Sailing with Morton Feldman


I recently took a short vacation break and went sailing with some of my good friends to Greece (starting in Pireus and visiting Hydra and Poros among others).

We have been sailing for a few days already, my last week’s everyday was a distant memory and was replaced by everyday blue vastness and windy spaciousness.  I was sitting on the deck, gazing purposelessly at the distant, and monotonous scenery while listening to music, when the 4th movement of Morton Feldman`s Rothko Chapel started  unravelling itself. Lucky coincidence that has created an experience.

It was one of those moments, when music and surroundings create a perfect unity. The hypnotizing, ‘primitive’ calling of the solo soprano, the spacious and seemingly simple texture of the piece, full of resounding pauses letting the gentle ambience of the sea to come through; the land  – simple, scorched  block of rock in the blue; almost a desert, so empty that it becomes full of everything and total in a way. Both dissonant, hostile and yet calming.

I took a picture of what I saw  although what is lost in the still is the slow panning of the lonely land that added almost a cinematic quality to the scene.

I can only imagine that the described experience might be somewhat similar to a visit in the actual Rothko Chapel, which is described as non-denominational temple. The very idea of creating such universal, all-encompasing space is fascinating. I truly believe I`ll get a chance to be there one day; but for now – this was my ‘Rothko Chapel’  moment in Greece.

More information on the Rothko Chapel –