[4 February 2013]
PopMatters Associate Music Editor
I had read somewhere that Morton Feldman’s work grew longer and longer as he grew older. The longer the material got, the more gradual the changes in the music became. “Crippled Symmetry”, written in 1983, is one of those minimalist creepers that will have staunch classical music fans who want something to happen, clawing at their faces. “Crippled Symmetry” was written for a specific group of friends that Feldman named The Feldman Soloists. In 2000, flautist Eberhard Blum, auxiliary percussionist Nils Vigeland and pianist Jan Williams recorded the piece again to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Feldman’s June in Buffalo festival. For some reason it took 12 years for the double album Crippled Symmetry: At June in Buffalo to be realized. From a technical point of view, I can’t explain that sort of gap. From an aesthetic point of view, “Crippled Symmetry” is a fragile piece that needs to be cradled gently. This might be why the press material goes the extra mile in citing Denis Blackham’s mastering job. The album holds a special place in the hearts of the performers, and when it comes to music of such stark content, beauty is in the eye of the performer.