Series - Barbara Monk Feldman

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Barbara Monk Feldman

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  • 1997 - 2018 (Creation)
    Creator
    Monk Feldman, Barbara

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2.5cm of textual records

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(1953 -)

Biographical history

Barbara Monk Feldman was born in Québec in 1953. A composer of mainly chamber works, she studied composition with Bengt Hambræus at McGill University in Montréal from 1980 to 1983, where she earned her master’s degree in Music. She then went on to study with Morton Feldman – whom she later married – at the State University of New York at Buffalo from 1984 to 1987, earning her PhD on the Edgard Varèse Fellowship. Following her doctorate studies, she served on the faculty at Ferienkurse in Darmstadt in 1988, 1990, and 1994 and has guest-lectured at the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin as well as universities in Canada and the United States.

Throughout her career, her works have been performed in Asia, Europe, and North America and her research in music and the visual arts has led to collaborations with numerous artists, including Stan Brakhage, whose hand-painted film Three Homerics was created specifically for use with her piece Infinite Other. In 2001, she founded the Time Shards Music Series at the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe and has since served as its artistic director.

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Series consists of scores, edits, correspondence, and a publication related to two compositions by Barbara Monk Feldman: The Northern Shore for Percussion, Piano and Chamber Orchestra; and, The Pale Blue Northern Sky. The Northern Shore for Percussion, Piano, and Chamber Orchestra is a 2018 revision of Monk Feldman’s 1997 work, The Northern Shore. Whereas the earlier version was written for violin, piano, and percussion, the revision is scored for chamber orchestra. Monk Feldman wrote the piece as an abstracted impression of the colors, textures, and atmospheres evoked by a specific place and time in nature, in particular the Gaspé Peninsula in Quebec where the St. Lawrence River widens into the ocean. Here, the opposite shore appears across the water to Monk Feldman as a sort of mirage that is either enhanced or diminished by the intensity of light on the water during the day. It is this memory of light that Monk Feldman found inspiring, utilizing the way that differing registrations of the violin are sustained in relation to the percussion and piano as an intimation of light and horizon. The Pale Blue Northern Sky was similarly inspired by the same Gaspé location and thus acts a ‘sister piece’ to The Northern Shore. It was written in 2007 for two guitars and a mandolin.

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