I’m pleased to announce that I have accepted an appointment as Assistant Professor of Composition at Trinity College Dublin.
Archived entries for “Uncategorized”
Talk delivered by Dushko Petrovich at The Armory Show’s Open Forum series on March 6th, 2010.
Decades ago, Richard Serra borrowed an expensive Brancusi book from an artist I know. He kept it too long, ignoring several requests to return it. When he finally brought it back, almost a year later, he casually mentioned he “got forty ideas” off the Romanian.
A friend had gotten fed up with the annual rent increases. He decided to tell his landlord off and move further into Bushwick. It was really satisfying. He hired an agent and they eventually found an acceptable place: about the same rent, three stops further out. When he went in to sign the lease, he encountered the same landlord behind a different desk.
Gagosian has hired a lot of black security guards.
An op-ed in the Times chronicled the decline of a very popular gallerist. They described her eyeglasses, her sales figures, the boyfriend she met online, the saltines she ate for Christmas. They did not go into detail about the thousands of dollars she owes her artists.
A few years ago, everybody “used to paint.” What did we used to do now?
We made ourselves so familiar with the past, learned so much about its modes and movements, diligently collected and studied its images, that it made sense, this persistent desire to be judged as if from the omniscient future. We loved the past, and this (always-postponed) ideal critique would finally allow us to merge with it.
Everyone wants to talk about the MFA as professionalization, the sorry state of art pedagogy, the circling sharks of the gallery system. What nobody wants to talk about is debt. Post-careerist 378 people applied for the job, a two-year visiting artist gig in a small city. Interviews were conducted on both coasts, plus campus visits, followed by much debate on the seven-person committee. Eventually, they voted 4-3 to hire the girlfriend of the guy who had held the job before.
During the Age of Irony, you could be relatively sure it was irony. These days, you check and double check. Now that’s ironic.
Ergo propter boom?
I have never linked iPhoto to Facebook and thus have very few photos posted on the internet. After attending Saariaho’s concert last night at Carnegie Hall I was reminded of this one, taken when I was studying with her in Santa Fe a few years ago. I’m not usually starstruck but she’s an exception. Though, a funny story: we were talking outside of St. Francis Hall in downtown Santa Fe and suddenly Paul McCartney walks by with some 20-year old model on his arm. I interrupted, “Kaija! It’s Paul McCartney!” Even she was a *bit* starstruck… at least that’s how I remember it.
Jessica Osborne, one of my favorite collaborators will perform Just Stripes, a piano piece I composed for her in 2009, at Third Street Music School Settlement. The concert begins at 7 PM. Admission is free. (More info here.)
“In music, we never say the same thing twice, because the saying is also the thing”
- Igor Stravinsky
Just Stripes is part of a larger cycle of works inspired by Borge’s famous poem, The Other Tiger, that include my original clarinet trio, Another Tiger and several projected chamber, choral, solo and large ensemble works. Borge’s poem, which ruminates on writing and influence, has been, along with Wolfgang Rihm and Harold Bloom, an enduring philosophical impetus for me, a composer obsessed with history, genealogy, succession, influence and intertextuality. Like Borge’s “third tiger,” mine “Exalts the vast and dusty library” of not only recent and older musical history, but my own recent work.
But Borge’s work is only an oblique reference; Rihm’s concept of musical cycles, if not the individual works, serves as an important precursor for my own “Other Tiger” Cycle. Like Rihm, I employ compositional techniques like “overpainting,” contrafacture, inscription and palimpsest. In Just Stripes I have stripped my clarinet trio, Another Tiger of its clarinet and cello parts leaving naked silences punctuated by surviving, virtuosic piano licks. Such silences are rare in my music and for the sake of novelty I have let them stand. Other silences are filled in with elaborations of the original piano parts, while still other silences are themselves “elaborated” with harmonics- the pianist silently depresses keys and strikes a chord, releasing the upper partials of the strings. This striking becomes the principle motive of Just Stripes.
Just Stripes was written for Jessica Osborne, my friend who has performed most of the piano parts of my recent music, including Another Tiger. It was made possible, in part, by a fellowship from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.
October 16 2011
The JACK Quartet premieres Matthew Barnson’s String Quartet No.3
and Music by Jason Eckardt and Christopher Otto
at SONiC: Sounds of a New Century Festival
Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 9 PM
2960 Broadway, New York City, New York
|Matthew Barnson||String Quartet No.3|
The JACK Quartet electrifies audiences worldwide with “explosive virtuosity” (Boston Globe) and “viscerally exciting performances” (New York Times). David Patrick Stearns (Philadelphia Inquirer) proclaimed their performance as being “among the most stimulating new-music concerts of my experience.” The Washington Postcommented, “The string quartet may be a 250-year-old contraption, but young, brilliant groups like the JACK Quartet are keeping it thrillingly vital.” Alex Ross (New Yorker) hailed their performance of Iannis Xenakis’ complete string quartets as being “exceptional” and “beautifully harsh,” and Mark Swed (Los Angeles Times) called their sold-out performances of Georg Friedrich Haas’ String Quartet No. 3 In iij. Noct.“mind-blowingly good.”More information…
The JACK Quartet will be premiering my String Quartet No.3 on October 16, 2011 as part of the SONiC Festival in New York City. Details forthcoming but tickets can be bought here.