mostlynoise

noise5

A blog following my musical activities

You can scroll the shelf using and keys

Requisiat in pacem Ketzel Cotel

July 19, 2011 , ,

Ketzel obituary in the New York Times

“The rabbis speak of kavanah, a state of mental concentration,” he said. “Any commonplace event in our day can be transformed and seen in a heightened sense of reality. We are surrounded by miracles if you can only perceive them.”
-Moshe Cotel, rabbi, composer, and transcriber for Ketzel the cat

Few have heard of the composer Ketzel Cotel, who passed away yesterday at the age of 19. A one-hit-wonder, she was the recipient of the Honorable Mention prize in a 1997 piano composition competition. Ketzel is a cat, the cat of former Peabody conservatory chair of composition, Moshe Cotel.

One morning as the maestro sat at his piano playing a Bach Prelude and Fugue, Ketzel jumped up on the keyboard and played a descending series of notes. Maestro Cotel was struck by the “structural elegance” of what he heard, grabbed a pencil, and transcribed what he heard.

After receiving a notice by the Paris Revue of New Music about a competition for piano music less than sixty-seconds long, Cotel, not having any other compositions that fit the bill, sent in the composition by the cat.

Far from a cynical joke, Cotel’s transcription had a spiritual motivation. “The rabbis speak of kavanah, a state of mental concentration,” he (Cotel) said. “Any commonplace event in our day can be transformed and seen in a heightened sense of reality. We are surrounded by miracles if you can only perceive them.” (Cotel as quoted by Aaron Levin)

Advertisements

What do you think?

Please keep your comments polite and on-topic.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: