It is no secret how much modern music is kept alive today by performers proud of their ability to negotiate its daunting complexities. These people will see little opportunity for self-validation on Garland's pages.Ah, yes. Penasco Blanco, for piano and vibraphone, is one of my favorite pieces and exhibits all the Garland qualities, including widely spaced, triadic harmonies, seemingly aimless phrases, and almost laughably elementary rhythmic configurations--quarters, eighths, and a few tied notes, all at a modest tempo. But notice I said, 'almost.' Simplicity requires its own peculiar virtuosity, and I once realized this--yikes--in the midst of performing the work. With Garland, the performer has to learn to "sell" space, not notes, but...space.
Give Peter a listen:
Love Songs: featuring William Winant, the Abel-Steinberg-Winant trio, and others; 2005 (Tzadik, 8012)
Another Sunrise: featuring Aki Takahashi; (Mode 110)
Nana + Victorio: William Winant, percussion, Julie Steinberg, piano; 1993 (Avant, 012)