Robert Morris RADIF IV

October 24, 2015
  • Robert Morris and Rebecca Morris in conversation

    A public conversation between the composer Robert Morris and the painter Rebecca Morris.

    In conjunction with the exhibition "Rebecca Morris: Rose Cut" and the publication of "Meander Renamed" by Robert Morris, this talk was held at 356 S. Mission Road in Los Angeles on October 24, 2015.

    The day of the talk, Robert Morris's "RADIF IV" was played in the gallery throughout the day, giving visitors to opportunity to hear the piece while looking at Rebecca Morris's paintings.

  • Robert Morris


    RADIF IV will be played in the gallery throughout the day, 11 AM – 6 PM, and immediately followed by a discussion between Robert Morris and Rebecca Morris at 6 PM.

    “There was also a book Bob wrote [Radif IV (1994), a set of twenty four-part pieces] which has twenty different melodies that have two part or four-part harmony; they are all based on different world music traditions—but not explicit like this one is based on this and that one is based on that. It’s just presented as one volume of cross cultural pollination of how melody and harmonies can function in world music,with canons and things. It’s really cool; I got it out of the library and I found it captivating to play through some of the different lines. This isn’t necessarily surprising but I think it is one of the most important lessons I learned from him was the idea that serialism—or for that matter any kind of compositional process or device—does not necessitate or project any particular aesthetic, that serialism or any other compositional tool is simply that. It’s a tool and the composer can more or less do whatever he or she wants with it, within certain kinds of limitations. It sets up a space for composition; but style is somewhat flexibly related to compositional space. I might be conflating a few ideas of his, but that always stuck with me, so that, if anyone says such and such piece is in a “serial style,” or in a minimalist style, I get irked to this day because this distinction between compositional processes and style is very clear for me.”

    – Kevin McFarland, quoted in “Interview with the JACK Quartet” published in Perspectives of New Music, Vol. 52, No. 2, Special Issue: Perspectives on and around Robert Morris at 70 (Summer 2014)

    In conjunction with the exhibition “Rebecca Morris: Rose Cut” and the publication of MEANDER RENAMED by Robert Morris

    Tags: Rebecca Morris, Robert Morris