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Table of contents :
Enacting Musical Time
Music and Time
Enacting Musical Time
1. Meaning
Musical Objects
Objective Time
Lived Time
2. Affordances
Becoming Music (Behave So Strangely)
Musical Affordances
Situation Semantics
Cultural Information
Situation Semantics and Musical Affordances
Temporal Affordances
Musical Affordances of Breath
3. Body
Embodied Cognition
Temporal Bodies
Kinesthetic Knowledge
Kinesthetic Knowledge in Music Analysis
4. Flesh
The Body’s “I Can”
From “I Can” to Time
The Flesh of Time
Temporal Objects and the Flesh of Music
5. Affectivity
Enacting Lived Time
Louis Andriessen’s De Tijd
Eternity in Augustine’s Confessions
Temporal and Affective Dynamics of Movement
Enacting Chronal Anxiety
6. Verticality
Vertical Time
Eternal Return
Hosokawa’s Vertical Time
Malleable Musical Form
Works Cited
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Enacting Musical Time

OX F O R D S T U D I E S I N M U SIC   T H E O RY Series Editor Steven Rings Studies in Music with Text David Lewin Music as Discourse: Semiotic Adventures in Romantic Music Kofi Agawu Metric Manipulations in Haydn and Mozart: Chamber Music for Strings, 1787-​1791 Danuta Mirka Songs in Motion: Rhythm and Meter in the German Lied Yonatan Malin A Geometry of Music: Harmony and Counterpoint in the Extended Common Practice Dmitri Tymoczko In the Process of Becoming: Analytic and Philosophical Perspectives on Form in Early Nineteenth-​Century Music Janet Schmalfeldt Tonality and Transformation Steven Rings Audacious Euphony: Chromaticism and the Triad’s Second Nature Richard Cohn Mahler’s Symphonic Sonatas Seth Monahan Beating Time and Measuring Music in the Early Modern Era Roger Mathew Grant Pieces of Tradition: An Analysis of Contemporary Tonal Music Daniel Harrison Music at Hand: Instruments, Bodies, and Cognition Jonathan De Souza Foundations of Musical Grammar Lawrence M. Zbikowski Organized Time: Rhythm, Tonality, and Form Jason Yust Flow: Expressive Rhythm in the Rapping Voice Mitchell Ohriner Enacting Musical Time: The Bodily Experience of New Music Mariusz Kozak

Enacting Musical Time The Bodily Experience of New Music M A R I U S Z   KO Z A K


3 Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University’s objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. Oxford is a registered trade mark of Oxford University Press in the UK and certain other countries. Published in the United States of America by Oxford University Press 198 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, United States of America. © Oxford University Press 2020 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of Oxford University Press, or as expressly permitted by law, by license, or under terms agreed with the appropriate reproduction rights organization. Inquiries concerning reproduction outside the scope of the above should be sent to the Rights Department, Oxford University Press, at the address above. You must not circulate this work in any other form and you must impose this same condition on any acquirer. CIP data is on file at the Library of Congress ISBN 978–0–19–008020–4 1 3 5 7 9 8 6 4 2 Printed by Integrated Books International, United States of America

To Asia and Tim Their love and enthusiasm inspire me always

Contents Acknowledgments




Lines Music and Time Enacting Musical Time

1 7 10

1. Meaning


2. Affordances


Musical Objects Objective Time Lived Time Significance Affordances Breathing Becoming Music (Behave So Strangely) Musical Affordances Situation Semantics Cultural Information Situation Semantics and Musical Affordances Temporal Affordances Musical Affordances of Breath

22 28 33 42 45 57 64 67 73 77 85 89 96

3. Body


4. Flesh


Embodied Cognition Temporal Bodies Kinesthetic Knowledge Kinesthetic Knowledge in Music Analysis The Body’s “I Can” From “I Can” to Time The Flesh of Time Temporal Objects and the Flesh of Music

109 112 127 144 156 161 169 179

viii Contents

5. Affectivity


6. Verticality


Works Cited Index

277 299

Auto-​Affection Enacting Lived Time Louis Andriessen’s De Tijd Eternity in Augustine’s Confessions Temporal and Affective Dynamics of Movement Enacting Chronal Anxiety Vertical Time Eternal Return Affect Hosokawa’s Vertical Time Malleable Musical Form

188 193 205 214 218 223 238 247 256 262 269

Acknowledgments In his 1676 letter to Robert Hooke, Sir Isaac Newton wrote: “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” Foremost among my own giants are two people who have been unsparing with their support and inspiring with their scholarship. One is Lawrence Zbikowski—​I continue to rely on his advice even to this day, long after I’ve received my Ph.D. under his supervision. His critical commentary and an eye for the big picture have left a lasting mark on this book, while his encouragement helped me early on to pursue unexpected avenues that ultimately proved to be central to my argument. The other is Rolf Inge Godøy, my “second Doktorvater,” whose gentle brilliance illuminates my own thinking. I owe them both my deepest gratitude. A monograph bears the name of a single author, but it is never a work completed in isolation. This maxim holds especially true for an interdisciplinary book such as this, and over the years I have benefited from countless exchanges with a long list of colleagues, collaborators, and discussants. Among the music theorists and musicologists, I wish to thank Chelsea Burns, Eric Clarke, Arnie Cox, Michael Figueroa, Tim Freeze, Luis-​Manuel Garcia, Daniel Gough, Roger Grant, Marion Guck, Christopher Hasty, Erika Honisch, Bryn Hughes, Sarah Iker, Brian Kane, Marianne Kielian-​ Gilbert, Trent Leipert, Justin London, Megan Lovengood, Elizabeth Margulis, Peter Martens, José Oliveira Martins, Greg McCandless, Eugene Montague, Maryam Moshaver, Marcelle Pierson, Alexander Rehding, August Sheehy, Christopher Shultis, Peter Shultz, Pete Smucker, James Steichen, Victoria Tzotzkova, Claudio Vellutini, Gregory Weinstein, Lillian Wohl, and Mark Yeary. Megan Kaes Long has been an ingenious accomplice in strategizing how to publish a music theory monograph. Richard Hermann patiently read and generously shared his insights on early drafts of this book. Jonathan De Souza’s expertise in all things Merleau-​Ponty proved crucial in Chapter 3, while Robin James’s careful reading of Chapter 6 was key in helping me discover and shape my own philosophical voice. I am also delighted to have had a formidable group of anonymous reviewers; thanks to their penetrating critique and salutary advice this book is incomparably better than it would have been.

x Acknowledgments While music theory is my disciplinary home, a project as complex as this one could not have taken off the ground without the stimulating discussions with researchers from other fields. I am especially grateful to Ken Aizawa, Anthony Chemero, Ian Cross, Sean Gallagher, Peter Keller, Jin Hyun Kim, David Kirsh, Sebastian Klotz, Tomasz Komendziński, Mats Küssner, Jakub Ryszard Matyja, Luc Nijs, Andrea Schiavio, Konrad Sierzputowski, Finn Upham, and Frédérique de Vignemont. Parts of my research were generously funded by the U.S.–​Norway Fulbright Foundation. Many thanks to the numerous enthusiastic participants who had to dance to weird music, especially Arthur Bass, Courtney Dern, Kelly McKowen, Rachel Severson, Rolf Steier, Karl Unterschuetz, and Taylor White. I was able to do the bulk of my empirical work at the University of Oslo, where I enjoyed seemingly inexhaustible help and hospitality from Anne Danielsen, Mari Romarheim Haugen, Alexander Refsum Jensenius, and other members of the Department of Musicology and the fourMs lab. Kristian Nymoen in particular became an inestimable collaborator and, most importantly, a kindhearted friend. At Oxford University Press I have been fortunate to have had the support of Steve Rings, the series editor, who shepherded this project with firm advocacy and gentle counsel. In addition, this book would not have seen the light of day if not for the unwavering support and guidance of Suzanne Ryan. She saw its value when it was still in embryonic stages, and provided encouragement through some of the most daunting stages of the publication process. I also wish to thank the editorial staff and the production team. Josh Rutner combed through the manuscript with the eyes of a hawk, picking out every errant em-​dash while peppering his editorial remarks with endearingly irreverent (though ultimately useful) asides. My graduate assistant, Marc Hannaford, helped create most of the musical examples. Permissions to reproduce the works of Louis Andriessen, Harrison Birtwistle, Elliott Carter, Anna Clyne, Brian Ferneyhough, Toshio Hosokawa, Helmut Lachenmann, Olga Neuwirth, and Andrew Norman have been generously provided by Boosey & Hawkes, Peters Edition Limited, Breitkopf & Härtel, Schott Music, and Ricordi. I also wish to express my appreciation to the Schoff Fund at the University Seminars at Columbia University for their help in publication. The ideas presented have benefited from discussions in the University Seminar on Studies in Dance. Working and teaching at Columbia University meant having ready access to some of the most curious, brilliant minds in North American academia.

Acknowledgments  xi I  am especially grateful to Jenny Boulboullé, Brian Boyd, Lynn Garafola, Andrew Goldman, Nori Jacoby, Carmel Raz, and Pamela Smith. Their astute comments provided me with many a fresh perspective. In the Music Department at Columbia University I benefited immensely from the support of my colleagues and students; while too many to mention by name, I hope they all know that I continue to be inspired by each and every one of them. George Lewis in particular has been a tremendous resource for helping me link the humanistic and scientific sides of my project. To my fellow theorists—​Joseph Dubiel and Ellie Hisama—​I owe special thanks for serving as exemplars of scholarly rigor and professional integrity, and for challenging and encouraging me along the way. I am also indebted to the chairs of the Music Department during the time of writing this book—​Giuseppe Gerbino, Susan Boynton, and Ana María Ochoa—​for creating an environment in which I was able to thrive as a junior scholar. My most heartfelt thanks goes to Benjamin Steege, Alessandra Ciucci, Kevin Fellezs, and Zosha Di Castri, whose advice, moral backing, and loyalty have sustained me for the last six years. They continue to be my role models, comrades, sounding boards, and de facto mentors. My family gave me the boost in confidence needed to complete this book, and created an emotionally supportive environment in which to do it. Julia Doe has been my sidekick and confidant in things professional and private. Martha Sprigge, Mary Caldwell, and Daniel Steinberg have shared with me wisdom that has helped me find a path through life, while their unfaltering reassurance has kept me on course. My parents, Wies and Anna—​academics both—​taught me to ask difficult questions and reach beyond the most obvious answers, all the while serving as emblems of intellectual and personal honesty. My brother, Pawel, proved to be an invaluable interlocutor as he fielded my questions with exceptional insight and inimitable wit. For that, and so much more, I am forever indebted to them. Finally, this book could have only emerged from the emotional bedrock formed lovingly and patiently by my wife, Joanna, and our son, Timothy. Their unmitigated affection and abiding trust helped me to see both the value of my work and the necessity of balancing it with familial activities. With my eternal gratitude, what follows is dedicated to them.

Introduction Lines

Imagine Time Perhaps it is a line that stretches horizontally in front of you, with the past all gathered up to your left, the future to your right, and the place where you stand marking the present. Perhaps the line stretches front to back, with the past behind you and the future in front. Or perhaps the other way around, as it is for the Aymara people from the Andes (Nuñez and Sweetser 2006). Maybe the line is actually a river, and from the riverbank you can view time and the events happening within it, with the future upstream and the past downstream—​or perhaps you yourself are being carried along by its current. Imagining time itself—​rather than events that occur in time—​is not easy. To borrow a musical term, time’s nature fulfills a double emploi, as both an abstract concept and a sensed presence of our lives. This duality seems irreconcilable, as attested by centuries of debates involving philosophers, scientists, and artists, among others. We come to terms with it by drawing on our bodily experience to create useful metaphors, but these metaphors are often inconsistent or incoherent (Cox 2017). Consider time as a river: if you are caught up in its flow—​that is, if you are in time—​then the past is upstream. But if you survey the river from its bank, the past is downstream. Now, examine the metaphor itself. If time is a river, what is it contained in? What constitutes the riverbed? And, if you are caught up in its flow, what serves as your point of reference such that you know that it does, indeed, flow? Furthermore, if you stand as an observer on the riverbank, where are you? Are you outside of time? Is that even possible? Still, even when faced with inconsistency and incoherence, we try to imagine time in its multiplicity of forms, expressing its function—​more so, perhaps, than its nature—​as an immaterial force that helps us to order and organize the incessant change we encounter in the world. Time gives change both a dimensionality (the past, the present, and the future) and a Enacting Musical Time: The Bodily Experience of New Music. Mariusz Kozak, Oxford University Press (2020). © Oxford University Press. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190080204.001.0001

2  Enacting Musical Time direction (the present—​containing elements from the past—​opens up onto the future). The line is a ubiquitous companion in our imaginings because, as David Rosenberg (2010) shows in his beautifully illustrated history of the timeline, its flexibility offers a broad assortment of configurations, including arrows, loops, spirals, sinusoids, and other shapes able to satisfy the needs of those who, for whatever reason, find themselves trying to imagine time. Although a relatively recent construct in Western history, the timeline holds much sway in our contemporary thinking, along with other temporal representations, such as clocks, calendars, tables, and circles. Taken together, they form a repository of Western temporal knowledge and a resource for our current and future models. Delving into the history of this knowledge would already take us too far afield, even if we limited ourselves to Western thought, and even if we further excluded painters, writers, composers, and all other sorts of artists and artisans—​to say nothing of physicists, economists, engineers, theologians, and so on—​whose work explicitly considers time and our experience of it.1 What is clear is that time is one of the foremost concerns for human beings, even if thinking about it leads to disagreements about the most basic issues: Does time flow, or is that merely an artifact of our minds? If it does flow, does it do so in only one direction, or in several at once? Is time real, or an illusion? Is it autonomous and objective, or contingent and subjective? Do we move through time, or does time move while we remain stationary? Can we travel through time? For all the disagreement, understanding the nature of time is especially urgent for anyone interested in the analysis and interpretation of music, which is often—​and often without resistance—​said to be an eminently temporal artform. And the urgency is only amplified when we consider the most recent Western classical art music. Throughout the twentieth century and into the twenty-​first, time has become one of the most dominant concerns for modernist and postmodernist composers, prompted by such a diverse range of influences as new digital technologies, developments in the physical and natural sciences, cultural theories that focus on the human subject as an agent constituting his or her own existence, and non-​Western ideas and 1 The exercise, in any case, is redundant, because there already exists a substantial body of literature that addresses this history in detail. Some of it offers a sweeping view of the most influential thinkers on the subject of time, from Plato and Aristotle, through Augustine, Newton, and Einstein, and on to Husserl and Hawking (Bardon 2013; Holford-​Strevens 2005). Others focus on a specific figure (Coope 2005; Canales 2015), historical period (Thomas 2018; McGinnis 2013), or school of thought (Hoy 2009; Muldoon 2006).

Introduction  3 concepts that have filtered into European and North American intellectual landscapes (Crispin 2009; Campbell 2013; Lochhead 2002). Some composers have written extensively about their approaches to time, leaving us with explicit ideas that often serve as springboards for analyses of their music. These composers include, among others, Igor Stravinsky (1947) and Karlheinz Stockhausen (1958, 1959), both of whom distinguished between the objective time of music and the subjective experience of the listener; Elliott Carter (1977), who conceived of time as a screen onto which our lives are projected; Pierre Boulez (1971), who drew on the music of Bali and India to conceptualize smooth and striated time; and Gérard Grisey (1987), for whom musical time was constituted by three layers—​the bones, flesh, and the skin of time.2 As composers continue to use the sonic medium to question established orthodoxies and to create new paths through time, it seems that lines no longer provide enough multiformity to account for the rich experiential domain of the listener. Perhaps it is fortunate, then, that time as such has no perceivable appearance apart from the events that “take time,” because it grants our imagination the freedom to consider other forms that might aid us in processing the unfolding of events around us. Imagine time differently, then—​ as a sphere, or a cube, or even a hexacosichoron. Imagine it running diagonally, or folding back upon itself, or sideways, or from the inside out. Imagine time crackling, wheezing, rustling, swooshing, buzzing. Imagine time as silent. Now imagine it smelling of freshly cut grass, or a musty hotel lobby. Then again, what if time glistened and shimmered? What if it breathed, slowly, in-​out-​in-​out-​in-​out? What if it came near you, so close that you could feel its warmth, embrace it, hold it in your hands? What if it did all of that at once? These might seem like whimsical metaphors, evocative poetic images that do little to augment our understanding of time itself. But in what follows I argue that these are all expressions of the same temporalizing act of the body engaged with its environment. Rather than replacing old metaphors with new ones, each chapter in this book questions notions of time enshrined in our theoretical concepts, and, by delving into the pre-​discursive space in which the listening experience touches the sonic world, offers in their place new ways of thinking of time’s significance in our encounters with music. What interests me in particular is how and why time shows up as an aspect of 2 For extensive commentary on the genesis of Carter’s thought, see Bernard (1995). Campbell (2013) discusses these and other composers’ approaches to time from a Deleuzian perspective.

