In 1966 Morton Feldman wrote a piece for electric guitar. He wrote it for his friend and fellow composer Christian Wolff, who gave the first performance later that year in a concert at the Library and Museum of the Performing Arts, New York…… Feldman described it as an attempt to write a piece for electric guitar which could “overcome” the instrument, using trial and error to produce sounds which didn’t sound like an electric guitar. The piece was thought to be lost when the score was stolen along with Wolff’s guitar case a year later in 1967, but a recording of Wolff playing the piece was unearthed from the archives of the KPFA radio station in Berkeley in 2007. Read more on the rediscovery of the piece in an account published by Chris Villars here.
Feldman’s long lost piece for solo electric guitar has been reconstructed thanks to the triumvirate effort of guitarist Seth Josel, Feldman archivist Chris Villars, and Other Minds. Unknowingly stolen in 1967 along with Christian Wolff’s guitar case, the piece has remained shrouded in mystery for decades. The score is reconstructed in two versions: one based on a single page sketch by Feldman titled “The Possibility” and another based on a recording of Wolff performing the work as part of a concert presented in 1966 at San Francisco’s Tape Music Center formerly located at 321 Divisadero Street from the KPFA archives and in the possession of Other Minds. Following Feldman archivist Chris Vallars’ discovery that the tape existed, he contacted Other Minds initiating what would become the reconstructed piece. The publication by Peters Edition includes both versions and essays by Villars and Josel.
The Possibility of a New Work for Electric Guitar by Morton Feldman