To Feldman, painting wasn’t only a source of fascination, it was an incredible inspiration behind his maturing musical creations. Feldman desired to emulate painting and painters in his compositions and in his own compositional processes. It was emulation to such an extent that Feldman would refer to his compositions as not just as music, but part painting. (Somewhere he believed between painting and music.) Reading though collections of his essays, lectures, an interviews, his approach to composition appeared in in my research. The more I read, the more I felt Feldman had been a composition teacher of mine; he captivated me with his approach to music.
I love the way Feldman referred to form and technique as strategy. Strategy, as if composing was a game or puzzle waiting to be solved. Composition as game surely aligns with Feldman’s core belief in experimentation. Both games and experimentation require risk taking, a possibility of failure, and the development of creative methods to reach greater objectives. I’m loving Feldman’s viewpoint because he didn’t stick to the ages-old framing of composition as a meticulous pursuit of perfection. Individuality and exploration take greater value. As someone who has often struggled with perfectionism, I find this point to be a helpful reminder.
Philip Guston was one of the major painters of abstract expressionism and Feldman's closest friend.