4  Enacting Musical Time our listening experience, and how music draws on this experience to create opportunities for the emergence of new meanings. The possibility of time smelling, or shimmering, or drawing nearer to us seems to run counter to the prevailing view, which is that odor, luminosity, and movement are some of the myriad properties of physical objects. While these physical objects undergo a change in time, time itself remains a separate (odorless, invisible, immobile) dimension. As Lewis Rowell pointed out in his 1996 review of music articles that had been published under the auspices of the International Society for the Study of Time (by now in need of updating, but by no means outdated), music-​theoretical writings also adhere to the prevailing view. According to Rowell (1996b), time is usually regarded as “a quantitative dimension articulated by audible events,” with focus primarily directed toward such aspects as rhythm and meter (69). Like the line metaphor above, this approach draws on spatial analogues of time as the basis for measuring how musical events unfold. The main objective is to understand the relationships between sounds as if the piece of music were a temporally extended object that, although not available for perception beyond the sliver of the present, nevertheless “exists” spread out in its entirety along the timeline. It makes no difference whether the line runs horizontally or vertically, left-​to-​right or back-​to-​front, as long as it represents a time fundamentally characterized by quantity. This quantity can be expressed as the time-​interval between successive events (inter-​onset interval, or IOI), or as proportional relationships between durations, or as locations within a container (e.g., a measure) that keeps repeating at a consistent rate.3 By contrast, in this book I focus on a concept of musical time similar to what Rowell describes as “ideas and experiences, with distinct properties that can be modeled with sound” (Rowell 1996b, 69). My approach is based largely on twentieth-​century continental philosophy, especially the work of the French phenomenologist Maurice Merleau-​Ponty, who suggested that time, while real, exists neither objectively nor autonomously. Taking up this perspective, I consider time as the form of the listener’s interaction with music. Building on evidence from such diverse fields as music theory, phenomenology, cognitive science, and social anthropology, I  develop a philosophical and critical argument that musical time is constituted by the 3 There are numerous examples of these approaches in music-​theoretical literature. Some of the most influential ones include London (2012), Cohn (1992), and Schachter (1999; see especially “Rhythm and Linear Analysis” and “Aspects of Meter”). Most recently, Yust (2018) emphasizes the spatial representation of time by explicitly connecting musical temporality with a landscape.

Introduction  5 moving bodies of participants engaged in musical activities. I put forward and illustrate a claim that musical time describes the form of a specific kind of interaction between musical sounds and a situated, embodied listener. My main thesis is that this musical time emerges when the listener enacts his or her implicit kinesthetic knowledge about “how music goes.” Such knowledge is expressed in the entire spectrum of behavior, from deliberate inactivity, through the simple action of tapping one’s foot in synchrony with the beat, to dancing in a way that engages the whole body. I explore this idea in the context of recent Western classical art music, where composers create temporal experiences that might feel unfamiliar or idiosyncratic, experiences that blur the line between spectatorship and participation, and even experiences that challenge conventional notions of musical form. To be sure, the way in which I regard time is novel in the field of music theory, and its emergence from skillful behavior in response to the auditory signal requires some explaining. By way of a non-​musical example, consider your first encounter with a bottle of perfume that is new to you. As you press on the plunger, aerosolized droplets rush out and form a cloud that hangs in the air in front of you. In order to catch a whiff, you move your head, maybe even your whole body, this way and that. You create a fan-​like motion with your hands in order to direct the fragrant air toward your nose. Move too much to the side, and the smell disappears; linger too close to the center of the cloud, and it becomes overwhelming, suffocating. There is a reciprocity in this action between bodily movements and the olfactory sensation, each one guiding and responding to the other. The structure of the event emerges from the interaction. Skeptics will argue that it is possible to construe this interaction as something unfolding in time, with reference to an external, independent timekeeper. We might talk, for example, about the velocity with which droplets disperse through the air, or the speed with which electrical impulses travel from the olfactory bulb to the amygdala in the brain. These are all valid ways of describing the situation, but they separate the mechanics of the interaction from its significance, which is to discover the odorous properties of the perfume. Important to this discovery is the way the reciprocal relationship between the aerosolized droplets and the human subject gives both spatial and temporal structure to this encounter. This structure is not given prior to the event’s unfolding, but instead emerges during the bodily engagement with entities in the environment. Thus, in the above scenario, the ordering of the event—​the precise manner in which it unfolds—​is driven by the

6  Enacting Musical Time unique dynamics between the chemical compounds that make up the perfume droplets and the situated, embodied subject who experiences them as a particular kind of smell, with a particular concentration and a particular quality. These unique dynamics imbue the entire interaction with a special significance, and it is this significance that constitutes time. As Merleau-​ Ponty (1968) argued, time is precisely the form of the unique dynamics between entities in the world; it is a relation—​or what he called “a network of intentionalities”—​distributed among all humans as well as the things and creatures around them. Central to the distributed network of intentionalities is a body actively engaged with the world. This world includes various auditory signals, some of which form patterns that enculturated listeners recognize as music. Work on the relationship between listeners’ bodily movements and common-​practice musical techniques, such as the metrical organization of tonal harmonic patterns, is already well into its heyday, both in terms of gathering empirical evidence, and the development of theoretical models.4 Research in this regard is thriving, spurred by the ever-​advancing technological innovations in the field of human motion-​capture and analysis. By contrast, the picture of the body’s function in contemporary music is still coming into focus. Scholars like Arnie Cox (2017), Lawrence Zbikowski (2016), Andrew Mead (1999), and Judy Lochhead (2015) have been making considerable inroads, but I would not be surprised if, apart from the context of “modern dance,” many readers found it inconceivable that one’s body could be explicitly involved while listening to new music. I say this having run numerous studies in which I asked participants to do just that: to move in response to pieces that hardly used any recognizable “musical” materials, to say nothing of such familiar constructs as meter or even a beat. For some, the task was incomprehensible, even offensive. But for the vast majority it turned out to be an exhilarating, eye-​(and ear!)-​opening encounter, which ultimately convinced them that new music need not be “difficult,” that it need not be an intensely cerebral experience marked by immobile concentration and requiring an almost mathematical understanding of how the sounds relate to one another. In other words, that new music could move them.

4 Several collections of essays have appeared in the last decade that address theoretical and empirical aspects of musical embodiment, including Godøy and Leman (2010), Gritten and King (2006, 2011), and Leman et al. (2017).

Introduction  7 This book is partly an elaboration of these encounters and their application to questions of musical time and meaning. One of my goals is to open up productive avenues for interpreting contemporary works that bring to listeners’ attention various problems associated with the experience of time. To that end, the central focus is on the listeners’ bodies, their capabilities, and the emergence of a particular kind of meaning—​which I call significance—​in contemporary music.5 Significance is a pragmatic meaning that is immanent in the interaction between music and listener. Basing my discussion on the above-​mentioned embodied phenomenology of Merleau-​Ponty, and on the ecological psychology of J. J. Gibson, I show that the body enacts time by actualizing the potential inherent in a given situation. Motivating this body is the basic interest in, and engagement with, the sonic environment. As such, this is not a book that merely connects time with music, but one that reexamines the tools of music analysis through the lens of what phenomenologists call “lived time,” or time as it shows up in human lives (Hoy 2009). My intent is to challenge conventional ways of thinking about musical time and its related concepts of rhythm, meter, tempo, and form, with the hope that this challenge expands our conception of musical time in a way that harmonizes with the rich depth of our experiences.

Music and Time Following Susanne Langer, and especially later extensions of her ideas in Zbikowski’s Foundations of Musical Grammar (2017), I endorse the notion that music’s significance lies in the way it uses successions of sounds to reflect the temporal bodily patterns that a given culture finds important enough to store for later retrieval. One consequence of this function of music is that our bodies produce a kind of knowledge that lies close to the way in which time is constituted. In turn, those same bodies influence how we understand musical meaning. This way of thinking about musical time engages with issues of musical functions in various human cultures. As such, it differs from how time is usually considered in music theory, where it typically shows up 5 There is a lot more focus on the performers’ bodies in relation to musical meaning. The list is long, but some of the most influential contributions include Sudnow (1978), Cusick (1994), Mead (1999), Fisher and Lochhead (2002), and Montague (2012). Most recently De Souza (2017) devotes a chapter to listeners, even though the bulk of his book addresses performers. Moreover, Cox (2017) attempts to bridge the split between the body’s role in performance and in listening.

8  Enacting Musical Time in concrete terms as part of analyses of rhythm and meter.6 Although such studies ostensibly deal with time, few challenge its ontological status, treating it as a foregone conclusion.7 One could hardly assail, for example, the confidence in Robert Morgan’s assertion that “there is no question, of course, that music is a temporal art” (1980, 527; emphasis added). But what if the author’s claim were not as indubitable as it seems? What if music’s relationship to time were a question? In what way is music a temporal art? In the writings of the theorists who have grappled with issues of ontology, there is a proliferation of different kinds of time, each one signaling a concern with different aspects of musical unfolding. To list a few examples, Jonathan Kramer (1988) draws a distinction between “linear” and “non-​linear” time, both of which describe different logical relationships between sonic events; Barbara Barry (1990) theorizes “structured” and “transcendent” time, the former referring to motion and the latter to space; David Epstein (1995) posits “chronometric” and “integral” time, which he identifies with meter and rhythm, respectively; Byron Almén and Robert Hatten (2012) distinguish between “suspended,” “cyclical,” “symmetrical or mirrored,” and other kinds of time, all having to do with aspects of narrative in twentieth-​century music.8 In contrast to these, Christopher Hasty’s Meter as Rhythm (1997) erases all dichotomies and presents an argument that musical meter is a form of musical rhythm.9 Asking us to “take time seriously,” his Whitehead-​inspired 6 Rhythm concerns information contained in the acoustical signal itself: it is the distribution of auditory pressure waves. Meter, by contrast, is the way in which rhythm is organized into regularly recurring, hierarchically organized groups (London 2001). There is some disagreement regarding whether meter is an objective musical property (Poudier 2008), or whether it is the listeners’ cognitive ability (Keller and Burnham 2005), or whether it depends equally on both (London 2012), but general consensus is that there is a categorical difference between things happening at the musical “surface” and their “deeper” organization (Lerdahl and Jackendoff 1983). 7 Some recent examples of studies of rhythm and meter in music theory include Yeston (1974), Lester (1986), Mirka (2009), Malin (2010), Murphy (2009), and Smith (2006). Both have also been studied extensively from a cognitive perspective: see in particular Longuet-​Higgins and Lee (1982), Riess Jones (1987), Clarke and Krumhansl (1990), Gjerdingen (1989), and Grahn and Brett (2007). For a thorough review of this literature, see DeGraf (2018). 8 Two more monographs are worth mentioning in this context: Arnie Cox’s Music and Embodied Cognition (2017) (which, although not concerned with time per se, does address the bodily source of our metaphors of time, as well as how our bodies participate in the construction of musical meaning), and Justin London’s Hearing in Time (2012) (which does not explicitly tackle the ontology of time itself, but does incorporate spatial concepts of time into a theory of meter). 9 Krebs (1999) also eschews dichotomies in his theory of meter. To him, meter is “the union of all layers of motion (i.e., series of regularly recurring pulses)” active within a piece of music. He identifies three such layers: the pulse layer, which is “the most quickly moving pervasive series of pulses, generally arising from more or less constant series of attacks on the musical surface”; even more quickly moving are “micropulses,” which are “coloristic embellishments” of meter; and the “interpretive” layer, which is the slowest moving series of regular pulses that is perceptible, and which “allow the listener to ‘interpret’ the raw data of the pulse layer by organizing its pulses into larger units” (23).

Introduction  9 philosophical approach gives us good reason to think that the distinction between meter and rhythm is merely a matter of nomenclature. Instead of thinking of them as opposing kinds of time, Hasty suggests that meter, like rhythm, results from a listener’s active engagement in making sense of the object of experience—​in this case, music. An interesting fallout of this shift in perspective is that even music without an explicit metrical structure can be heard as a succession of upbeats and downbeats, which he illustrates with analyses of such twentieth-​century works as Anton Webern’s Quartet Op. 22 (1930) and Pierre Boulez’s Le Marteau sans maître (1954). Hasty’s assertion that process is a fundamental feature of musical time, his ultimate focus on music outside of the common-​practice tradition, and especially his entreaty to “take time seriously,” all resonate across the pages of this volume. However, there is an author—​likely little known to music theorists—​who has influenced my own thinking to an even greater extent. David Burrows’s Time and the Warm Body (2007) presents an entirely original philosophy of time based on a binary opposition between two impulses that permeate the universe: going and stabilizing. According to Burrows, the oscillation between these two states is a necessary condition of the survival of any dynamical system, whether at subatomic or supra-​galactic levels. Music in this schema is “our most dedicated and fine-​grained isolation and cultivation of time and its issues in an art form” (65). With its focus on the generative now, music uses the flow of sounding events to serve as a representation of the most essential features of time, which are the driving impulses of movement and stability. As a microcosm of life-​sustaining processes, music for Burrows is a model of temporality. Hasty and Burrows form the backdrop for the discussion that ensues in the following chapters. The former makes a case that our theoretical reflections on the temporal dimension of music should more closely harmonize with our listening experience. The latter argues that the “now” is central to the constitution of our time, and that music—​which, if it could be said to exist, only does so in the “now”—​is really efficient at revealing the most significant attributes of time. My own contribution integrates these two perspectives by considering the position of an embodied, situated, flesh-​and-​blood listener who enacts the temporal patterns of music. What are the temporalities evident in our interactions with musical sounds? What bodily skills and capacities make these interactions possible? And, most importantly, what are the implications of these interactions for musical understanding?

10  Enacting Musical Time

Enacting Musical Time By engaging with these questions, my aim is to explore a level of musical understanding that I  consider to be fundamental to the listening experience. In the process, I expose some of the assumptions that underlie music-​ theoretical endeavors and reassess certain concepts that have long become ossified in our analytical methods. I do this in an effort to use the physicality of a situated listener as a lens through which the connection between music and time can be imagined anew. To that end, the book’s overarching argument begins with the problem of meaning. I propose that an active, bodily engagement with musical sounds offers a window into a pre-​linguistic, non-​ representational significance, which discloses music as a temporal object by retaining the dynamical nature of time. Significance is captured by Gibson’s theory of affordances, but since music—​in addition to being part of the sonic environment—​has aesthetic value, we need to amend the theory to include temporal objects that offer the listener what I call “temporal affordances.” These affordances specify when an action needs to take place, and they emerge in listeners’ embodied interactions with musical sounds. Such musical interactions, which constitute each listener’s enacted knowledge of musical processes, are socially and culturally conditioned from birth, beginning with the earliest communion between an infant and a caregiver, and are driven by another set of constraints in the form of “social affordances” available to each well-​adapted listener. By observing musical interactions, we gain insight into the emergence of a level of musical understanding that is inextricably bound up with the passage of time, and in which such passage is manifested. Based on this understanding, my approach implicates both the listening body and the musical temporal object as the co-​creators of time. The time that is thus created is not the objective, spatial time that was so famously and publicly denounced by Henri Bergson.10 Rather, it is lived time—​time characterized by a quality that both shapes and is shaped by the dynamics of our interactions with the environment. Merleau-​Ponty (2012) argued that it is a time of a single experience of a continually changing present, in which what was once implicit becomes explicit, while what was 10 Bergson makes no explicit appearance in my discussion, but his ideas resonate throughout the writings of most philosophers of time in the twentieth century. On the famous debate between Bergson and Einstein concerning the nature of time, see Canales (2015). Bergson’s most significant critiques of spatial, “scientific” time can be found in his Matière et mémoire (1896) and Essai sur les donneés immédiates de la conscience (1889).

