Philip Corner by Samantha Gore

"EXTREEMIZMS", Notes by Philip Corner, Silvia Tarozzi & Deborah Walker

Philip Corner performing Satie in Brooklyn, NY, 2017, photo, Samantha Gore
Philip Corner performing Satie in Brooklyn, NY, 2017, photo, Samantha Gore

Composer's Notes

I got my extremes                                                                                                     from my two best frends :  James Tenney and Malcolm Goldstein   in our ToneRoads group.      The  one’s supercomputer refined-microtunings to the other’s extatic bodybending violin.     Me between them.......stretchd towards their limits (even if never quite making either)           My music prettymuch lives-in, has always (and in all ways),  and fills the middlground.   

Extremes are Extreme,  Extremely.  

                                                                 special-ly when you-ar  Omnisophist  Omnitheist  Omniphonist  (i am)  So my motto must-be “Renouns Renunsiation”- (it is)   Muchmore.Muchless (howmuch? mor-or-less)As-much-as-posibl   or/?andAs-littl-as-posibl :  Everything* Nothing** -------MostLeast -----a lot.alitl   (ov)      ----------------                            * if possible                              Sound                                                .styles. **if posible                             Silens                              .in finity.                        highlow  loudsoft  longshort  ---very of all-ov-them.                                       Is all the parameters??  How’bout:   lovlyugly   conso-disso/nance  energyform,al   outinner   farthernear   hearthink   feelanalyts upsettingreassuring    stranjefamiliar    newold   presentpast(future ?) Traditshion !(which)--one   or ---all-of-them    And Allovthem together:-------  manythings morethan the “thousandthings” (therare)   So   if    andITis:  EvrythingthereIs is no more than the one  that  1  do-equal  O   the zero of the One, indeed.  This means i can do as-much-as-i-please and there is Unity, still.(often not-so-still)   Even when (ther-is) only two.  2 = 1 , still.   Even when (ther-iz) maximum – contrast......when the far-poles of a dimension com-together  .Pro et Contra. (not-necessary,ly   The Perennial Antipodes  ---Charles Ives)   visibel as theYinYang       2X2   +cross+,too             Only ‘duality’ when stuck-at 1end    not both best            therfor Dua/Uni    good&evil(the evil-ov)  so howmuchmore willnot three be the !one! is one and evermore shall be-so    3   is     a  trine  TheTrinity              what?is ‘mystery’ there   when clear&evident in the form of a triangle.  Tri.angel   Just to add the moderat-median..................high --middel-- low                                          long –medium-- short            forte –mezzo-- piano    issimo         (not that nothing remain ‘mysterius’  --  as everything do.           Every  Thing   )     no mystery that the 1 of the One is.......the O.     one-perfection         Zero RevelationEnlightenmentSatoriEureka    Nada   Nihi   Not..... ‘i  found it’  It.   The I of....I! (me too)      Atman     Brahma      Tao :    the    “Way”            Void         Nothing   =   No Thing   =   EveryThing   =   Every Thing         I AM THAHT AM I      &      Holy   be-cauz    Whole                                           I have Sun in tripl-conjunction in Aries oposit Moon in Libra.

            The meaning of life is icecold grapefruitjuice in the middle of the night. 

– Ph|

Performer's Notes

In 2005 Deborah was talking to a cellist friend who said: "Do you know there’s an American composer who lives here in Reggio Emilia? He knew John Cage. His name is Philip Corner." For ten long years while she was studying at the Conservatory no one had ever mentioned the American composer who lived five minutes away! At that time Deborah had just left Reggio Emilia for Paris. In the French capital another friend, the trombonist Thierry Madiot, suggested that she contact him. It was very easy: his phone number and address were in the telephone directory. When she went to see him, Philip’s wife, the choreographer Phoebe Neville, opened the door and Deborah recognized the green-haired lady she used to notice as a child in the audience at the theatre or walking in the city centre. That first meeting led to a lasting friendship and numerous collaborations which soon included Silvia. We met both in Italy or abroad for concerts and exhibitions, involving not only the French ensembles Dedalus and Hodos, but also musicians from Reggio Emilia such as Hernan Diego Loza, Simona Borrillo and even the band Julie's Haircut.

In 2015 we asked Philip for a piece to be included in one of our duo programs that featured compositions by Eliane Radigue and Stefano Scodanibbio. Philip gave us a piece he had just written, 2 EXTREMEIZMS. From that moment onwards, our "Corner" repertoire grew quickly: every time we met Philip would give us a new composition. Often it was a piece he had just written, but at the same time he also wanted to relisten to compositions dating back to the end of his studies in the '50s. They were some of the last ones written on musical staves, which he later abandoned for hand-written graphic scores. As a result, the repertoire we began to play was somehow "at the extremes" of his work. In 2016 the Welsh harpist Rhodri Davies joined us in Reggio Emilia. We used to meet him from time to time at festivals and every time we would say: "We have to do something with Philip!". Rhodri and Philip had known each other since 1999 when the ensemble Apartment House had given a concert of his music in London (one of the pieces is included in the album “Philip Corner : In the Apartment House" released by Setola di Maiale). The opportunity finally came with a concert at Palazzo Magnani, entitled EXTREMEIZMS, in which for the first time we presented the compositions of this CD.

Working with Philip is a strange and joyful experience. His music is full of creative exuberance; at the same time it’s surprisingly synthetic. On the one hand he allows you to experiment with the parameters and underlying concepts of his music while at the same time you have to be really serious about playing by the rules. We have connected works of different times, characters and styles and let them resonate with one another. Maybe it’s a kind of time travel, or a long bridge over the Atlantic Ocean, or none of these. Maybe it lets us feel the space between the extremes and leaves it to our imagination.

– Silvia Tarozzi & Deborah Walker