SUAL Archives | 2015

Philip Corner & Phoebe Neville

#1:                 Philip Corner & Phoebe Neville: Understanding
Duration:     8‘20“ (excpt)
#2:                 Philip Corner: Agnesia – Homage To Agnes Martin (FP)
Duration:     10‘28“
#3:                 Philip Corner: Piano Work – A Movement
Duration:     3‘20“

Type:             Recorded live at SUAL 2015
Credits:        Audio recordings by JF, editing by BG


The composition, an improvisation really, which I now call Understanding was created by me as a piano solo in 1996 at the USIS Center in Bangkok. There really is no score, not even verbal, nor could there be since it is a question of an ‘ultimate improvisation’ where nothing must be pre-thought. I may have jotted-down a few words about it somewhere. I now choose as ideal an electric keyboard (which I usually avoid) because of the timbre-changing possibilities. Phœbe Neville as my assistant serves to make the changes by pressing the buttons with unforeseen result; while I play at the keyboard whatever comes to me in a mental state where ‘everything is right’. Since we are not allowed to see what we are doing (a would-be offensive level of human-will controlling) we wear the painted masks made for us by Picuk in Java. [Philip Corner]

Agnesia – Homage To Agnes Martin

‘Elementals’ was the 1-note performance shown at The Kitchen in New York in 1977. ‘A pulsing c# which lasted 5 days (duration indeterminate, with many players coming & going)’. The ‘Near-elementals’ are variants in which some small changes are permitted. In this, a fairly long and softly-played tone may be subject to slight improvised changes in dynamics, color, articulation, etc. The effect is analogous to the restrained brilliance of a painting by Agnes Martin. [Philip Corner]

Philip Corner

Philip Corner (born April 10, 1933) is an American composer, trombonist, vocalist, and pianist. Philip Corner studied at Columbia University with Otto Luening and Henry Cowell, later with Olivier Messiaen at the Paris Conservatoire and privately with Dorothy Taubman in New York. He taught at the New Lincoln School in New York from 1966-1972, the New School for Social Research from 1967-1970 and Rutgers University from 1972-1992, after which point he moved to Reggio Emilia, Italy with his wife, the dancer and choreographer Phoebe Neville. He has been associated with Fluxus since 1961, was a resident composer and musician with the Judson Dance Theatre from 1962-1964 and later with the Experimental Intermedia Foundation. He co-founded with Malcolm Goldstein and James Tenney the Tone Roads Chamber Ensemble in 1963 (active until 1970), with Julie Winter Sounds Out of Silent Spaces in 1972 (active until 1979) and with Barbara Benary and Daniel Goode, Gamelan Son of Lion in 1976 (still active).


Phœbe Neville

Phoebe Neville has been called “a supremely original artist whose explorations since the 60’s follow no fashion” by Anna Kisselgoff of the New York Times. She has created dances for thirty-five years in New York, and directed her own company for twenty. Her work has been seen in major cities around the United States and in Berlin. She began collaborating with Philip Corner in 1991. Since joining him in Italy as his wife, she has performed with him in galleries, cloisters, (deconsecrated) churches, museums, factories, farmhouse courtyards, and on rooftops and rock outcrops from Salento to the Alto Adige, being called ‘una ballerina deliziosa’ and ‘l’onda della sua musica’. Other appearances include Festivals in Lyon, France, and Odense, Denmark; and performances in France, Germany, and Belgium, Thailand, Indonesia, Australia, and Nepal.

[info as of 11/2015]