Introduction  11 explicit becomes implicit. I add to this that lived time is enacted. Enaction concerns the view that our minds are not bound by the skull, with the brain forming representations of the external world based on information that is passed on by the perceptual system, but rather that it originates in and is constituted by perceptually guided action (Schiavio et al. 2017). In other words, it is an activity described by the interactions between an organism and its environment. Meaning is something that the organism brings forth within a system that encompasses its neurology, physiology, and the environment in which it is embedded. In particular, enactivism—​the intellectual tradition that draws on enaction—​focuses on subjective experience in order to consider the role of emotion, affect, and motivation in constituting human cognition (Thompson 2008). According to this view, perception is not a passive effect of an external stimulus, but rather a mutual interaction emerging from skillful bodily activity: as the world solicits certain actions by virtue of the organism’s openness to its own milieu, the organism reconfigures the environment by virtue of those solicited actions. The key here is the fact that the organism is motivated to act on the world, to care about its own survival such that the world shows up as a “correlate of [its] needs and concerns” (Colombetti 2013, 2). Time in this context is the structure, or meaning, or the significance of the interaction. It emerges from the affordance-​driven dynamical system that forms between skillfully acting, affectively motivated agents and an environment to which they are well adapted. We can summarize the main points of time-​as-​enaction using the following principles: -​ Time is an emergent property of one’s active, dynamic, affectively charged engagement with the environment; it is the form that emerges from this engagement. -​ Time is a kind of performance in the sense of having a dual character of being culturally sanctioned but also open to individual variation based on the agent’s affective disposition. -​ Time is actively generated by a living, animate being. An autonomous organism creates its own conditions of existence in a process of “auto-​affection.” -​ Enacted time emerges from the exercise of skillful know-​how in situated, bodily action. The environment and the skilled agent together create a dynamical system.

12  Enacting Musical Time -​ Enacted time exists as the relation between the cognitive agent and the environment. It is not the sole property of either one, and it alters as the relationship changes. -​ Enacted time is not perceived; rather, it is experienced. The body of the agent is central to its emergence. I elaborate these principles by weaving them into the narrative arc of the book, which progresses from the surface of time to its depth, with each chapter serving as a step along this descent. The upshot is that moments in time are characterized by two seemingly mutually exclusive features. On the one hand, they each have a depth that interconnects them through our sense of the past and of the future. Importantly, this interconnection does not directly implicate memory and anticipation, because those already presuppose a sense of past and future: memory and anticipation are present experiences, whereas a sense of the past and future is a sense of something precisely not present. On the other hand, each moment has a distinct feel, or grain, which makes it unique and wholly different from all other moments. There is an affective dichotomy insofar as any given present is at once familiar (because it is something of our creation, where it integrates with other moments of our being) and also strange and foreign (because it happens only that one time, and it can never be recovered). Time is therefore both coherent and incoherent, and we use the concept of time as a tool to both create familiarity and to provide support for the unfamiliar. In what follows I  engage in analyses of examples from contemporary Western art music in which composers, by foregrounding time as a point of concern, offer opportunities to experience the tension between what is familiar and what is not. This effect can be achieved through a number of techniques, including stretching the interval between sonic events beyond the limits of listeners’ working memories, eschewing regularities of pulse and metrical organization, creating musical forms that challenge notions of a linear and uniformly moving time, or using sounds that more readily resemble noise. In all of these situations, as well as others in which something out of the ordinary is happening in the music, time acquires the potential to surge out of its neutral state as the background of our lives and become an object of listeners’ attention. A fluctuation, a slippage, a momentary wobble or vibration in temporality knocks it out of balance and perturbs it just enough for the listener to take notice. I draw on the resources provided by the listening body to identify and analyze these perturbations, in turn illustrating

Introduction  13 how composers aesthetically extend the temporality of everyday life and impugn our common-​sense notions of time. Chapter 1, “Meaning,” develops two claims that are central to the book’s overall argument. The first is that certain temporal musical objects exist only as ephemera—​always remaining outside of symbolic representation. These objects are constituted by lived time. The second claim is that the ephemeral meaning of music consists of its significance, which I define as a practical meaning that arises in the moment of one’s perception of, and action upon, one’s immediate environment. Significance is a process that is enacted in the dyadic relationships between environmental affordances—​opportunities for and constraints of action—​and a situated agent. In Chapter  2, “Affordances,” I  elaborate on the idea that significance is manifested in music’s affordances relative to listeners’ bodily capabilities. I argue that music is a significant phenomenon because it furnishes listeners with two kinds of affordances:  “social affordances,” and what I  call “temporal affordances.” These latter affordances specify when an action can be performed, and thus differ from their spatial counterparts, which specify the kinds of actions one can perform. Social and temporal affordances can interact, but current theories of musical affordances are incomplete insofar as they treat music as an environmental sound while deferring its aesthetic value to “higher” cognitive processes. In contrast to these theories, I argue that the process of aestheticization begins precisely when music temporalizes the world for its listeners—​that is, when time becomes a point of concern. Affordance systems are constituted by two elements: the physical world, and the bodies of perceiving organisms. Whereas in Chapter 2 I focused on the former, in Chapter 3 (“Body”) I take a closer look at listeners’ bodily capabilities. I first draw on my own and others’ observational studies to show how listeners’ capacities for movement to music unfold in two distinct ways: (1) by synchronizing with a pulse, and (2)  by coordinating their movements with events separated by longer, or uneven, spans of time. I then argue that these two categories of movement constitute a kinesthetic knowledge of music’s temporal processes—​of “how music goes.” I develop a comprehensive account of this knowledge as a contextual enactment, through bodily engagement with the world, of the dynamics, affectivity, and intercorporeality of our involvement with the world—​as a dynamic feel of living as an animate and environmentally embedded being engaged in some task. Chapter 4, “Flesh,” connects the notion of affordances with phenomenological investigation to explore how the human body, with its perceptual and

14  Enacting Musical Time animate capabilities, co-​creates time together with the sonic environment. I employ Merleau-​Ponty’s concept of flesh as an inextricable link between a subjective body and the objective world, and consider how time may be viewed as one of the forms that this link can take. Highlighting the similarities between affordances and flesh—​arguing that the former describe the interaction between bodily and environmental capacities, while the latter discloses the structure of the system as a whole—​I return to my earlier proposal that music, as a social and temporal affordance, allows us to consider the listener-​music interaction as the very source of time. Time here is enacted when, engaged in this interaction, the body slips back ​and f​ orth between its appearance as a physical object submerged in the world and its function as the seat of subjectivity. Chapters 5 and 6 are intended to more fully demonstrate the analytic capacity of the enactive approach developed earlier in the book. In Chapter 5, “Affectivity,” I draw once again on Merleau-​Ponty, as well as recent additions to his work by the neuroscientist Francisco Varela (Verela and Depraz 2005; Varela et al. 1992) and the cultural theorist Mark Hansen (2004a, 2004b), in order to explore how listeners’ fundamental capacity to both affect and be affected by musical sounds generates lived musical time. I illustrate the consequences of this process with an analysis of time and eternity in Louis Andriessen’s monumental work De Tijd (1979–​81). In contrast to this focus on “micro-​listening,” or an approach that attends to minute sonic fluctuations, in Chapter 6 I look at the enactment of time over the course of an entire piece. This final chapter, titled “Verticality,” presents an analysis of Toshio Hosokawa’s Vertical Time Study I (1992) as a vehicle for examining how the body participates in creating structure in Western contemporary music. * * * My goal in this volume is to open up the music-​theoretical dialogue to new ways of thinking about the role of the body in constructing musical meanings, and to explore the consequences of this thinking as it relates to our understanding of the relationship between music and time. That said, this is not explicitly a study of rhythm and meter. In fact, most of the musical examples I analyze forestall a sense of metrical organization, and one in particular—​Louis Andriessen’s De Tijd (see Chapter 5)—​can hardly be said to employ rhythm (in the conventional sense) at all. Neither am I interested in cataloguing the specific techniques that contemporary composers use to

Introduction  15 undermine or otherwise highlight various temporal forms. Studies that engage in such analyses typically draw on objective notions of time in order to address the emergence of musical meaning as a response to normative temporal experiences. The method usually assumes a stable ontology of time that is “encoded”—​as Robert Hatten (2006) describes it—​in specific kinds of musical events, and proceeds by showing how a composer is able to disclose or engender alternative temporal experiences by deviating from those encodings. Although I  too am concerned with how contemporary music offers opportunities for new temporal experiences, I cautiously avoid referring to objective time as a standard for comparison. Furthermore, this book is not meant to present an overview of the myriad ways in which contemporary composers themselves think about time and how their concepts are implemented in the sounding material. If anything, I tend to push against the composers’ own words in order to expose and amplify the gaps and cracks between the different philosophical, scientific, and aesthetic traditions that comprise their milieu. Finally, the scope of the discussion is limited to recent Western classical art music, and I make no explicit claims about the more general applicability of the theoretical or analytical perspective I develop. A more comprehensive project would not only require a synthesis of the vast literature on time and embodiment—​perhaps in the form of an original ontology of musical time—​and an expansion of repertoire beyond the classical idiom, it would also have to incorporate concepts and musical practices from non-​Western cultures. From a pragmatic perspective, this would inflate the present book beyond all limits of manageability. For the same reason, I do not present empirical data as evidence of human embodied–​cognitive capacities, but instead use these data as the ground from which I embark upon an analysis of musical practices themselves. Put differently: whereas scientific work on musical embodiment focuses on answering questions about how people hear and comprehend music, here I  reflect listening capabilities back onto the musical object in order to ask: “What does how you hear tell me about what you hear?”

1 Meaning “Susanna” is the third movement of Andrew Norman’s string trio titled The Companion Guide to Rome (2010).1 This particular movement is a miniature for solo viola, and you can see it in its entirety in Example 1.1. One analytical observation that can be made right away is that it has a very sparse and rudimental pitch structure, containing recognizable elements from common-​ practice tonality (such as chains of 4–​3 suspensions and open fifths) without actually operating within a tonal system. It is somewhat reminiscent of J. S. Bach’s work’s for solo stringed instruments, but Norman does not use any identifiable quotations. In fact, whatever tonal techniques he does employ seem to be mere stock figures that could have come from just about anywhere, used more for their capacity to stand in as markers of archaism than for their motivic potential. The whole-​tone descent in the lowest voice supporting the aforementioned suspensions, and the unusual resolutions of the tritone—​at the end of the first system (E–​A♯ → E–​B) and later in the middle of the second system (A♭–​D → A♭–​E♭)—​together provide a way into the pitch and harmonic structure of the piece. However, an analysis that focused on only these elements would tell but a small part of the story, and would need to be supplemented by an account of how the piece’s meaning is partly constituted by the performer’s body.2 The violist is instructed to apply heavy pressure to the bow while initially shaking it and, later, moving it very slowly, producing sounds that barely escape the instrument. From an almost inaudible G♯–​B dyad in the opening, to the full-​throated broken chords in the third line of the score, there is a gradual opening of sound, an increase in clarity that corresponds with the upsurge of dynamics. A dominant-​like C–​B suspension against an 1 A  recording with the score is available on YouTube at https://​www.youtube.com/​ watch?v=40ZPDb_​tMDU (the relevant movement starts at 2:40). 2 A great deal has been written about musical meaning in just the past few decades—​so much so that it seems almost easier to list sources that are not concerned with this issue. What follows is but a small collection of more recent writings: essays in Almén and Pearsall (2006) and Robinson (1997), Kivy (1990), Davies (1994), Scruton (1997), Clifton (1983), Agawu (1991), Hatten (1994), Cook (1998, 2001), Monelle (2000), Nattiez (1990), L. Kramer (2002), Small (1998), and Clarke (2005). Enacting Musical Time: The Bodily Experience of New Music. Mariusz Kozak, Oxford University Press (2020). © Oxford University Press. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190080204.001.0001

Example 1.1  Andrew Norman, “Susanna” from The Companion Guide to Rome. Copyright © Schott Music Corporation, New York, NY. All rights reserved. Used by permission of European American Music Distributors Company, sole U.S. and Canadian agent for Schott Music Corporation, New York, NY.

18  Enacting Musical Time open G–​D fifth suggests imminent tonal closure, but the sound is arrested once again. Finally, in a last-​ditch effort, the music lunges into an exasperated climax on a broken d-​minor triad, only to be brutally and summarily choked by the violist’s heavy bow. The body of the performer becomes implicated in the constitution of what I would like to call emergent and transient musical objects. These are objects that lack the kind of stability that characterizes objects that usually concern music analysts—​pitches, chords, rhythms, and so on. Instead, they are fleeting phenomena that occur in the corporeal relationships between performers and listeners, arising and dissolving together with the upsurge of time. If they can be said to exist at all, they do so only in the sense that forces do: exerting influence without betraying their materiality. Yet despite their ephemerality and evanescence, they are nevertheless empirically real insofar as they are the felt qualities of one’s encounter with a piece of music. In the case of “Susanna,” the body of the violist does not merely reproduce notated pitches, but quite forcefully conceals “normal” sounds behind the harshness and awkwardness of the stutters and the shakes. While it is true that these stutters and shakes can be represented symbolically—​as the composer did in the score—​their auditory effect evades visual apprehension, lingering only as a particular aspect of the intercorporeal network established during a performance. Rather than something extra-​musical, the violist’s body is very much an indissoluble element of the music. Sounds function as vehicles for a body caught up in an action that urges musical interpretation. In light of this, a more thorough analysis might weave, for example, stories of how sounds signify particular kinds of bodily exertions, and what those exertions might, in turn, signify of the person producing them; or perhaps stories about St. Susanna, the third-​century Christian martyr and patron of the Roman church who inspired this movement;3 or maybe even stories that critique and challenge our societal assumptions regarding bodily norms and abilities. In all these cases, there is a human agency latent within sound, a gesture that gives it life and becomes the (transient and emergent) object of analytical attention. Let us delve a bit into this agency, this gesture: Who makes it? What is its musical significance? How do we incorporate it into our analytical stories?

3 See the composer’s website http://​andrewnormanmusic.com/​archives/​45. Accessed June 15, 2017.

Meaning  19 The human body seems to stand in for someone who is more than a mere collection of his or her parts. A “self ” or a “subject” appears to inhabit the body and give it character—​playful, lustful, sick, angry, fragile, powerful, confident, timid, and so on. Below I  will give some nuance to this claim, but for now let us continue with the ostensibly incontrovertible assumption that people have bodies, and what those bodies do is a direct expression of a concealed entity—​call it the subject, the mind, consciousness—​that guides them. In ordinary circumstances, subjectivity is on full display, manifested in the body’s postures and actions. However, as Naomi Cumming (2000) has argued, musicians’ bodies signify this subjectivity somewhat differently, because they exist in a liminal space between pure physicality (exemplified by the sheer athleticism of technical facility) and pure musicality (mediated and interpreted as particular kinds of sonic signs). As such, it becomes possible to conflate sounds with musicians’ identities because “the characteristics of sound are the aural ‘marks’ of bodily actions” (22). Even without the visual cues of a live performance, “the impression of ‘personality’ can be gained subliminally through the markers in sound of what seem to be the performer’s characteristic physical responses” (22). On this view, when listening to a recording we do not merely attend to the sounds, but simultaneously construct a body that produced them (or one that we imagine could have produced them). For Cumming this attention to something that exceeds the acoustical signal constitutes the heart of musical experience. For example, a so-​called singing violin sound (as highly desirable as it is elusive) does not emerge because this sound merely refers to vocality, or because the violinist imitates the singing voice with the instrument. Rather, Cumming claims that listeners interpret it as emanating directly from the violin because “singing” is “heard as belonging to a sound” (2000, 75).4 The pedagogical tradition of comparing sounds of stringed instruments to singing goes back at least to Leopold Mozart’s Treatise on the Fundamental Principles of Violin Playing, where he writes that “singing is at all times the aim of every instrumentalist” (Mozart [1756] 1951, 102). In the same 4 Although I do not explore this issue further, it is worth mentioning that this claim puts a wrinkle in the ecological approach to listening, according to which sounds encode their own means of production (see, for example, Clarke 2011). The question is where the quality of singing comes from, if the sound of the violin itself indexes its source: a bow scraped across a string stretched over a wooden box. It seems that the most fruitful way of approaching this problem would be through the lens of analogy, whereby there are certain characteristics of both vocal and violin sounds that map onto each other (see Zbikowski 2017).

20  Enacting Musical Time passage—​particularly relevant to Norman’s “Susanna”—​he further praises the human voice for its ability to “[glide] quite easily from one note to another,” without creating a break between notes except to produce “some special kind of expression, or the divisions or rests of the phrase demand one” (102).5 Because of this long history of associations, the sounds that the violist makes in “Susanna” can be heard as violating a well-​established norm, marking them as pathological (stuttering, choking, etc.). In turn, this allows the listener to create an image of a body that might produce these sounds, a body that struggles to express itself, a body engaged in some excruciatingly difficult and painful labor, fighting to liberate itself from whatever internal or external power is trying to suppress it. But remember that for Cumming vocal pathologies belong to the sound and not to the body of the performer. This means that we are not dealing with the real, physical human body directly engaged in making sounds. The violist in “Susanna” is not literally choking or stuttering. Instead, Cumming proposes that performers project what she calls “presence,” which is a body created metaphorically through acts of interpretation. Bodily presence in sound is mediated by language or other representations—​it is a sign. Or, to use another of Cumming’s terms, the sound conveys a “virtual agency,” akin to Edward T. Cone’s “persona” or Carolyn Abbate’s “figural subject” (Cone 1974; Abbate 1991). These agents, personae, and subjects all take the human body as their (imagined) form, but it is not a body made of flesh and bones. Instead, it is a body created in the semiotic act of listening, a body that is unrestrained by physical laws and hence capable of superhuman feats. In short, it is a body that has been defleshed and deboned. This somewhat grotesque act of butchery displaces the immediacy of communication between performers and listeners, turning it in to an “illusion,” a “mediating representation” created by the performer’s negotiation of “the mediating space between physicality and interpreted gestural motion” (Cumming 2000, 160). Presence here is a construct, an effect of semiotic play. Perhaps sometimes this semiotic play is necessary to create a distance between ourselves and the music, an act reminiscent of Homer’s Odysseus tying himself to the mast of his ship in order to experience the treacherous song of 5 Mozart’s larger point conforms to the prevalent naturalism of the Enlightenment, where the human voice was considered the most natural instrument available. While not writing specifically about singing, in his 1751 treatise, The Art of Playing on the Violin, the violinist and composer Francesco Geminiani claimed that “The Art of playing the Violin consists in giving that Instrument a Tone that shall in a Manner rival the most perfect human Voice” (quoted in Weiss and Taruskin 2008, 221).

