Author: Philip Corner
Title: Pieces of Musical Reality
Year: 1994
Technique: stereophonic sound work
Duration: 29'06''
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This work also includes:
· Five original pages, signed by the author, with instructions and comments on the 1994 work, on paper, DIN A4.
· Unpublished audio interview, by José Iges to the author, conducted in 2004 (duration: 22'42'').



There are wonderful technicians at the studio of Radio Nacional, Madrid.

When I told them, at the completion of our work on “Pieces of Musical Reality, “Without you i could never have done this.”, their reply was, “We are thankful for that----it is our job!

There is always the tendency (temptation) for an artist to envy the hands-on realizers of his/her concepts...... “I just think some things up while they are the ones really doing it.”

At first it was just a note......and we must ask ourselves whether or not that would be a reality. I played “Friendly low Bb, for Ruth Emerson” on my Baroque bass trombone at the fluxus loft in 1965.

Since we know that tones are the refinements of sound, an easy progression to the use of a noises too. “The Piece of Reality for Today” was the way I first put it. And the way I did it was to record a car motor igniting, we were driving away to the country, and make a loop of it which we send downtown to the Avant Garde Festival parade to be amplified through a sound truck.

Then, as I generalize everything----the multiple new possibilities of manifesting an idea-vision----these became “OneNoteOnce” and “A Piece of (Musical) Reality” which could just as well be called “OneNoiseOnce” of “OneSoundOnce”.

From that starting out, we can follow so many new versions. And I did; this is what will occupy us now, as it did in Madrid those many years ago.

Click here to read full text by Philip Corner.

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Five original pages, signed by the author, with instructions and comments on the 1994 work, on paper, DIN A4.

Unpublished audio interview, by José Iges to the author, conducted in 2004.
Duration: 22'42''


Philip Corner (Bronx, NY, US, b. 1933)

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. A founding participant of Fluxus, his numerous indeterminate event scores—including food pieces, piano dismantlings and cleanings, one note events, love scores, and sound walks—are 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.

With Malcolm Goldstein and James Tenney, he co-founded the new music group Tone Roads Chamber Ensemble in 1963, with Julie Winter the music-ritual ensemble Sounds out of Silent Spaces in 1972 and with Barbara Benary and Daniel Goode Gamelan Son of Lion in 1976, a still-active new music ensemble that has performed many of Corner’s gamelan pieces, which number in the hundreds. Since 1992 he has lived in Reggio Emilia, Italy with his wife and collaborator, dancer Phoebe Neville.

To read the 2020 interview on Tone Glow with the artist, click here.