Music and Time: Feldman in the Ancient Galleries

Hearing Color, Seeing Time: DACAMERA at the Menil Collection with Sarah Rothenberg, pianist

Music and Time: Feldman in the Ancient Galleries

Join us after the event for a virtual discussion with Sarah Rothenberg and Paul Davis, the Menil’s Curator of Collections; moderated by Joseph Newland, Director of Publications at the Menil

With a concert grand dramatically installed in the Menil ancient art galleries, Sarah Rothenberg performs Feldman’s last piano work, Palais de Mari (1986), surrounded by rare objects from the same era as the ruined Mesopotamian palace of 2400 B.C.E. which inspired Feldman’s composition.  Feldman speaks to us especially in these times. “Many of us are noticing how, with the interruption of our normal daily routines, our sense of time is disrupted.  For some, without the stimuli of engaging with others or moving about physically, this time may be become unusually slow, and even empty.  It is as though our lives are missing the musical bar lines by which we usually measure the day,” wrote Rothenberg when the pandemic began.  “Contemplative and questioning, Feldman’s is a nearly static music in which fixed components rotate, slowly forming new figurations.  The musical materials are suspended, like a constellation of stars in the sky.  Our sense of time expands to something much larger than ourselves.” A mesmerizing filmic performance in which avant-garde music interweaves visually with timeless objects, witnesses to a past of thousands of years.

DACAMERA Artistic Director Sarah Rothenberg has been creating interdisciplinary programs connecting music, art and literature throughout her career as a pianist. Her 2009 production, The Blue Rider in Performance, which premiered to sold out houses at Columbia University’s Miller Theater in partnership with the Guggenheim Museum’s Kandinsky retrospective, was described by The Wall Street Journal as “altogether stunning.” She has created and performed musical programs on such artists as Pablo Picasso, Eugene Delacroix, Gustav Klimt, Paul Klee, Mark Rothko, Cy Twombly, Kurt Schwitters, Max Ernst, Kazimir Malevich; and her lectures and commentary have been presented by MoMA, The Guggenheim Museum, The Jewish Museum, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, in addition to her close collaborations with The Menil Collection and Rothko Chapel. Her essays on art appear in Cy Twombly: Treatise on the Veil (The Menil Collection: Yale University Press); Rackstraw Downes: Onsite Painting (Parrish Art Museum) and various literary journals. As a pianist, she has appeared as soloist at Great Performers at Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, Barbican Centre, The Concertgebouw, and across the U.S.

“[Sarah Rothenberg is] a prolific and creative thinker.” — The Wall Street Journal

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