Meaning  21 the Sirens. (I will return to this image.) But contrary to Cumming, I propose that the presence of the body in “Susanna” is not created at a distance, over a culturally mediating space full of promises of safety and aesthetic enjoyment. We are not dealing here with a body that is a product of our imagination, nor is the intimacy enacted by the performer a mere effect of interpretive work, an extra-​musical appendage in excess of the notes themselves. No, these are not the sounds of nobody: these are sounds made by real flesh and blood and stained by pathology and violence. The relation between performer and listener is immediate precisely because sounds mark the bodies that produce them: sounds and bodies are indissoluble. Certainly, the nature of this relation may not be fully captured by metaphorical descriptions like “stuttering” and “choking.” When I hear this piece I  do not have the urge to leap onto the stage and start administering the Heimlich maneuver to the (likely bewildered) violist. Nevertheless, I want to suggest that the whole point of “Susanna” is to hear the body that makes the sound, not just the one imagined in it; to hear the violist defy and defile those very modes of sound production that constitute our Western performance tradition; to hear her body tense up, fold up, force itself into shapes and gestures that transgress everything she has painstakingly cultivated through years of study. The communion thus established between the performer and her listeners is far from an illusion created by semiotic play, but instead is as real and as moving as those between bodies engaged in intimate—​if violent—​ nonmusical acts. For, in a manner that is reminiscent of Luciano Berio’s Visage (1961 for voice and tape), there is something violent—​almost brutal—​ in how sounds are wrought out of the instrument. Like the performer of “Susanna,” I too play a string instrument, hence the brutality of the deed is likely to be more vivid for me than for a pianist, or a singer, or a listener who has never engaged in musical performance. At any rate, the intensity of the encounter is not at stake here. I raise it to illustrate how the physical communion between performer and listener brings forth those emergent and transient musical objects I mentioned in the beginning, objects that may not necessarily be concrete and precise, but are nonetheless experientially genuine and transformative. It does so because, in addition to the aforementioned commonly held view that a subject inhabits the body and is responsible for its doings, we also are our bodies. We do not merely have them; bodiliness is not just a matter of possession, as if the fleshy mass simply adhered to our disembodied “selves.” Instead, one of the central claims of this book—​to be given fuller treatment in Chapter 3—​is that our

22  Enacting Musical Time subjectivity is constituted by the very bodies that we are, and that this has important consequences for how we consider time in music. An approach that regards the intimate link between performer and listener as a mediating illusion—​one that listens to the piece, as it were, from the comfortable distance of semiosis—​would not create a sufficiently rewarding listening experience. In contrast to Cumming’s claims, the manner in which Norman directs the violist to perform the piece does not merely inscribe the body in the sound, but also makes it so that the sound is heard as explicitly issuing from a very real, physically present body. And it is the tangible corporeality—​corpo-​reality—​of this body that becomes musically meaningful. The question, then, is how to harness this corporeal meaning and make it a part of our analytical stories.

Musical Objects Part of the problem with including corporeal relations in our analyses is that these relations are not easily extricated from the time in which they unfold. Indeed, our ability to talk about musical processes is largely founded on our capacity to turn them into quasi-​objects, which is why so much effort is put into finding convincing ways of segmenting music.6 The incessant flow of events has to be partitioned into chunks that are significant in and of themselves, outside of temporal passage. To be convincing and intersubjectively agreed upon, this partitioning must be rendered on the basis of justifiable criteria, such as changes in pitch, harmony, rhythm, contour, articulations, and so on (Hanninen 2012). Rather than having to rely on our fleeting and imperfect memories, we give coherence to our thoughts by removing music from flux. Only when music becomes a fixed entity, resistant to the disintegration that is characteristic of temporal objects, can we give it meaning by pointing to other, non-​musical entities (Carpenter 1967).7 This process of fixing and pointing requires that the entity in question endure on its own, or be made to endure in a way that facilitates transmission. 6 An important and influential example of this is Hanninen (2012). See also Hasty (1981). 7 Matthew Butterfield (2002) draws on the work in image schemata and categorization to ground Carpenter’s ideas in early twenty-​first-​century models of cognition. His claim is that “we tend naturally and spontaneously to map our experience of physical objects onto our experience of sounds and thereby ‘objectify’ them” (333). Having undergone this process, musical sounds can then guide listeners’ behavior. Here I offer a different perspective, wherein I draw on Gibsonian ecological perception to argue that behavior takes place prior to objectification.

Meaning  23 Musical object

Musical meaning

Acoustical signal


Figure 1.1  Triangulation of musical meaning.

Why this is the case can be gleaned from Cumming’s use of Peircean semiotics as a gateway into the formation of musical meaning. On this approach, sounds function as signs by pointing to things outside of themselves, but in order to be apprehended as such by a listener, the external reference has to be reproducible (Cumming 2000, 28). It must be somehow imprinted on the listener through repeated patterns of activity. It is this process of imprinting—​ this reproduction—​that I appeal to when I say that we give coherence to our thoughts: a pattern of activity that carries a particular meaning has to have features that are recognizable from one iteration to another. For this to happen, the relevant pattern has to be temporally bounded, otherwise it would not be reproducible but would merely constitute a continuous production of something new—​an idea I will take up in Chapter 6. Sound considered on its own has no such bounds; instead, these bounds have to be created by the listener, making segmentation a necessary aspect of music analysis. This is what I mean by enduring musical objects. Their creation is a process that has obvious advantages in various forms of communication. I call this a “referential” view, whereby “anything acquires meaning if it is connected with, or indicates, or refers to, something beyond itself, so that its full nature points to and is revealed in that connection” (Cohen 1946, 47).8 As shown in Figure 1.1, meaning here emerges from a process of triangulation: (1) the acoustical signal is a phenomenon to be interpreted by pointing to (2) a linguistic, symbolic, or gestural musical object for which it stands, created by (3) the interpretive act of a 8 See also Meyer (1957).

24  Enacting Musical Time listener who furnishes the conceptual framework for this particular relation by drawing on his or her personal and socio-​cultural background.9 Referential approaches essentially create non-​temporal musical objects that can be compared to other objects, stored for later retrieval, or manipulated using various operations. Here, I do not mean to suggest that the enduring object itself cannot have temporal features. For example, a musical object recognizable as an “authentic cadence” consists of a temporally ordered sequence of harmonies, and this temporal ordering is crucial for us to be able to identify the object as such. Rather, what I wish to emphasize is that this particular sequence acquires a kind of stability that allows it to endure on its own as a repeatable pattern. Its features can be identified with enough precision to accurately reproduce the sequence regardless of how it unfolds in real time. This reproducibility proves to be quite efficient when dealing with ephemera like music, because it facilitates the emergence of a joint attentional framework which can serve as a discursive base (Tomasello 1999). There is a stable relationship between sounds and extra-​sonic representations, a relationship that remains long after the process has ended. Such referentiality works well whenever one finds substantial inter-​opus agreement about the properties that the objects in question should have. For example, if we were interested in how a sonority that is identified as a “g-​minor root-​position triad” functions in different contexts, we need not concern ourselves with all of its characteristics, but only those that it has in common with other sonorities that can also be labeled as “g-​minor root-​position triads.” From this perspective, the opening chord of Bach’s Partita No. 1 for Solo Violin (BWV 1001) is of the same type as the chord found on beat three of m. 2 in the same piece, or even on the downbeat of m. 3 of Mozart’s Symphony No. 40, K. 550 (see Example 1.2). Our recognition of this relationship is grounded in our broader capacity for categorization, a basic cognitive skill that allows us to function efficiently in our environment (Zbikowski 2002). Rather than having to redefine each g-​minor root-​position triad from scratch, the process allows us to set aside what happens while the sound unfolds, and to focus our attention on other pertinent aspects, such as when a similar sonority occurs in the piece, or how much time it takes before it is supplanted by a different sonority. Yet composers increasingly create sounds that are difficult to inscribe using existing representations, or to describe using commonly found terms. As a case in point, consider “60 Pieces of Sound” (2009) by Jürg Frey, an Austrian composer who is one of the members of the Cage-​inspired Wandelweiser group.10 Here, the 9 A similar triangular model is found in Meyer (1956, 34). 10 A YouTube video of the piece can be found at https://​www.youtube.com/​watch?v=hVp­ PEf5dOmc.

Meaning  25 Example 1.2a  J. S. Bach, Sonata for Solo Violin in G-​minor, BWV 1001, Adagio, mm.  1–​2.

Example 1.2b  W. A. Mozart, Symphony No. 40 in G-​minor, K. 550, mm. 1–​7.

listener is presented with sixty “blocks” of sound, each standing like a monolith separated from the others by long stretches of silence. If we focus on the plural noun in the title, then we might be led to believe that these sonorities are meant to be appreciated as somewhat autonomous units, perfectly suited to carry the designation of a “musical object.” The underlying assumption is that we are dealing with a single sound splintered into sixty parts. Yet the complexity of these sonorities, and, importantly, their changing quality over the course of their duration, injects some ambiguity into this interpretation. On the one hand, it is possible to think of the pieces as arranged linearly, like dominos, such that putting them together would result in one long, metamorphosing sound. This hearing would focus on the connection between successive sounds, filling each silence with anticipation of how the just-​heard process might continue. On the other hand, it is equally plausible to consider each “block” as part of a three-​dimensional object that has been broken up into fragments, “originally” having sounded together. Here, instead of linear development, our attention would be on music as it folds

26  Enacting Musical Time over itself like an origami sculpture, requiring us to remember—​or at the very least have a feel for—​how the pieces fit together. This interpretive ambiguity results from the fact that the unfolding of these sonorities is coexistent with the time it takes us to experience them; they are never present in their entirety. Only when their sound disappears can anything approaching a “musical object” emerge through the referential process of semiotic triangulation—​but by then our attention is already drawn to something else, making it impossible to establish a definitive relationship between the titular pieces. Like the emergent and transient intercorporeal relations in “Susanna,” the sounds of “60 Pieces” cannot be extricated from their becoming without losing something of their essence.11 Useful in this regard is Helmut Lachenmann’s distinction between sounds that can be perceived as objects and sounds that can be perceived as processes. In the former case, a sound object achieves its full characteristic expression before the auditory signal ends—​think, for example, of a static sustained chord. The object’s features are exhausted while it is still sounding, and once they have been identified, we no longer have to attend to this object’s unfolding. By contrast, a sound process lasts precisely as long as its duration in real time; it unfolds without fully revealing itself (Lachenmann 1996; in Tsao 2014). A process must be considered as a whole in tandem with its duration. Put differently, attending to a process requires a consideration of its temporal nature. Frey’s sonic blocks, which are characterized by continual changes of timbre and intensity, belong in this latter category. Although the main focus of this book is more recent repertory—​a choice driven largely by opportunities for developing novel analytical approaches—​ the notion that processes must be regarded as inextricably linked with their temporal unfolding also extends to the music of other historical periods, and includes the Bach and Mozart examples mentioned earlier. To consider the former, in addition to identifying the opening chord of BWV 1001 as a g-​ minor root-​position triad, one would be remiss not to attend to the special technique that a violinist has to employ in order to “break” the chord. Due to the physical structure of the instrument, the sonority must gradually morph from an open-​string fifth (G–​D), which rings unencumbered as it supports the addition of the mode-​defining third (B♭), all of which then disappear, one 11 The way I conceive of the inextricability of time from the sounding object is similar to Robin James’s (2010) “conjectural body,” which is her term for the notion that bodies are “inseparably material and social,” hence any attempt to separate out different categories of social identity ends up dealing with phenomena that “never actually exist as such” (xiv).

Meaning  27 by one, until what is left sounding is the high G5.12 The process can be languorous and meditative (as in Anna Göckel’s contemplative rendition13), or brisk and incisive (an interpretation favored by Shlomo Mintz14 and Nathan Milstein15), but in each case the highest pitch emerges as if from a lifting fog, achieved through a process, rather than freely given. It is the very first sound we hear in this piece, which sets up a contrast with the similarly labeled chord in the third measure of K. 550. There, the “g-​minor root-​position triad” is a repetition of what came earlier, a reiteration in the midst of the ongoing stream that eventually coalesces into the symphony’s primary theme. Unlike the Bach sonority, it is a true simultaneity: the pitches that give this chord its name are present all at once. And yet it too is not an object. Like the temporally spread out opening of BWV 1001, it is a process, unfolding with characteristic breathlessness, its urgency underscored by the agitated arpeggiation in the violas and the repeated upper-​neighbor motif in the violins. Indeed, this triad is constitutive of an even larger process, one which establishes the g-​minor as the home key and only changes with the arrival of a new harmony—​a half-​diminished seventh-​chord in third inversion—​on the downbeat of m. 5. The point is that these intangible musical processes resist being crystallized in symbols. Over the centuries, of course, composers, performers, and theorists have developed ways of doing precisely that, and one could easily come up with notation that would help with categorizing the processes heard in “60 Pieces” and “Susanna.” Resistance can be overcome—​by force if necessary—​but such overcoming voids those processes of any on-​the-​edge indeterminacy, making them listless and barren. I am not referring here to the symbolic representation that is the purview of composers—scores in the Western musical tradition serve to impart instructions to performers, and are thus an essential element of how music is conceived. Rather, what concerns me is the analytical method itself—​the way in which the auditory signal is recaptured in order for the analyst to come to a fuller understanding of its meaning. To identify musical processes by their function, or to assign 12 The relationship between instrument design and aspects of musical structure is discussed in De Souza (2017). I will return to it in subsequent chapters. 13 Anna Göckel, Sei Solo: Sonates et Partitas pour violon seul, by J. S. Bach, recorded May, 2017, NoMadMusic FF003, 2017, compact disc. 14 Shlomo Mintz, Bach: Sonatas and Partitas, by J. S. Bach, recorded 1984, Deutsche Grammophon 413810–​2, 1984, 3 compact discs. 15 Nathan Milstein, Sonaten und Partiten, by J. S. Bach, recorded 1973, Deutsche Grammophon 423294–​2, 1989, 2 compact discs.

28  Enacting Musical Time to them unique labels, is to impose on them an ontological stability that inevitably forestalls the flow of time. Assigning an identity to musical processes renders them impervious to flux: having been given a function, they endure even after their material existence as sound pressure waves has long faded into the past. Although such assignation allows us to treat sound processes like physical objects—​manipulating and transporting them across domains in ways similar to chords, pitches, harmonic functions, and intervals—​doing so asserts a value that inevitably and irrecoverably changes their nature by attempting to mitigate (instead of embracing) their temporality. Time can subsequently be re-​injected into the analytical model, but by then it has lost much of its efficacy. The problem is one of conceptualizing both time and music in a way that keeps them interwoven.

Objective Time To do that—​to embrace the temporality of musical processes—​is to heed Christopher Hasty’s admonition to take time seriously (Hasty 1997, 303). It is to think of the ontological status of musical processes as fundamentally constituted by how they become, how the very ongoingness of time and its refusal to remain fixed inheres in them as an inextricable aspect of their being.16 Yet this task is not so easily accomplished. Despite Jonathan Kramer’s claim that music “becomes meaningful in and through time” (1988, 1), Victor Zuckerkandl’s affirmation that it is “the temporal art par excellence” (1956, 151; see also Hasty 1997, 20), or Robert Morgan’s even more emphatic declaration that “there is no question, of course, that music is a temporal art” (1980, 527), Norman’s and Frey’s pieces offer two different illustrations of how the relationship between musical meaning and time can be equivocal.17 In the former case, the ephemerality and evanescence of the network of relationships between a performer and her listeners makes it difficult to extricate the resulting corporeal sensibility from temporal flow without jeopardizing the nuanced ways in which real, fleshy bodies constitute musical meaning. Time in “Susanna” is not just a container within which the piece unfolds; it is created by the bodily interactions of participants. Meanwhile, 16 Further clarification of this idea can be found in Hasty (1999). 17 Claims like these are by no means the product of the most recent history. Jean-​Jacques Rousseau ([1781] 2000) already remarked in his Essay on the Origins of Language that “the field of music is time.” For other eighteenth-​and nineteenth-​century antecedents of the assertion that music is primarily and thoroughly temporal, see Taylor (2016).

