[Click link above to download audio]
[Slides which accompany the presentation can be downloaded here:
part 1: http://www.mediafire.com/?4v6via18j4p4bmo
part 2: http://www.mediafire.com/?hg5oxka8lk5u5hb ]
Facilitators: Jackson Moore and Brian House
Music may have a biological basis as a faculty for synchronizing actions within groups of people. Periodic rhythms grounded in the body allow us to coordinate collective behavior in time. As anecdotal support for this idea, I will discuss two independent cases in which nascent cognitive theories of music had to be refactored to take time into account: James Tenney’s theory of musical gestalts, and Fred Lerdahl’s generative musical grammar. Both theorists came from a tradition that emphasizes pitch organization, but were compelled to ground their musical morphology in rhythm and time in order to produce a coherent formal model. A look at these efforts will help us to think about how we perceive and participate in events as they occur, and supplement our original discussion of time itself as a transcendent entity with a look at the forms that emerge from it.
Jackson Moore is a musician / composer / artist. In the nineties his work examined the semiotic systems that musicians use to think and communicate with one another. Since moving to New York in 1999, he has undertaken various projects: writing and recording antisymmetrical song forms with jazz soloists, creating a musical pidgin language, developing a formalized music based on natural language, and building an auditory spacecraft, among other things.
I will initiate a discussion on Rhythmanalysis (1992), a collection of essays in which Henri Lefebvre posits that rhythm deserves its own science. In one particularly evocative chapter, he attunes himself to the rhythms perceptible from his Paris balcony — a dérive through time rather than space — not just listening but engaging all of his senses to apprehend the cycles of the city. Lefebvre suggests that the acculturation of the individual to the environment and to society is a process of rhythmic entrainment, and he introduces classifications of rhythms and their relationships as a means of critical reflection on society’s relationship to time. I am also interested in the possibilities for and implications of a contemporary, data-centric practice of rhythmanalysis.
Brian House is a bricoleur whose work has traversed locative media, experimental music, interactive narrative, and social practice. By constructing embodied, participatory systems, he seeks to negotiate between programmed constraints and the serendipity of everyday life. He spends his days at the New York Times’ R&D lab and his nights at Eyebeam. http://brianhouse.net