JOY FLASHINGS (2011) Die Schachtel

music by Philip Corner / Manuel Zurria

Philip Corner/Manuel Zurria

Joy Flashings

Die Schachtel CD

A more concentrated view of Zurria's work is found on the Philip Corner disc.  Corner was a founder participant of Fluxus from 1961, and the scores realised here are all in that style, and written in 2000 and 2008-9.  One is a drawing, one a line which describes a "melody", the other three are text or verbal scores – so the information is minimal, as in much Cage.  As Zurria writes, "He reduced the music to a mere suggestion...to discover the potential of the player", but "sufficient to describe a world".  "My personal contribution was equally important as Phil's, that's why he wanted to title this CD with both names", he adds. "Feelings" – no connection with the 70s hit – is the freest in form and avoidance of tones, sounding in turns like an enraged cat, squeaking mice and a gregarious elephant seal.  The more tightly-structured "Gamelan SITU" for three bass flutes and drones begins with clashing bell-sounds.  These interrupt the piece periodically and seem to energise its sonorities, while at the same time eerie ambient glissandos give the listener the impression of rushing through a void.  The flautist's mastery of soundscape is shown by the contrast with "First Travels In The New Millenium", where the ambience is vibrant but spatially more static – this is what he calls "the long electronic base, used as an accompaniment", whose creation was the most complex aspect.  Two very beautiful releases by a player whose musicianship is palpably honest, heartfelt and open.

Andy Hamilton

Look at the video of Feeling (a Music)