Meaning  29 “60 Pieces” is made up of blocks that reveal themselves to be in flux, making time their constitutive, inextricable dimension. Once again, the form of sound emerges in the process of its unfolding, not as a temporal shape that exists beforehand. Perhaps there is a fair degree of contingency at work in proclamations of music’s temporality, insofar as the tools for analyzing musical time have been largely developed in the context of common-​practice tonality. There are certain long-​standing assumptions—​drawn most notably from the work of Newton and Descartes, whose ideas seeped into music-theoretical discourse in the eighteenth century—​that analysts tend to make about the nature of time, and about the concomitant compositional techniques that bring this nature to light.18 Consisting of both harmonic and rhythmic elements, these techniques have come to use certain progressions or metrical patterns to represent specific features of time. For example, harmonic progressions that lead to cadences can be said to signify temporal linearity, while progressions that meander without a clear goal can indicate timelessness; repetition of earlier material can intimate a return to some prior moment in time; sequences have the capacity to suspend the forward momentum of time; and rhythmic augmentation makes the time go slower, while diminution speeds it up. This contingency of temporality, as I mentioned with regard to Bach and Mozart, says nothing about the musical practice itself—​which is as vitally temporal as any non-​tonal work from the last hundred years—​but it does highlight the problematic foundation of the concepts that analysts use to talk about it. Underlying these concepts is a perspective that posits two independent, well-​ defined entities: time and music. Music is said to unfold in time—​a statement believed to be so unassailable that, more often than not, it is simply asserted as fact.19 Music here depends on time for its meaning, because it needs temporality as its vector. In turn, it has the capacity to alter temporal experience because this experience is predicated on a stable link between musical and temporal concepts. This view is very much in keeping with the common-​sense understanding of time as something that exists regardless of its contents, as evidenced by Thomas Mann’s beautiful description: “Into a section of mortal time music pours itself, thereby inexpressibly enhancing and ennobling what it fills” (1924). Ever since Galileo emancipated time from movement, it became 18 For Newton’s influence on eighteenth-​century music theorists’ conceptions of time—​especially as regards meter—​see Grant (2014) and Hasty (1997). 19 One need only do a quick online search to see just how many sources state this claim and its cognate, that “music exists in time.”

30  Enacting Musical Time the fourth dimension—​an independent variable on par with space. Newton, with his notion of “absolute, true, mathematical time,” further endowed it with a unity and unalterability that thoroughly separated it from all other universal forms, particularly motion and change (Newton 1972). By linking geometrical points with a line, Western ideas and representations of time voided it of any specific matter, and hence of a need for a witness to its passage. Rather than singling out a unique moment as the present, with the past trailing behind and the future encroaching from the opposite side, absolute and objective time found itself without even so much as a “now,” supplanting it with an anonymous, unconditional label like a notch on a measuring stick: at t = x, y, where t is time, x its measure (numerical value), and y is some event.20 The specific topology of Newton’s time has since been challenged from within the field of physics, most famously by Einstein’s theory of Special Relativity and later by quantum mechanics (Rindler 2001). Yet despite these deformations, what has remained intact is the notion that time exists independently of events that occur in it. This kind of time, which for physicists serves as a measurement of the rate of change of position, goes by different names: objective, physical, public. All of these labels refer to a time that is broken up into segments of nested sizes, from nano-​and micro-​seconds, up to geological periods, epochs, eons, and beyond to supereons. It includes purely theoretical time chunks, like Planck time, which is about 5.39*10-​44 seconds, or the time it takes light to travel 1 Planck length (Faber 1987). At every stage, from the infinitesimally tiny to the immeasurably huge, objective time is markedly atomized, precisely quantifiable, and obstinately indifferent to just about everything else. There are, of course, undeniable benefits to this conception of time. Perhaps the most significant is our ability to precisely model phenomena outside of those directly related to our experience—​such as the shape and makeup of far-​off galaxies, or the conditions on Earth prior to the appearance of life—​ to say nothing of Planck time and space. Meanwhile, closer to our everyday concerns, the development of a public frame of temporal reference that can be used to coordinate and regulate the behavior of a large number of individuals has had an immeasurable impact on the socio-​economic landscape of the Western world (Landes 1983). Much of the advantage comes from the spatial qualities which can be projected onto time, and from the resultant 20 For a thorough and lucid review of the historical developments in the Western conception of time, from its origin in Aristotle’s Physics, through Newton and Einstein, up to Heisenberg, see Lochhead (1982). Taylor (2016) provides a digest of the philosophical debates, particularly in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and their reflection in musical discourse.

Meaning  31 isomorphisms between temporal chunks and the mathematical properties of serial continuity (Whitehead et al. 1919).21 We speak of moments in time and movement through time; events either come toward us or turn into places toward and away from which we move. We use statements like “The time will come when . . . ,” or “We are coming up on Christmas,” both of which make use of metaphors that conceptualize time in terms of motion (Lakoff and Johnson 1980).22 Time becomes an entity with a physical extension that can be conceived as a bounded, measurable region. We treat instants as if they were containers for completed wholes—​“music is meaningful in time.” According to Mark Muldoon, this conception is indebted to the Enlightenment’s fascination—​obsession, even—​with the scientific method, and the desire to understand nature as “a unity held together by unassailable laws” (2006). Vagaries of subjectivity have no place in an episteme that not only seeks to identify various generalizations underlying the particulars of everyday life, but also attempts to cleanse them of what Frances Dyson (2009) calls “ontological orphans”—​immateriality, invisibility, and ephemerality.23 The benefits of having an objective notion of time extend into music theory and analysis, enabling a variety of observations and assertions about musical processes that otherwise remain beyond our grasp. To take but one example, the professed isomorphism between objective time and the serial order of numbers, in combination with the cyclical property of musical meter, has allowed theorists to conceptualize rhythm in terms of beat classes and beat-​ class sets, and to employ in music analysis operations familiar from twelve-​ tone theory, such as transposition and inversion.24 On this view, beat-​class sets are formally analogous to pitch-​class sets—​which themselves generalize collections of pitch-​classes—​and denote which beat in a metrical pattern is articulated. As described by Richard Cohn (1992), “like pitch-​class sets, [beat-​class] sets have an interval content, bear properties such as invariance or cycle-​generability, and enter into equivalence, similarity, and inclusion relations with each other. Consequently, much of the technology developed for

21 Whitehead had a tremendous distrust of the ability of language to explain temporal phenomena in any way that was close to experience. See more in Mays (1972). 22 Arnie Cox (2017) analyzes the use of temporal metaphors in music theory and analysis. 23 On music theoretical applications of Foucault’s epistemes, see Moreno (2004). 24 The isomorphism is actually a bit more complex, because conceptions of rhythm in terms of arithmetic sets draw on a more general analogy between rhythm and pitch, which has already been connected with numerical properties (Babbitt 1962). For analytical applications see especially Cohn (1992) and Roeder (2003).

32  Enacting Musical Time atonal pitch-​class analysis is transferable to the rhythmic domain, mutatis mutandis” (149). This method of conceptualizing meter in turn illuminates properties of temporal patterns that are not readily available to perception, such as formal similarities between seemingly disparate rhythms. However, the concept of beat classes essentially renders musical rhythm a-​temporal by allowing it to be taken out of the changing musical context and assigned to some category on the basis of its distribution within a measure, as if the latter were a kind of abstract, endlessly reproducible container. This is a byproduct of a more general tendency to regard meter as a grid into which the musical process is “poured” (to reiterate Mann’s poetic image). As noted by Roger Grant (2014) in his discussion of the temporal revolution that swept European music theory in the wake of Newton’s development of calculus, the eighteenth century saw a “shattering” of the theoretical “edifice that had once joined meter, character, and tempo” (93). In particular, pre-​Newtonian Scholastic philosophy and science envisioned time as fundamentally intertwined with motion. In music theory, which belonged part and parcel to this scientific tradition, the connection was evident in the embodiment of the beat—​an explicitly physical act used to “measure” music. As Grant argues, the act of “beating time”—​the up-​and-​down motion of the hand—​was critical in solving an ancient temporal dilemma: to think of time as simultaneously continuous and consisting of separate instants. By contrast, the new science developed by Newton, and its transmission into music theory via Johann Phillip Kirnberger’s treatise Die Kunst des reinen Satzes in der Musik (1771), divorced musical meter from its physical embodiment, grounding it first in the notated measure and then in mental accentuation of an ongoing series of otherwise undifferentiated beats, before finally becoming an aesthetic activity of organizing musical flow (Grant 2014).25 Throughout these transformations, time remained independent of physical motion, constituted by its own succession of autonomous instants. The terms of the above discussion are deeply entrenched in modern-​day thought, even if on some level “objective time” can be recognized as just a theoretical construct. In his penetrating phenomenological account of the experience of music, Thomas Clifton (1983) was categorical in his refutation of the reality of objective time: “Objective time (or real, or absolute time) is a contradiction in terms. It presupposes the existence of a time which exists 25 This latter view has recently enjoyed a resurgence, most notably in the work of Justin London (2012), who considers meter as the cognitive organization of musical rhythms. I will return to this concept in subsequent chapters.

Meaning  33 independently of us, and of a ‘time sense’ whereby a person perceives this time. [ . . . ] It is useless to measure the sense of time against a clock which is alleged to keep real time” (51). To soften the blow of Clifton’s critique, we should note that there is nothing disagreeable about objective time in and of itself, but only if it remains a tool for measuring the durations of our forever-​ changing experience. Problems arise when one draws on the notion of objective time to conceptualize the temporal dimension of music, because this forces musical processes to become reified as objects. They become associated with bounded, measurable “regions” of time, and placed in discrete temporal “locations.” In turn, this gives form to the sound prior to the process of that sound’s becoming, as willful a disregard of Hasty’s rebuke as there ever was. Such reification is not necessarily questionable when it comes to transmitting performance directions to musicians through visual representations on the printed page—​after all, even Norman’s and Frey’s pieces exist as physical scores—​but it does close off the possibility of recognizing new and different kinds of meaningful experiences of this music. In particular, reification conceals musical processes because objective time is only useful if there is something “there” to be objectively measured. Yet, as coextensive with time, musical processes could not possibly be “there” (or anywhere) prior to being constituted by the listener who is in the midst of their becoming.

Lived Time Instead of drawing on notions of objective time and the concomitant idea that music unfolds within it, in light of the previous discussion, I propose that musical processes are constituted by what the phenomenological tradition has called “lived time” (Hoy 2009). Notwithstanding claims made by models derived from physics, the sense of temporal passage is persistent, even without any apparent change. We do not experience mere sequences of events, series of isolated “nows.” We experience the processes of transition from one event to the next, the present, or what Maurice Merleau-​Ponty (2012) calls an “upsurge” contextualized by what came immediately before and what is about to come after.26 This upsurge is not a durationless point that separates the past from the future, but a kind of quality in our experience, 26 Komarine Romdenh-​ Romluc (2010) offers a wonderfully straightforward explication of Merleau-​Ponty’s (often opaque) ideas.

34  Enacting Musical Time one that has both thickness and breadth.27 And, because of this contextual thickness and breadth, rather than basic relations of “before” and “after,” we actually have a sense of tense—​of the past and the future. Events differ for us in terms of significance—​in terms of how we position ourselves toward them physically and affectively—​depending on whether they have already happened, are happening now, or will happen sometime in the future. Thus, the upsurge both frames and is framed by the specifics of the situation sensed from the perspective of an individual. There is something that pushes us from this present moment to the next one, and the one after that, and so on. Lived time is time as it shows up in human lives.28 It does not so much stand in opposition to objective time, but has been argued to constitute its very source (Bergson 1911; Hoy 2009). It is easily conflated with subjective time—​with which it shares a number of characteristics, including first-​ person experience—​but the two are radically different. Subjective time refers to “the experience of the temporal properties of events and processes: their order, duration, time of occurrence, context among simultaneous events and events before and after, and more” (Arstila and Lloyd 2014, x). Since it is typically ascertained through judgments of its passage and estimates of duration, subjective time is basically construed as objective time from the perspective of the subject, hence internally represented and inaccessible to direct observation. By contrast, lived time is external to the subject but partly co-​ constituted by the subject’s interactions with the world. Subjective time paradoxically unfolds independently of the subject; lived time is the subject in unity with the world (Romdenh-​Romluc 2010). In fact, it is inaccurate to say that lived time is something that can be experienced as such, because experience requires an external frame of reference, which leads to models of temporality that are internally incoherent and confused (Merleau-​Ponty 2012). Rather, lived time is enacted—​it only exists as part of the unfolding dynamical system that emerges between an embodied consciousness and the world. Lived time is a real aspect of the world in the sense of both describing and consisting of relationships between physical bodies and objects. In Chapter 4, I will take a detailed look at its structure, focusing on the role of human bodies in constituting it as part of what Merleau-​Ponty (1968) calls 27 Merleau-​Ponty, as well as Husserl, Heidegger, and other phenomenologists, were influenced by William James’s idea, discussed in his Principles of Psychology (1918), of the “specious present” as a temporally extended moment in which the subject has a sense of things happening “now.” For historical context see Andersen and Grush (2009). 28 Bergson (1911) coined the term durée to designate lived time.

Meaning  35 “flesh.” There, I will show that time is “secreted” by a body that breaks away from its intertwining with its milieu. For now, let me briefly sketch some of its features.29 Where subjective time is concerned with the order of our experience of time—​and hence its quantitative aspects—​lived time takes as its starting point the fact that the experience itself is temporal. It has a duration, but, as Edmund Husserl argued, this duration is not a measurement (Husserl 1964). Instead, it is a particular quality, a kind of intentional experience. By “intentionality” Husserl means our consciousness of something, or, rather, how our consciousness is always directed at something. Starting with a melody—​ Husserl’s favorite example of a temporal object—​he notes that its succession of tones is “united ‘forthwith’ in a common structure. [ . . . ] We do not have the sounds all at once, as it were, and we do not hear the melody by virtue of the circumstance that the earlier tones endure with the last. Rather, the tones build up a successive unity with a common effect” (Husserl 1964, 29). The effect is puzzling if we maintain that we can only hear what is currently present, and the present can only include one note at a time, because under these conditions one would never be able to hear a melody as a melody but only as a succession of single tones.30 However, according to Husserl, perception itself has an indeterminate duration constituted by three phases. At the center of this structure, what is given to consciousness is the primal impression [Urimpression], which is our awareness of an unfolding “now-​ phase.”31 Trailing it like a wake and grasping onto the immediate past is the retention, which is a quality of an event “sinking” into the past. It is a running off of a temporal phenomenon that allows us to perceive its continuity, and

29 An excellent introduction to the philosophical and historical developments regarding lived time can be found in Hoy (2009) and Andersen and Grush (2009), respectively. Lochhead (1982) provides an accessible précis of Husserl’s phenomenology of time consciousness, while Ihde (2007) offers a close phenomenological description of sonic experience in general. Godøy (2010b) explicitly links Husserl’s insights with bodily gestures. 30 The puzzle has its roots in Augustine’s well-​known analysis of time, in which what he calls the distentio of the mind—​a kind of stretching or pulling in different directions—​contains within it images of the past and the future. As Gallagher (1998) notes, this creates a paradox, because events that ought to succeed each other in experience—​such as the tones of a melody—​are present to consciousness simultaneously. In Husserl’s solution, the extended consciousness both integrates and segregates the events that constitute the melody. 31 Husserl continued to develop these ideas over the course of his life, and for this reason the picture of his theory of time consciousness is dauntingly complex, particularly as concerns terminology. As explicated by Rodemeyer (2006), the phase of the primal impression was initially called a “now-​ point,” and this is the usage we find, for example, in Godøy (2010b).

