Christoph Cox – Being as Time in the Sonic Arts “The real distinction is between two kinds of time”

This essay in Whitechapel Gallery’s Documents of Contemporary Art: SOUND // Edited by Caleb Kelly analyses the emerging view of sound and its relationship with music and time, and links with a lot of the other research and ideas coming up in the discussion groups.

Again, here are just a couple of pertinent quotes:

Beginning from Cage, one could go on to show how the post-Cagean legacy furthered this reconception of being, time, music and sound. Episodes in this historical story might include Morton Feldman’s efforts to reclaim “Time in its unstructured existence”; musical minimalism’s interest in the “pure sound-event” (Glass) and in what Deleuze calls “non-pulsed time”; experimental music’s rejection of a closed, physical model of music in favor of an open, biological model; the eradication of the time-object and the embrace of ephemerality in Free Jazz and Improvised Music; and DJ Culture’s dissolution of the record-object into a continuous and anonymous sonic flux. Such a story would show how, within the domain of “music” itself, the past half-century has witnessed a general shift from music to sound, from the activity of composition and the fixing of sound in space and time to a notion of sound as time, as flow, duration, becoming.

… The real distinction is between two kinds of time: pulsed time (the time of music and meaning) and nonpulsed time or duration (the time of sound matter itself).

The full text is available here.

 

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