Musica Instrumentalis: David Tudor and the Occult Passage of Music | September 11, 7 pm- | Oslo, Anthroposophical Society of Norway (Oscars gt. 10)


You Nakai is giving an hour-long lecture at the Anthroposophical Society of Norway in Oslo on the peculiar influence of Rudolf Steiner’s teachings on David Tudor’s approach to music. It will be in the same hall where Rudolf Steiner gave lectures a hundred years ago (yay).

The abstract goes something like this:
David Tudor (1926–1996), the foremost pianist of experimental music and later pioneer of live electronic music, was also an avid follower of Rudolf Steiner’s spiritual science. While brushing off European presenters’ desperate pleas to include music from the 19th century in his avant-garde concert programs, Tudor nonchalantly performed the same kind of music in the Anthroposophical Society concerts in New York; while perusing through Steiner’s writings that chastised machines, he diligently assembled electronic circuits to explore new sounds. The question is not so much why Tudor kept a double life, but how he reasoned the apparent discrepancy between his belief and practice was only apparently so. This presentation focuses on Tudor’s idiosyncratic engagement with “musical instruments”—both acoustic and electronic—setting it in contrast with Steiner’s curious use of the term to account for the human body, to reveal an occult passage between the metaphysics of music and tone, and the physical nature of materials necessary for their production.