36  Enacting Musical Time a continuity between it and successive phenomena.32 Arranged symmetrically around the primal impression is the protention, a vague anticipation that reaches into the immediate future, an awareness that a phenomenon will endure or be replaced by a different phenomenon. Returning to the melody example, retentions and protentions “fuse with the apprehension of the tone that is now appearing and that, as it were, I am now hearing” (Husserl 1964). Although at times Husserl referred to retention as “primary memory,” it should not be confused with memory proper, which he called “secondary memory” or “re-​presentation.” An important distinction is that retentions are constitutive of the present, while secondary memories themselves have their own retentions. Similarly, protention is not a projection of one’s consciousness into the future; such a projection has its own tripartite structure. Rather than being of the past and the future, retentions and protentions make the experience of the past and the future possible. That is, we ourselves create the possibility of being temporal beings: beings with a history, with a destiny, with a temporal thickness. Setting aside the problems with Husserl’s perception of a melody—​ including his treatment of it as a temporal “object,” which I will address in Chapter 4—​his central claim is that our temporal experience does not unravel like a string of pearls, in which each pearl is discrete and self-​contained, and yet exactly like every other pearl (Hoy 2009).33 Rather, each moment holds on to the one just passed, and anticipates the one about to come, as if each pearl seamlessly melded into the ones on either side of it while simultaneously being held as a discrete unit.34 The idea was treated explicitly by Merleau-​Ponty (2012), whose reimagining of Husserl’s model of time

32 Gallagher (1998) points out that Husserl borrowed the idea of an extended present from William James (1918), who described the phenomenon as a “specious present.” Andersen and Grush (2009) have further shown that James himself appropriated the term from Robert Kelly, an American lawyer whom James knew through a friend. 33 For a cogent critique of Husserl’s experience of a melody, see Gallagher (1998). 34 Godøy (2010) draws parallels between Husserl’s consciousness of now-​points and goal-​points in sound-​producing actions, arguing that they are analogous to keyframes in animation, while protentions and retentions are analogous to interframes. The problem with this approach is that it reinforces a string-​of-​pearls view of temporal consciousness, which is precisely what Husserl tried to refute. This may fall out of Husserl’s diagram, which shows primal impressions as points on a line, visually separated and strung up in a sequence, leading to the notion that consciousness moves from one now-​point to the next through a fuzzy boundary of protentions and retentions. Instead, what Husserl argued (and Merleau-​Ponty made even more explicit) is that consciousness moves in the primal impression, always flanked by the temporal fringes of the present. Godøy’s solution to this problem and a way of accounting for the continuous unfolding of behavior, is to introduce into actions the linguistic concept of co-​articulation, in which movements intervening between goal-​points are subsumed by impulse-​driven holistic actions.











Meaning  37




Figure 1.2  Merleau-​Ponty’s (2012) modifications to Husserl’s diagram of the structure of time consciousness. The horizontal line connects a series of successive now points. Diagonal lines connect each “now” as seen from a later point. Vertical lines show successive retentions of the same “now.”

consciousness is shown here in Figure 1.2.35 Merleau-​Ponty’s commentary clarifies some of the conceptual issues that have led to confusion regarding the nature of time. In particular, he argues that it is incorrect to suppose that time moves, or flows, in a succession of nows. “I do not pass,” he writes, “through a series of nows whose images I would preserve and that, placed end to end, would form a line” (439). Rather, time is “a network of intentionalities” (440). Instead of existing in succession, “instants” of time “differentiate themselves from each other” in a single, continuous phenomenon. “The springing forth of a new present does not provoke a piling up of the past and an upheaval of the future; rather, the new present is the passage from a future to the present

35 On the problem of Husserl’s static representation, his continued adjustments to the model in order to account for its dynamism, and suggestions of different types of diagrams that arguably do a better job of capturing it, see Larrabee (1994). On the relationship of Merleau-​Ponty’s diagram to Husserl’s see Varela (1999), who notes in particular that there is no definitive diagram of Husserl’s model. I will have more to say about this figure in Chapter 4.

38  Enacting Musical Time and of the previous present to the past—​time sets itself in motion, from one end to the other, with a single movement” (442). Finally, each present reaffirms the presence of the entire past that it drives away, and anticipates the presence of the entire future that is “to-​come,” and that, by definition, the present is not locked within itself but transcends itself toward a future and toward a past. Thus, there is not one present and then another one that takes its place in being, nor is there even a present with some perspectives upon the past and upon the future followed by another present in which these perspectives would be overthrown, such that an identical spectator would be necessary to effect the synthesis of successive perspectives. Rather, there is a single time that confirms itself, that can bring nothing into existence without having already established it as present and as a past to come, and that establishes itself all at once. (444)

Lived time in this formulation is a single experience of a continually changing present, in which what was once implicit becomes explicit, while what was explicit becomes implicit. For Merleau-​Ponty, driving this process is the subject’s “motor intentionality,” or a subjectivity directed toward the world through some kind of activity. For example, when I see my phone lying on the desk in front of me, I explicitly experience its top part, but I also implicitly experience its other surfaces that are currently hidden from me. As I turn the phone over, its implicit aspects become explicit (and vice versa), thereby linking the two experiences. Notably, my perceptual experience of the phone is not only spatial, but also temporal, because for Merleau-​Ponty perception is guaranteed by the environment demanding some kind of action on my part. My motor intentionality in turn reveals a certain style, or a particular manner of performing actions, which gives coherence to the various episodes that constitute my life. In this model, there is no subject standing outside of time, gazing upon it as if it were a river, for, according to Merleau-​ Ponty, experience itself is a “plenum.” Since the plenum is all-​encompassing, the past and the future are not separate existents, but instead constitute the present which “dehisces” toward the future. My actions convert the present simultaneously into the future and the past by responding to the possibilities solicited by the environment, by realizing their inherent potential. Hence, my subjectivity is “one single temporality which is engaged, from birth, in

Meaning  39 making itself progressively explicit” (Merleau-​Ponty 2012, 474). Lived time emerges from my union with the world. *** The main concern of this book is precisely the lived time that I just described, and a discussion of how it is constituted will weave in and out of the main argument, particularly in Chapter  4. A  central figure in my theoretical reflections is Merleau-​Ponty, whose phenomenological approach to time explicitly involves the animate human body in its constitution. One of the key precursors to the field of embodied cognition, Merleau-​Ponty argued that the most basic connection between ourselves and our world—​a connection that serves as the ground of not just our experience but also our thoughts—​is established through our bodies. In a commentary on Descartes’s notion of cogito, Merleau-​Ponty (2012) claimed that “consciousness is originally not an ‘I think that,’ but rather an ‘I can’ ” (139). What is crucial to my argument is that bodies are actively engaged in “reckoning” with the environment, making sense of what they encounter by attempting to achieve an optimal perspective, or attitude (316). This achievement results in a particular kind of relationship that we have toward space and time, a first-​person “I am a living being” perspective that leads Merleau-​Ponty to posit that we do not so much exist in space and time, but rather that we “inhabit” them (an idea to which I will return in Chapter 6), meaning that our knowledge of space and time is fundamentally embodied and grounded in our abilities to skillfully orient ourselves toward the world. Our skillful orientation—​our motor intentionality—​generates a field of possibilities within which time emerges as a lived aspect of our experience. The body here serves as the source of this emergence, but it is important to note that, for Merleau-​Ponty, this body by itself does not constitute time. Indeed, time for him cannot be constituted, because for it to be constituted would mean that “the series of possible relations according to the before and the after” were fully known in advance of their happening. “Constituted time belongs to space,” he writes, adding that it is “immobile where nothing passes by and nothing happens” (437). Instead, time is always in the process of being constituted: “it must not merely be; it must come about” (437). This process sees the embodied consciousness as both active and passive. By passivity Merleau-​Ponty means that time is a given fact of the world over which we

40  Enacting Musical Time have no control. In his own words: “I am not the author of time, any more than am I the author of my own heartbeats, nor am I the one who takes the initiative of temporalization; I did not choose to be born, but no matter what I do, once I am born, time flows through me” (451). By contrast, the active dimension of the process signifies that we ourselves shape time by the decisions that we make:  by making what was implicit, explicit. Accordingly, “this springing forth of time is not a mere fact that I undergo; I can find in time a recourse against time itself, as happens in a decision that I commit to, or in an act of conceptual focusing. Time tears me away from what I was about to be, but simultaneously gives me the means of grasping myself from a distance and of actualizing myself as myself ” (451). This book is an elaboration and extension of Merleau-​Ponty’s phenomenology of time into the realm of musical experience. A key aspect of my argument is the role that the body plays in realizing the potential inherent in environmental solicitations, which allows for the possibility of experiencing the corporeal, evanescent musical objects and processes that emerge as the temporal meaning of music. It is a meaning formed by a fundamental relationship between music and time, one in which the two are inseparable, co-​present, and co-​constitutive. This inseparability finds its locus in the embodied listener who enacts musical time while simultaneously creating musical objects. Such an interweaving of time and musical meaning consists at the level that Elizabeth Grosz describes as “a pre-​discursive experience, experience before the overlay of reflection, the imposition of meta-​experiential organization, its codification by reason, language, or knowledge” (Grosz 1993, 43). This suggests a shift in how musical meaning emerges—​from signification, as an expression that triangulates sounds with external signifiers, to a more basic, bodily engagement with the world. It is here that musical time manifests itself—​not as a condition of music, nor a vessel in which it unfolds, but as a particular form of this experience: its enactment. Of course, the performative aspect of signifying already has strong temporal and embodied dimensions.36 Time is enacted through acts of speaking and writing as much as through musical performance. In fact, I will show in

36 On the temporal aspect of linguistic communication, see in particular Auer (2015). Performativity is a term closely associated with the work of J. L. Austin (1962), who theorized the existence of so-​called performative utterances, in which the state of the world undergoes a change as the utterance is expressed (e.g., “I now pronounce you husband and wife”), as well as John Searle’s closely related speech-​act theory (1969).

Meaning  41 Chapter 4 that time is enacted through all of our doings, even when we are not doing much.37 But the very units of expression—​concepts, images, signs—​ are themselves non-​temporal. They are like building blocks, necessarily maintaining their stability in order to facilitate symbolic communication. Certain bodily expressions, such as hand gestures that are used in communicative acts, function similarly, acquiring symbolic meaning when they gain ubiquity as repeated references to the same phenomena. This meaning can be conventional: “thumbs up” as a sign of affirmation, shrugging one’s shoulders to indicate nescience, or the cyclical hand gestures (kriya) that consistently mark the beats of the tala in South Indian classical music.38 But it can also be contextual, emerging ad hoc in the process of an unfolding discussion (D. McNeill 1992).39 Other than these exceptions, the body does not disclose itself through a triangulation of meaning, but through action. Its mode of expression is analog, dynamically unfolding as its animate form encounters and makes sense of the world. Like the ephemeral musical objects discussed earlier, the body inhabits time, and in its unfolding it expresses an immanent meaning, which I  call “significance.” This is a meaning that is pragmatic, non-​referential, pre-​discursive, and pre-​reflective, consisting of the interactions between an embodied, situated listener and an acoustical signal. It can be modeled using J. J. Gibson’s notion of “affordances,” such that the very dynamics of this interaction are its meaning—​its feel, its kinetic shape, its morphology (Gibson 1986, 1977). Significance does not point to an external interpretant, but rather is fully encapsulated by the totality of the situation and remains open to flux, continuity, as well as to temporal upsurge and disintegration. Time considered as significance becomes constituted as the form of the continually changing music-​listener dyad.

37 Heidegger (1995), for example, talks at length about the link between temporality and profound boredom. For a discussion, see Hoy (2009). 38 Galen DeGraf ’s (2018) dissertation includes a thorough discussion of the kriya as a dynamic temporal symbol that can be used to off-​load temporal information, providing a time-​dependent context, which helps listeners keep their “place” in the (sometimes very long) tala cycle. 39 Becvar, Hollan, and Hutchins (2005) present an ethnographic study of a fascinating example of a gesture that acquired contextual meaning and stabilized through ongoing discourse about molecular dynamics.

42  Enacting Musical Time

Significance The idea that musical meaning lies in its significance is prefigured in the work of Susanne Langer. As she describes it, music is a “non-​discursive logical form” whose meaning—​or what she calls “vital import”—​is constituted by feelings, emotions, motion, and life itself (Langer 1953). More specifically, the significance of music lies in its function as an “unconsummated symbol” for our emotive life, a symbol that lacks any fixed association but the form of which is nevertheless congruent with “the pattern, or logical form, of sentience” (27). Langer argues that “the basic concept is the articulate but non-​discursive form having import without conventional reference, and therefore presenting itself not as a symbol in the ordinary sense, but as a ‘significant form,’ in which the factor of significance is not logically discriminated, but is felt as a quality rather than recognized as a function” (32). Rejecting arguments that it is a stimulus meant to evoke or signal emotions, Langer contends that music is the logical expression of affects, by which she means that its structures “resemble certain dynamic patterns of human experience” (Langer 1957, 183). The following quotation summarizes Langer’s perspective and foreshadows some of the themes that I will explore in later chapters: The assignment of meanings is a shifting, kaleidoscopic play, probably below the threshold of consciousness, certainly outside the pale of discursive thinking. The imagination that responds to music is personal and associative and logical, tinged with affect, tinged with bodily rhythm, tinged with dream, but concerned with a wealth of formulations for its wealth of wordless knowledge, its whole knowledge of emotional and organic experience, of vital impulse, balance, conflict, the ways of living and dying and feeling. Because no assignment of meaning is conventional, none is permanent beyond the sound that passes; yet the brief association was a flash of understanding. The lasting effect is—​like the first effect of speech on the development of the mind—​to make things conceivable rather than to store up propositions. Not communication but insight is the gift of music; in very naïve phrase, a knowledge of “how feelings go.” (Langer 1957, 198; emphases in the original)

Two points are worth highlighting for their relevance to the discussion of enacted musical time. One is that musical meaning emerges below the level

Meaning  43 of consciousness, in a pre-​discursive domain of experience where understanding is shaped by affectivity and bodily engagement, rather than propositional logic. This meaning consists of patterns of movement, in the bodily orientation of listeners, and in their basic affective dispositions. It is a thoroughly temporal meaning insofar as it has no permanent features—​it is instead an unfolding quality of the listening experience, an aspect of lived time. The listener’s affective posture—​which includes certain corporeal dynamics, such as movement toward (philia) or away from (phobia) something—​ enfolds sonic forms within the temporalizing orbit of his or her body, essentially creating time in response to the acoustical signal. The second, related, point is that music presents an opportunity for our expression of a kind of knowledge of the dynamical patterns of emotions. In Chapter 3 we will hear echoes of this in the form of what I call “kinesthetic knowledge,” or a knowledge of what logically unfolding movements feel like, and how this feeling results from ongoing tension between habit and novelty. As I  will show, the “insight” offered by music is one that arises from active responses to its affordances, more specifically, the temporal shapes enacted by an embodied, situated listener. Despite these zones of convergence, Langer draws a sharp categorical distinction between art and artifact, where the latter—​“like cake or cocktails”—​ appeals to the sensuous pleasure of “the untutored” (Langer 1957, 166). My position is therefore closer to John Dewey’s (1980), for whom art extends and augments everyday forms. In contrast to Langer, I see music as continuous with the ways in which our environment is significant for us: music emerges as one of the significant forms of our interactions with the world. To that end, in what follows I focus on significance as time, or, more specifically, as a temporalization of the world through our affective dispositions that guide our actions in response to its solicitations. To illustrate the general principle of musical significance as an extension of everyday forms, let us first consider a somewhat prosaic example. Imagine that Mary is a high-​school history teacher. She is sitting outside with a stack of final exams that need to be graded, when all of a sudden the wind picks up. At first just a breeze, Mary realizes that an unexpected gust would send her papers flying into the air. Visually scanning the space around her, turning her head this way and that, and shifting her body’s weight forward and back, she notices a rock, slightly larger than the size of her fist. She reaches out for it, and, feeling its heft, she deems it up to the task and places it atop the stack.

