms like 'perfection' and 'imperfection' of construction are not important. The whole idea of going in tune and out of tune with more precise acoustical instruments is taken into consideration. It was actually with my interest in nomadic oriental rugs that really made me start to use 'imperfect' percussion with considerably more security. I’ll tell you how. In older oriental rugs the dyes are made in small amounts and so what happens is that there is an imperfection throughout the rug of changing colors of these dyes. Most people feel that they are imperfections. Actually it is the refraction of the light on these small dye batches that makes the rugs wonderful. I interpreted this as going in and out of tune. There is a name for that in rugs - it’s called abrash - a change of colors that leads us into pieces like Instruments III which was the beginning of my rug idea. I wouldn’t say I actually made a literal juxtaposition between rugs and the use of instruments in Instruments III, but it made me not worry about it. I like the imperfection and it added to the color. It enriched the color, this out of tune quality. Just like I like my piano out of tune a little bit.”

Morton Feldman, april 22, 1983
Quoted by Steve Flato​