Music for John (after Feldman)
This piece was written in memory of the composer and educator John Maxwell Geddes (1941-2017.) It takes inspiration from 2 works: "Postlude for Strings" by John Maxwell Geddes and "Madame Press Died Last Week at Ninety" by Morton Feldman.
Feldman's piece was written in fond memory of his childhood piano teacher to whom he credited entirely for his musical successes. There is a distinct flute motif; a falling major third which is prominent throughout the piece. The motif is referenced throughout this piece by the trumpet to signify the impact John had as an educator.
The second piece, "Postlude for Strings," is a statement piece written by John in reaction to funding cuts being made to music and the arts. In his piece, the musicians gradually leave the stage until only the conductor is left to finish the piece. The piece sends a clear message to audience members about the future of music and the arts if they are not supported.
This piece begins with an introduction on the vibraphone which sets the harmonic language for the piece. It is joined by the violin and the oboe, the two instruments which John played himself. Gradually, musicians will walk on stage begin to play until the whole orchestra is present. This is to demonstrate the immense musical impact that John had on so many people’s lives and pay tribute to the work he done throughout his life.
The piece concludes with a solo violin playing a quotation of the closing theme of John's "Postlude for Strings."
Instrumentation Genre Ensemble (with conductor)
Duration 5 minutes
Performances of this work
- James MacMillan, Tuireadh
- Anna Clyne. Overflow (SCO commission, World Premiere)
- Sonic Bites: Crystalline Unclear