44  Enacting Musical Time In this scenario, the rock attains a particular kind of significance for Mary. Although the signifier “rock” typically refers to a mass of hardened minerals, the concern here is not geological. Mary need not care about the exact chemical composition of this rock. It matters not how the mass Mary held was for her an example of rocks in general, or how it distinguished itself from other rocks, or how it fits into a larger narrative about the different ways in which rocks have been used by human societies. In fact, under the circumstances, it is entirely beside the point that what Mary was holding was something that, in English, is called “a rock.” This is not to say that all of these have not, at some point, shaped how rocks show up in Mary’s experience, including their capacity to be handled in a particular way. Rather, all that mattered at the moment when the wind threatened Mary’s grading session was that this specific object fulfilled certain criteria for doing the job at hand: it had the optimal size and weight to hold down the papers, it had the optimal size and weight for her to lift it, and it was optimally placed within her reach. Whereas the linguistic meaning of this mass of minerals is “a rock,” its significance was precisely the action that unfolded in those circumstances. At that particular moment, and in that particular place, it was significant for Mary as something that she could lift and use to hold down her papers. The meaning of this mass of minerals was seemingly inherent in it; more precisely, it was inherent in the entirety of the situation, which included the outdoor setting, Mary’s own motivations, and her actions. In short, its meaning consisted of and persisted in the system that briefly consisted of Mary and her surrounding environment. Meaning considered as significance is a practical meaning. It is the meaning that arises in the moment of one’s perception of—​and action upon—​one’s immediate environment. It refers to relevance, importance, and the capacity of objects and events to make a difference, as well as the organism’s ability to perceive these without having to “cognitively enrich” the world by projecting onto it structure and purpose (Wilson and Golonka 2013). Significance is expressed in bodily terms as an enactment of the potential inherent in the situation. It cannot be known in advance of the interaction that materializes it. To use the phrase made famous by Gregory Bateson, it is the “difference that makes a difference,” or a framework that allows us to pick out and use only that information which is relevant to the task at hand (Bateson 1985).40 It is precisely what enables someone like, say, Sherlock Holmes to take one glance

40 The phrase appears somewhat earlier in Johnson (1946).

Meaning  45 at a room containing a dead body and almost immediately deduce the exact occupation of the deceased, where they lived, what they had for breakfast, and which train they took to get into the city. Yet the extraordinary capabilities of the fictional detective are a literary extension of our own remarkable powers of dealing with a complex world in ways that are fluid, automatic, and advantageous to our survival. We may not be able to glean, based solely on someone’s freshly shaved face, whether the light in their bathroom is on the right or on the left, but our world is nonetheless brimming with potentials for meaningful engagement. Significance emphasizes and draws attention to what is relevant and important in the environment. Instead of emerging from an interplay between an object and its external signifier, significance refers to our ability to use and respond to environmental solicitations in ways that can be called “relevant” or “appropriate.” Of course, whether and how our responses are relevant or appropriate varies with the situation and our objectives, but regardless of these variations, meaning is inherent in how we use and respond to the world’s solicitations.41

Affordances Talk of objects being right for the job “at hand” might bring to mind Heidegger’s concept of Zuhandenheit; however, Gibson’s theory of ecological perception captures even more precisely the notion that meaning consists in a system that emerges when organisms interact with their environments (Gibson 1986). Having initially studied the landing techniques of bees and aircraft pilots, Gibson asserted that all animals access meaning in their environment through the direct perception of various opportunities for action, which he called “affordances.”42 According to him, meaning is inherent and available to the animal in the world that it inhabits:  “the meaning or value of a thing consists of what it affords” (Gibson 1982, 407).

41 My “significance” is similar to Ian Cross’s “efficacy” in that both point to the individual and social function of music (Cross 2005). 42 The recent years have marked a surge in the term’s usage in music scholarship. These include Clarke (2005), Godøy (2010a), Krueger (2014), Menin and Schiavio (2012), and Windsor and de Bézenac (2012). Affordances also play a key role in the construction of musical meaning in Cook (2001) and London (2012). On the role of affordances in structuring music by constraining the relationship between musicians and their instruments, see De Souza (2017). Here, I limit myself to more general observations. (A detailed discussion of specific musical approaches will be taken up in Chapter 2.)

46  Enacting Musical Time More precisely, the meaning and value of things is a factor of the relationship between variable and invariant features of the environment and the capacities of an organism to perceive and act on those features. Since the environment is already meaningful, Gibson’s radical position was that animals do not have to create internal maps, mental images, or schemata; calculate distances between objects; or process “data” apart from the information offered to them directly by the environment.43 In contrast to the theory of indirect perception—​which holds that objects and events are not meaningful in themselves, but rather that meaning is created and stored internally in the form of mental representations—​Gibson argued that animals detect “specific combination(s) of the properties of [an object’s or event’s] substance and its surfaces taken with reference to the animal” (Gibson 1977, 67). On the one hand, affordances consist of the elements already available in the environment, rather than existing as mental constructs that are projected onto the world. In this sense they are objective: as long as some organism with the right abilities exists, affordances will also exist, even when that organism is not physically present at that moment. To return to the rock example, the mass of the object and its size afford picking up and using as a paperweight even when there is no one around. On the other hand, affordances are not merely properties or features of the world taken by itself, and, indeed, not all objective properties can be construed as affordances. Instead, affordances are relations between the environment and a perceiver, and their purpose is to guide the actions of the latter. They are thus dependent on the perceiver’s capabilities, motivations, goals, and needs. That is to say that affordances do not inhere in either the environment or the perceiving organism considered by themselves, but rather in the system that emerges when the two interact. The rock described earlier does not afford picking up and using as a paper weight to an organism that cannot lift it, nor to one that has no need for holding things down to prevent them from flying off. 43 Although this aspect of Gibson’s theory will not figure much in this book, the idea that perception occurs without intervening mental representations initially had an important ideological motivation for Gibson. In particular, he was horrified by the scientific community’s reluctance to emphatically condemn Nazi atrocities, a reluctance that stemmed from an unflappable belief that all perception is culturally relative. Since moral arguments, on this view, are not fixed universals but rather products of social context, the utter barbarity of Hitler and his cohort could have been shrugged off as mere “inevitable irrationality.” For Gibson, this was reprehensible, and hence his campaign to ground perception in natural laws. See more in Costall and Still (1989). Perhaps unsurprisingly, Gibson’s stipulation that perception is a process that takes place without mental representations has proven onerous to satisfy, because it requires a radical rethinking of the relationship between organisms and their milieu. Readers interested in the details of this rethinking might wish to turn to Golonka and Wilson (2016), Hutto (2013), and Withagen and van der Kamp (2010).

Meaning  47 In Chapter  2 I  will offer a more detailed glimpse of the theory of affordances in its application to music, but several key features bear explicating here in connection with significance. The first is that affordances are picked up by the entire perceptual system, which includes not just the collections of receptor cells attuned to specific kinds of energy and the brain areas to which they are connected, but also “parts of the organism that adjust, modify, or orient the receptors in active exploration” (Chemero 2009, 159). On this view, affordances emerge as combinations of changes and invariants in the perceptual array when the animal moves purposefully within its environment. There are two important points that have to be considered in this regard. One is that the body in its entirety is immediately implicated in the perceptual process, creating the very circumstances in which this process is able to take place. This means that the kind of information that is available to us is conditioned not only by the biomechanics of our bodies, but also by the social and cultural pressures that shape how these bodies are used in both day-​to-​day and aesthetic activities. The second point is that musical significance—​as much as it depends on our ability to engage levels of cognitive processing that include memory, abstract thought, and aesthetic judgement—​is fundamentally grounded in our bodily skills, and how those skills are deployed depends on the specific context of the situation in which we find ourselves. In particular, we use our bodies in order to gather information about our environment. As Eric Clarke writes, “perception is essentially exploratory, seeking out sources of stimulation in order to discover more about the environment” (2005, 19). We move around in order to attain what Hubert and Stuart Dreyfus call a “maximum grip,” or a level of being embedded in the world optimized “in such a way as to bring the current situation closer to the agent’s sense of an optimal gestalt” (Dreyfus and Dreyfus 1999, 603). We move closer toward a painting in a gallery when we want to focus on the details, and away from it when taking in the whole image; we lean in when someone speaks softly, and step back from someone yelling; we make a fanlike motion with our hands to direct perfume droplets into our nose, and turn our heads when their concentration is overwhelming. Those movements create variance in the somatosensory array that constitutes our perception.44 They can be large—​for example, 44 What I am calling significance is similar to Merleau-​Ponty’s “primary meaning,” which refers to the way in which we get a grip on a situation by expressing structural similarities between our bodies and the intentional object (through rhythm, intensity, orientation, etc.). Primary meaning describes the determinate way in which we relate to something.

48  Enacting Musical Time when you move your head and your whole body in search of something to use as a paperweight—​or they can be miniscule. For example, Bompas and O’Regan (2006) have shown that even something like color perception, which we usually take to be completely automatic and immediate, is only possible because of the tiny movements made by our eyes. Without those movements we would not be able to see in color, this despite the anatomy of our optical system. Or, put differently, our anatomy evolved in tandem with our mobility, making them mutually co-​dependent. Affordances manifest in the actions that an organism performs in response to some aspect of its environment. Given this premise, significance is embodied, enacted, and situated. It starts with movement:  with spatial and temporal displacement, with the change of posture and position, with the transfer of weight from one part of the body to another, with the shift in direction and force of muscular effort. It is inaugurated in the locking and unlocking of joints, and in the expansion and contraction of the body’s sense of presence within its “kinesphere.”45 When this movement connects us with the world, a kind of intimacy develops, such that there is no separation between ourselves and that world. For good or for ill, there is no disconnect that would sever our subjectivities from the objects of our perceptual acts. Through movement we inhabit the world. Significance embraces music’s proximity, a proximity that, while preventing it from pointing to anything concrete, allows it to depict what Merleau-​Ponty describes as “certain schemata of Being, its ebb and flow, its growth, its upheavals, its turbulence” (1968, 123). The dynamic, mercurial, even precarious character of these schemata is what invites us to further investigate their nature and to examine living, fleshy bodies at their most vulnerable. As I will show in Chapter 2, musical meanings created in the process are grounded in the ways in which organized sounds temporalize the animate bodies of listeners. Affordances are relations: musical significance emerges from the dyadic interaction between a listener and an acoustical signal that constitutes a very specific situation.46 An acoustical signal does not “mean” this or that 45 The term “kinesphere” was developed by Rudolf Laban in Choreutics (1966) as a reference to “the sphere around the body whose periphery can be reached by easily extended limbs without stepping away from that place which is the point of support when standing on one foot” (10). 46 In characterizing affordances as relational properties of the environment-​organism system I am following Anthony Chemero (2009). That said, there are dissenting claims that affordances are instead dispositional properties of the environment, and are complemented by the organism’s “effectivities” (Turvey 1992). More recent critiques of the relational view come from Sabrina Golonka and Andrew Wilson (2016). These critiques are substantiated by two important requirements that affordances must fulfill: they must persist in the absence of the organism, and the organism must be able to perceive how they engender behavior that is currently impossible (i.e., they must functionally support learning).

Meaning  49 particular action, nor does an action “mean” this or that particular sound. There is no inevitability here, inasmuch as neither the signal nor the action represent, imply, presuppose, compel, or determine one another. Rather, actions and sounds unfold in tandem, each one responding to the other, together creating significance. Here I draw the reader’s attention to the distinction between response and reaction. While the latter term is often used to describe listeners’ actions stimulated by musical sounds, in reality it implies a causal link between those actions and a sonic stimulus. The stimulus always precedes the reaction as the logical antecedent for movement, even if in objective time the action anticipates the stimulus, as is the case with mean negative asynchrony (Repp and Su 2013). Response, by contrast, captures the idea that such actions are examples of cognitive behavior that has its own logical and rational organization, and which creatively complements the dynamical unfolding of the acoustical signal. As such, actions do not exist in a linear relationship with the external world, but rather form so-​called dynamical systems with the components of the environment, in which temporal relations create a complex network that does not always causally correlate with objective time. As Chemero defines it in the context of cognition, “a dynamical system is a set of quantifiable variables changing continually, concurrently, and interdependently over time in accordance with dynamical laws that can, in principle, be described by some set of equations” (2009, 25). I will explore this idea at some length in Chapter 3, but for now it is sufficient to highlight the condition that dynamical systems are constituted by elements that are mutually dependent for their development, such that a constant of one element forms a variable in the second element.47 It makes sense to think that listeners respond to music with their bodies, because these responses are visible in such ubiquitous activities as dancing, foot-​tapping, head-​nodding, air-​guitar-​playing, and others. This joining of patterned sound and motor behavior exists in virtually every known culture around the world, and is responsible for what William McNeill (1997) calls “muscular bonding.” It forms an “emotional residue” that, through its evolutionary connection with the collective survival of our species, holds a powerful grip over human existence (W. McNeill 1997, 38). We see here a clear causal relationship, whereby the arrangement of sonic elements

47 An example that is often brought up is that of coupled oscillators, such as electrical systems or mass-​spring systems. One of the most basic coupled oscillators is the Watt (or centrifugal) governor, which was used to control the speed of steam engines (Chemero 2009, 68ff).

50  Enacting Musical Time exerts pressure on—​and therefore imparts structure to—​movements. But envisioning music as responding to listeners’ actions may, at first blush, seem counterintuitive: typically, music is thought to unfold independently of listeners. In contrast to a performer who creates musical structure, the listener is its passive receptor inasmuch as he or she cannot literally alter the acoustical signal produced by someone else.48 However, what I mean is that although an acoustical signal unfolds regardless of a listener’s actions—​ indeed, regardless of the listener’s presence—​this presence is necessary if the signal is to be meaningful as music. To put it more sharply, only when there is a synthesis of an acoustical signal and a listener does music, as such, emerge. There must be a human being for whom this signal is “music” and not something else. This view is an ecological fleshing out and reframing of Marion Guck’s premise that “music is created between some musical sounds and a person” (Guck 2006). She writes:  “sounds do not become music until they have entered a person, until they have been heard or imagined and attended to. Music exists only in the interaction between sound and the body-​and-​mind of an individual” (Guck 1996). Both of these statements reflect a view that, far from simply absorbing sonic “information,” listeners essentially impart structure to the music in their perception, through their actions, thereby erasing the categorical distinctions between body, music, meaning, and even—​as we will see later—​affect. The Gibsonian perspective suggests that musical structure is the structure of the listener’s embodied engagement with the acoustical signal. Meaning is already evident at the level of bodily interactions. For example, tapping one’s finger to the beat—​an action that is often relegated to basic, uncontrollable impulses of the undisciplined body—​ is already an act replete with meaning. Specifically, the meaning here is what, based on music-​theoretical concepts, would be recognizable as “the beat,” but such a reference is unnecessary to seeing the tapping listener make manifest their understanding of the regularities that exist in the acoustical signal. In Chapter 3 I will show how this significance is thoroughly temporal, whereby the dynamics of unfolding sounds and the dynamics of a moving body coalesce and mutually co-​constitute one another. 48 This characterization, of course, does not apply to someone who is listening to the stereo and turns the knob to change the volume, or someone who uses a computer program to alter the pitch of a recording. In these cases, the listener turns into the producer. Nor does it refer to the trivial (although by no means irrelevant—​see, for example, works by Ryoji Ikeda) change caused by moving around the physical space within which the acoustical signal unfolds.

Meaning  51 It is important to keep in mind that music in this case is not identical with, or equivalent to, the acoustical signal, and that musical properties may not necessarily be the same as acoustical ones. In particular, the acoustical signal is the pattern of air pressure waves that humans register as sound. In addition to the signal, “music” on this view also encompasses the listener, as well as the situation in which this signal unfolds, including all of its socio-​cultural, political, and historical elements. Thus, whereas an acoustical signal has a quantifiable structure of its own, and this structure is furnished for the listener in the form of affordances, musical structure is a product of the system taken as a whole. This distinction is crucial, because it emphasizes the fact that music is as much a cultural product as it is an environmental phenomenon, and so its significance does not lie solely in its ecological import. As I will illustrate in Chapter 2, this artificial nature of music presents a challenge to current theories of musical affordances, urging us to reexamine with renewed precision what music affords for listeners, and how it does so. My position is that through its dynamical patterns it furnishes us with what I call “temporal affordances,” or cues for when to perform an action, which interact with very specific “social affordances,” or cues that govern engagement with other listeners. Later I will argue that these actions participate in the emergence of musical time. Still, although not purely objective features of the world, affordances are determined by those features to some extent. Hence, even if it is not in itself a carrier of musical meaning, the acoustical signal—​what can be thought of as the material presence of sound—​has measurable aspects that provide part of the structure that subsequently has the potential to become meaningful (for example, energy in specific bandwidths producing a sensation of timbre).49 While significance may not be inherent in the changes of air pressure that create periodic waves, it is a function of certain features of these changes, which justifies carrying out close readings of the material object in order to suggest the different ways in which it may become actualized as meaningful in the context of listening. This point is worth emphasizing because, whenever concerns about listeners’ capabilities and cultural conditions are foregrounded, all too often detailed, systematic structural analyses of music are abandoned in favor of more general observations.

49 This is not to deny the fact that the systems of measurement, as well as properties of the acoustical signal to which they are applied, are themselves purely intersubjective. Thus, what our instruments identify as “bandwidths” are only so because we have identified them as such.

