In my review of the Barbican’s Total Immersion day on Brian Ferneyhough I mentioned that “few composers impose themselves on my mind or day-to-day perception to quite such an extent”. Which is to say that I know of few composers whose music I find superficially inexplicable but which nevertheless impresses itself so firmly on my consciousness. That’s an intoxicating and intriguing paradox. Major new Ferneyhough experiences quite often leave me in a distracted and slightly troubled state of mind for several days afterwards, particularly as I try to assimilate what I’ve heard through repeated listenings.
I wrote two blog entries on why musicians attend concerts to encourage musicians, particularly performers, to go to concerts. Finding the time to attend a concert is hard enough for performers who are time-challenged. Finding the time to blog, in order to share and remember the event, is harder still.
During the academic break in February 2010, I went to meet and hear the composer Frederic Rzewski at Amsterdam Conservatory.
I brought along a pianist friend who was grateful for the break from teaching. She said, “I should be going to more concerts like this — not just piano concerts. Thanks for inviting me.”