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Philip Corner: 2 chords of the Rose+Cross by Satie..as a revelation
San Damiano Mission
Brooklyn, NY
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Philip Corner: 2 chords of the Rose+Cross by Satie..as a revelation
Philip Corner (b. Bronx, NY 1933) is a composer, performer, and visual artist whose work explores the intermedia between music and philosophy in the pursuit of an ultimate simplification of musical material. Having studied with Henry Cowell and Olivier Messiaen as well as playing on two volumes of Folkways Charles Ives recordings, the consummate pianist has nevertheless spent a career upsetting hierarchies between technique and aesthetic richness, sound and silence, and the occident and orient. While on military duty in South Korea in 1960-1961 Corner studied calligraphy with Ki-sung Kim, who gave him the name Gwan Pok, or Contemplating Waterfall. A founding participant of Fluxus since 1961, his numerous indeterminate event scoresincluding food pieces, piano dismantlings and cleanings, one note events, love scores, and sound walksare distinguished by the incorporation of such decorative script into poetic graphic notation frequently evocative of Zen koans. He was a resident composer and musician for the Judson Dance Theater from 1962 to 1964, collaborating with key figures in contemporary dance including Yvonne Rainer, Lucinda Childs, and Elaine Summers. And in 1976 he cofounded Gamelan Son of Lion, a still active new music ensemble that has performed many of Corners gamelan pieces, which number in the hundreds. Flowing from the belief that resonant metal is so inherently beautiful that it denies the necessity of art, Corners ongoing Metal Meditations reduce the performance of gongs, bells, metal percussion, and industrial material to their most elemental state, dispensing with self-expression in favor of a rough hewn serendipity. Since 1992 he has lived in Reggio Emilia, Italy with his wife and collaborator, dancer Phoebe Neville.

In 1963 Corner was among a group of pianists selected by John Cage for the first performance of Erik Saties Vexations, a marathon concert that lasted over 18 hours and provided a model for its realizations to come. Following a lifelong engagement with the French gymnopedists compositions, Corner in 2013 recorded Satie Slowly, a 2 CD set of patient interpretations that take Saties indication lent seriously, resisting the added expressivity plaguing so many of his less careful interpreters. For his concert with Blank Forms, Corner performs 2 chords of the Rose+Cross by Satie..as a revelation, a piano piece incorporating a Hörspiel recorded by Corner in 1990 and based on the chords of Saties Première Pensée Rose+Croix, always within the spirit of his injunction Avoid all sacrilegious exaltation. After an intermission, Corner will offer a selection of the pieces featured on Satie Slowly, chosen by audience request.

Organized by Lawrence Kumpf and Tommy McCutchon of Unseen Worlds.

Thanks to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum for bringing Philip Corner out to participate in their presentation of Vexations September 26th-27th as part of the exhibition Mystical Symbolism: The Salon de la Rose+Croix in Paris, 18921897.


San Damiano Mission (View)
85 N 15th St
Brooklyn, NY 11222
United States




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