PROJECTION II (1950 - 1953)
by Paul Griffiths
Morton Feldman’s early Projections and Intersections pieces, written between 1950 and 1953, are series of 'graph' compositions in which [...] time is represented by space, and in which the spaced boxes specify only instrument, register, number of simultaneous sounds, mode of production, and duration. The two series differ in that the Projections are to be consistently quiet, while in the Intersections 'the player is free to choose any dynamic at any entrance but must maintain sameness of volume' - though 'what is desired in both ... is a pure (non-vibrating) tone'.
Example 1 shows the opening of Projection II, where the dashed lines mark off units of a second; the first sound heard is a five-note chord in the extreme bass of the piano, followed by a middle-range trumpet note, a note in the mid-treble of the piano, and so on. In other works of the same period, such as the Extensions series or Structures for string quartet, Feldman used conventional notation in order to achieve non-compulsion differently, by having delicate figures repeated over and over again.