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Program notes from the premiere of Gravitations
November 9, 2006 – Roxy Grove Hall, Baylor University
Frederic Rzewski stated that “For music not to just be noise it has to gravitate between rational and irrational escape from limitations of both.” Gravitations was written by Ben Johansen to push the limitations of music. The experience tonight will be new to everyone: Gravitations has not been rehearsed . . . at all. Johansen wrote the piece in such a way that performers know when to play according to specific cues written in their parts. The experience is highly experimental, at times very tonal and rational and at others very dissonant and irrational.
Johansen’s collected or personal philosophical ideas of music (the latter portion of ten contains Rzewski’s words):