December 15, 2008

George Brecht composed "Drip Music": "a source of water and an empty vessel are arranged so that the water falls into the vessel."

He'd write an "event score" -- "printed on a small white card that he would mail to friends.... Mr. Brecht said that he did not care if any of his event scores were realized and that he did not think that there was a correct way to perform one."

Back in the 1950s, when Jackson Pollock was painting (doing things with paint), you had to ask yourself: What is the next step? First, Brecht tried painting "using chance operations and materials like bed sheets, ink and marbles." But it's better -- is it not? -- to rid yourself of the paint altogether, and then rid yourself of the work itself: Just write a brief description on a card.

In those days, there were no blogs. But it was like blogging, no? A few words on a blank white rectangle are enough.

And yet, there are all those serious people in that video clip with their microphones and watering cans. Are they any less annoying than mimes? And if you're going to perform this minimal, quiet music, you've got to find a space that isn't horrifically overwhelmed with the mechanical noise of a forced air system that drowns out the dripping.

But the dripping goes on whether you hear it or not, and now the last drop has dribbled out for George Brecht, the Fluxus artist.

Dead at age 82.


Original George said...

The sound on the video is a familiar one to your male readers.

EDH said...

I wouldn't be surprised if, on average, more people have to excuse themselves to use the theater bathrooms during one of his concerts than during a typical performance.

Ken Stalter said...

In one of my college classes, each of the students was assigned a different type of avant garde theater to demonstrate to the class.

I had fluxus.

I had four people stand before the group and make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

ricpic said...

A waste of space was Fluxus George, a true artist manque,
Who came up empty pissing his pants for something to say.

Balfegor said...

If you want water in your music, just listen to Tan Dun's Water Passion after St. Matthew -- not my cup of tea, personally, but it has its charms.

Oligonicella said...

"Are they any less annoying than mimes?"

About equal.

Henry said...

Maybe the mechanical noise of the forced air system was written on a small white card? It could have been Mr. Brecht's hat tip to John Cage's 4'33".

Beth said...

It just reminds me that I can't get the hang of Enigmo on my iPhone.