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Thresholds of ListeningSound, Technics, Space$
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Sander van Maas

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780823264377

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823264377.001.0001

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The Discovery of Slowness in Music

The Discovery of Slowness in Music

(p.206) Chapter 12 The Discovery of Slowness in Music
Thresholds of Listening

Alexander Rehding

Fordham University Press

This chapter examines the question of slowness in music by focusing on the Halberstadt John Cage Organ Project (2001) and 9 Beet Stretch (2002). It considers a number of projects that involve extremely extended time scales, such as Danny Hillis's installation called the Clock of the Long Now and Jem Finer's composition Longplayer. Evoking the mathematical sublime from Immanuel Kant to Jean-François Lyotard, the chapter asks what happens in these very long works when the musical now virtually breaks and each single instant takes up many months. It also shows how slowness can be reconceived in terms of a Kittlerian time axis manipulation and how pieces based on time axis manipulation can alter the parameter of tone in terms of a second-order spatiality that then may become a liminal aural space for listeners to explore.

Keywords:   slowness, music, Halberstadt John Cage Organ Project, 9 Beet Stretch, time scales, Danny Hillis, Jem Finer, mathematical sublime, time axis manipulation, spatiality

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