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Piano Album: Short Piano Pieces,1962-1984
Scores and instructions for performance by Dick Higgins.
Although Dick Higgins is best known as a performance poet and artist, his creative life began with music, he studied with composers Henry Cowell and John Cage, and he has even made a phonograph record of compositions by himself and by Erik Satie. In fact, some of his Happenings and Fluxus works are essentially musical, such as the 1965 “Opera a Gogo” Hrusalk. For him music sometimes seems to be a matter of behavior ( and thus ethi-cophilosophical) more than of medium alone. Thus, a piece which behaves like music, or whose constituent elements behave musically, is music, whether or not the work happens to be conceptually dependent upon organized sound, as a more traditional definition of music might have it. So how do ( or can ) musical elements behave? This is not the place for a theoretical discussion of that question, but it does seem to be implied by all the pieces in this album. All appear to be investigations of the question which happen to use the piano as a point of departure or of reference. Wherein, if it differs at all, does that differ from a late Beethoven piano sonata? - Camille Gordon
“A beautifully produced collection of graphic, verbal and notated scores…With relevance to both music and literature, Piano’s Album iconoclastic scores belong in belles lettres and music libraries…” - D.H.