52  Enacting Musical Time Scholars of ecological perception who expounded on Gibson’s ideas point to a relevant distinction between affordances and solicitations (Dreyfus 2014). On the one hand, I already noted that the rock-​as-​paperweight has many objectively quantifiable features, but few of them are relevant to the task of holding down a stack of exams. Thus, the rock’s size and weight are important in determining its suitability, but the details of its mineral composition—​while certainly a factor in how weight is perceived—​are of no immediate concern. On the other hand, affordances are defined as relations between features of the environment and the organism’s abilities. As such, they are not guaranteed to become manifest each and every time the animal comes into contact with a particular object. For a variety of reasons, abilities are subject to failure. For example, the rock-​as-​paperweight, despite its affordance for picking up, might slip out of Mary’s hand; or, trying to reach it, she might lean over too far, lose her balance, and tip over. The point is that Mary’s general ability to perform an action does not mean that she will always be able to perform it successfully. Furthermore, Mary may be variously unmotivated to perform the action, such as when she has no need for a paperweight—​even if the rock, with its affordances, is present in her environment. The existence of an affordance alone does not mean that it will always show up in perception. Rather, some affordances turn into what Merleau-​ Ponty (2012) calls “solicitations.” With regard to musical significance, the fact that such a transformation takes place suggests that only a small part of all possible meanings ever becomes actualized, and it is precisely this activity of actualization that is fundamental to the enactment of musical time. Affordances become solicitations through the body’s affective disposition toward its environment—​something that I will examine in more detail in Chapter 2, and apply to music analysis in Chapter 5. Affectivity is what drives perception by motivating the animal to engage with the external world. Perception is affective insofar as it involves a sensitivity to the animal’s particular situation, which is always dynamic and which needs to be taken into account as a background against which experience unfolds. The stance which we have toward the significant meaning inherent in the affordances around us is rarely neutral, and instead falls somewhere on the spectrum between a positive disposition and a negative one. There is always an “urgency”—​to use Silvan Tomkins’s term—​in the way things show up in perception, and it is precisely this urgency that is expressed as affectivity.50 Affect, according to 50 Silvan Tomkins’s theory appears in a large number of his writings. Its most concise version appears in his essay “Affect Theory” (1984).

Meaning  53 Tomkins, “amplifies” the world in a way that makes things matter to us, such that we are surrounded by objects and beings that hold for us some kind of value. Affects are “complex patterns of bodily reactions whose (biological) function is to respond to situations of urgent concern” (Hufendiek 2017). Given the choice of several affordances, affect is what enables the animal to pick out which one to engage with. Through this engagement, cognition and affect are intertwined with regard to the biological value of affordances. Cognition is thus not simply embodied—​that is, situated in and constrained by the physical and physiological aspects of the body embedded in some environment—​but it is also enactive, meaning that it is driven by motivations and concerns enabled by affectivity. Gallagher and Bower (2013) offer a lucid explanation: Meaningful encounters with the world imply a perceiving agent with some basic motivation to perceptually engage her surroundings. Schemata of sensorimotor contingencies give an agent the how of perception, a tacit knowledge of potential sensorimotor engagements, without giving its why, which depends on latent valences that push or pull in one direction or another for attention and for potential sensorimotor engagement, reflecting, for example, a degree of desirability. (234)

Perhaps the most important point of drawing on the theory of affordances is that musical time is not a given. It is not an a priori form that exists independently of its contents or outside of the purview of an embodied, situated listener. Music is not meaningful in and through time, but in and through the dynamical system that forms when acoustical phenomena elicit responses from enculturated listeners that make these phenomena musical—​that is to say, when the significance of sound is music. Music in this view is not an object that exists apart from the interaction between sounds and listeners. In fact, rather than an object, it might be better characterized as what Judy Lochhead calls a “network of sounding possibilities (tendencies)” (2016, 96). Time in this case is not a condition of music, but something that emerges from it, from within the network of listener-​sound interactions. Rather than music depending on time for its meaning, music means time—​a claim that I will elaborate in Chapter 2, where I posit that music furnishes listeners with specific temporal affordances set against a background of cultural expectations, and that it is at this level of the affordance system that musical meaning and musical time are inextricable, mutually co-​constitutive, and dynamically implicated in one another.

54  Enacting Musical Time Considering the issue of musical time in such a way presents us with an opportunity to situate it within embodied and enactive approaches to human cognition. This recontextualization not only enables us to use the general theoretical and methodological foundations that these approaches already supply, but also provides us with specific benefits for theories of musical meaning. First, having a robust epistemological structure in place gives us resources for talking about subjective experience while avoiding the pitfalls of solipsism. A combination of phenomenological and empirical approaches grounds subjectivity in the context of broader human cognitive capacities, while allowing for the nuances of the deeply personal, idiosyncratic bodily engagement with the musical world to emerge. Combining first-​person reflection with quantitative analyses of observable, hearable, touchable—​ indeed, feelable—​phenomena allows us to stem critique that we are dealing with “merely” subjective experiences, which cannot be generalized and are therefore largely irrelevant from the perspective of theory. Second, taking advantage of an embodied-​cognitive frame of reference implicates musical meaning within the more comprehensive human bodily capacities for meaning formation. Such a frame reveals how music is both a reflection of—​and how it is different from—​everyday dynamical patterns (Zbikowski 2002). Third, drawing on enaction and embodiment gives us the means for considering actions taken in response to musical sounds as sufficient for cognition, and thus constitutive of listeners’ musical understanding. This point is crucial because in trying to move away from linguistic explication we need to find alternative ways of grounding our observations, ways that take into account unique aspects of bodily experience without devolving into unbridled subjectivism. As I will show in Chapter 3, the mobile body provides just such a ground under this conception, because its cognitive behavior, as something enacted, is visible and available for both quantitative and qualitative analysis. Finally, since time is a critical component of the dynamical systems constituted by affordances, considering musical behavior as part of embodied cognition presents us with an opportunity to develop new tools for dealing with issues of temporality. In turn, new temporal experiences can emerge in response to the myriad ways in which contemporary composers organize musical materials, a point that will concern us throughout the remainder of this book.

2 Affordances . . . beep, bleat, bray, buzz, clack, clang, clatter, glut, hiss, hoot, jingle, jangle, moan, murmur, patter, peep, pop, purr, rattle, roar, rumble, rustle, scrape, scream, screech, scrunch, shriek, sigh, sizzle, sputter, squawk, squeal, squeak, swish, swoosh, tap, throb, thwack, thud, thump, tick, tick-​tock, trill, twang, tweet, wail, wheeze, whine, whir, whizz, wumpth, yap, yelp, zap  . . . 

Western music theory was born of noise, tracing its roots to the clamor of hammers forging metal in a Greek blacksmith’s workshop. According to legend, the unexpected harmony so stirred Pythagoras that, after performing several experiments and—​at least in Boethius’s and Gaffurius’s versions—​ disposing of a “discordant” hammer, he arrived at simple numerical ratios that efficiently expressed the most important formal relations between sounds: 1:2 for the octave, 2:3 for the perfect fifth, and 3:4 for the perfect fourth (Heller-​Roazen 2011). The story has been anthologized time and again (Bower 2008), but what is particularly interesting for us is that the series of actions that ultimately led to a theoretical explanation was triggered by a sensation of something beyond the sound’s mere indication of physical labor. Pythagoras performed a sort of sonic transfiguration—​one that took the clanging byproduct of the act of shaping alloy and turned it into the basis of music. He essentially remodeled what was initially nothing more than auditory nuisance and linked the result with both mathematics and with the order of nature itself. Noise, that auditory side effect of the blacksmiths’ actions, became the source of aesthetic pleasure, but only once it had shed its clangorous provenance and was purified of its materiality. Noise stopped

Enacting Musical Time: The Bodily Experience of New Music. Mariusz Kozak, Oxford University Press (2020). © Oxford University Press. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190080204.001.0001

56  Enacting Musical Time being noisy and instead became musical. In fact, the point of the myth is not that the philosopher found a way to anchor musical consonance in the physicality of the hammers, for it was precisely to get away from any physical foundation that Pythagoras wandered into the shop to begin with. He was from the start motivated by the possibility of grounding music in ubiquitous and unchanging laws that could apply equally to hammers, strings, and pipes—​hence covering the entire range of musical instruments. Reason alone—​secured in the immutability of numbers and unconstrained by the fallible nature of the senses—​was to account for the laws of music (no matter the lack of empirical validation).1 There are several aspects of Pythagoras’s transfiguration that are worth highlighting in the context of this chapter. First, it is telling that the Greek philosopher had little concern for rhythm. While this reflects his cultural milieu in which—​as far as modern-​day scholars can tell—​the rhythm of the music would have been tightly interwoven with that of the poetry (Mathiesen 1985), it also erases the labor of the sound-​makers, extricating their physical bodies from the constitution of the aesthetic object that their sounds create. This erasure leads to a second point, which is that there was another transfiguration simultaneously taking place: from a temporal process to a timeless object concretized in number. The blacksmiths’ actions of reconfiguring the atomic structure of the artifact on which they were working had to have been performed in a carefully orchestrated and meticulously timed sequence, which meant that the sounds of their hammers had to have had a patterned structure of their own. This structure would have been integral to the process of forging metal. With his intervention, Pythagoras might be said to have purified the hammer sounds of their noisiness in order to focus on what was his greatest concern—​their pitch relations—​essentially turning the tables and rendering the physical labor itself as the “noisy” element of sound.2 Pythagoras’s transfiguration in many respects is no different from a transfiguration that any listener performs when musically attending to a series of sounds. Noise-​as-​music is not in excess of the labor that it signifies (here 1 For Pythagoreans, sounds were physical representations of the properties of numbers. As Heller-​ Roazen (2011) notes, the old way of notating intervals as ratios (e.g., 256:243) did not specify any particular quantity (such as the product of dividing the first number by the second) or any continued increase or reduction (as in geometry, where a line can be divided into infinitely smaller segments). Rather, the notation “represented the relation of two ideal multitudes, made of ones, which, when found in the proportion of bodies such as strings, produced an audible consonance” (39). 2 Lately, this sort of purification has come under criticism from those interested in the material conditions of sound, both in its presence as an ecological fact, and as an expressive medium in musical performance (Cook 2014; Kane 2014).

Affordances  57 excess should be understood in the sense enumerated by Roland Barthes in his essay “The Third Meaning” [1978]), but is the focus of attention—​the sine qua non of the aesthetic object that is created when an auditory signal with a particular structure forms a dynamical system with a skilled listener. Yet there is one important difference. Far from shedding its materiality and becoming reified in numerical ratios, the transfiguration I am referring to is very much focused on this materiality, on the sound’s vibrational reality. Indeed, it is the way in which the very same materiality can acquire different meanings that is of main concern in this chapter. By further developing the idea of affordances already presented in Chapter 1, my aim here is to illustrate the process through which noise acquires the potential to become musical.

Breathing Arguably, few noises are more significant to humans than the sound of another human breathing. Rainer Maria Rilke beautifully expressed this sentiment when he called it an “invisible poem,” a “complete interchange of our own essence with world-​space.”3 Through the unremitting binary rhythm of inhaling and exhaling, we become the world as we take in its matter, while the world becomes us as we expel ourselves into it. Because of this reciprocity, breathing has an important subjective, psychological, and even spiritual dimension (Škof 2015). The first autonomous breath of a newborn gives rise to a brand new subjectivity, a foundation of one’s ethical relationship with others, life’s affirmation as a new node in a network that constitutes nothing less than the infant’s very being.4 Closely associated with the human soul since at least the time of the Presocratic philosophers, breath is a visual and sonic force with a singularly prolific impact.5 Its productivity is most evident in countless creation stories in which life emerged out of divine breath,6 and in cosmologies in which breath bridges the sacred and the earthly worlds.7 In each case, breathing “links body with spirit, flesh with word, nature with 3 Rainer Maria Rilke, “The Sonnets to Orpheus,” Book 2, I. 4 See, in particular, Irigaray (2004). 5 This association is especially evident in fragments by Anaximenes of Miletus (sixth century b.c.e.). 6 These stories include the myths of the Judeo-​Christian tradition, the Sioux and the Absarkoes Indians (Leeming and Leeming 1995), the Fang from Gabon (Schipper 2007), or the Ìran Yorùbá and the Ijaw, both from Nigeria (Opoku 1993). 7 Examples include the Navajo, for whom breathing maintains a connection with the ancestors and with the Changing Woman (Goeman 2008), and Mesoamerican mythology, where the breath of all living beings is partly constituted by the god of wind, Ehecatl (Taube 1993).

58  Enacting Musical Time culture, the subject with the cosmos, human beings with plants and animals and one another” (Škof and Holmes 2013, 3). As a sonic phenomenon, breathing is a special kind of noise because it is a direct and insistent sign of life, one that becomes remarkably replete with meaning when it takes on a structural role in music.8 Consider, for example, Helmut Lachenmann’s temA for flute, mezzo-​soprano, and violoncello (1968), the title of which plays on the German words “Thema” (theme) and “Atem” (breath). The piece is a veritable catalogue of extended vocal and instrumental techniques, each sound assiduously notated according to the method of its production. The composer himself referred to it as an early example of his musique concrète instrumentale, borrowing the term from Pierre Schaeffer and applying it to “instrumental sound as a sign of its production method” (Lachenmann 2004, 378). However, while linking sounds with the gestures that created them, temA does not unfold like an inventory of sound effects. Rather, it has a certain formal trajectory which foregrounds the relationship between the highly structured breathing of the singer and the “breathing” of the instruments. More precisely, the piece’s form is constituted by different breathing methods, together with their reiteration in the two instruments—​as air blown in various ways through the flute (including spoken text), and as unpitched tones played on the bridge or the side of the violoncello. This form might be described as a gradual coming together of disparate playing techniques into a relentless buildup in mm. 121–​147, which reaches its apex in the cello’s sustained “scream,” realized by playing between the bridge and the tailpiece (Example 2.1). This uneasy and potentially volatile fusion into breath is then untangled in the final nine bars of the piece (mm. 180ff), with each instrument returning to its “un-​extended” mode of sound production (Example 2.2). It is even possible to construct a narrative, emphasized by such colorful moments as the one dubbed the “sleep cadenza” by Rainer Nonnenmann (1997)—​the rhythmically regular series of inhalations and exhalations repeated ad libitum in m. 41. Such a narrative would mark this moment not only as one of respite, but also as one affectively enriched by its intimacy and vulnerability. 8 The bodily presence signified by breath is often regarded as extraneous to musical expression, evident, for example, in its systematic removal from song recordings (Zagorski-​Thomas 2014). Weinstein (2016) argues that the highly mediated and creative ways in which sounds of breathing are added and taken out of recordings point to its function as an affectively charged “expressive device” capable of constructing the embodied presence of the performer (119).

Affordances  59 Example 2.1  Helmut Lachenmann, temA, mm. 135–​148. © 1971 by Musiverlage Hans Gerig, Köln 1980, assigned to Breitkopf & Härtel, Wiesbaden. Reprinted by permission.

Pushing against this reading, I want to suggest that the underlying implication of agency makes for a listening encounter that all too readily succumbs to the indexical power of sound, specifically its ability to mark the performing body in ways that are predictable and prosaic. As an

60  Enacting Musical Time Example 2.2  Helmut Lachenmann, temA, mm. 179–​end. © 1971 by Musiverlage Hans Gerig, Köln 1980, assigned to Breitkopf & Härtel, Wiesbaden. Reprinted by permission.

alternative listening strategy, I encourage the reader to resist the temptation to create a story for the piece, and to focus instead on how remnants of agency give way to the sonic materiality of breath. Shift your attention from who is breathing and under what circumstances, to an experience in

Affordances  61 which you imagine yourself grasping the acoustical signal by reaching into the sound itself. Note how this experience does not completely vaporize the presence of performers. To the contrary, their own agency in making sounds is amplified, because each subtle change in air pressure waves marks the body that creates it. Consider how you might be able to draw on the intercorporeal relationship between yourself and those performers to turn their creations into objects of your care. In concordance with Lachenmann’s conception of the unpitched sounds as integral to the piece’s design—​rather than existing as mere “humorous, Dadaist, or expressionist elements” (Lachenmann 2004)—​what solicits the listener’s attention is the temporal artifice of these sounds, the logic working in the background. Sustained processes, like the aforementioned mm. 121–​147, serve as evidence of a meticulous construction. Whereas Lachenmann foregrounds the way in which breath plays a structural role of linking the bodies of performers, Anna Clyne’s Roulette for string quartet and tape (2007) is notable for the jarring dissociation between the musicians playing on a darkened stage and disembodied, phantasmagoric gasps scattered across the musical surface. The piece begins with a sharp intake of air performed by the violist and the second violinist, which initiates a haunting, wispy diatonic melody (Example 2.3). The melody gradually rises in pitch until the climactic point in m. 41, wandering almost aimlessly, the only structure provided by the occasional gasps (indicated with crossed noteheads in the example). From the start, it combines the physically present string quartet with prerecorded choral vocals that double them in unison, creating a mystical quality that brings the listener into an alien, yet surprisingly intimate, sound world. The gasps are extraordinary in several respects. Most notably, they are unusually loud and almost always produced by an instrument that does not initiate the next phrase. Since their duration and loudness are typically correlated with fast passages, they are strangely incongruous to the character of the moderately paced melody. They sound effortful and strained, as if the time to draw them were insufficient for the labor required to produce long singing lines. In all, Clyne progressively reveals them to be artificial, which she does by continually extending their length, subjecting them to increasingly obvious transformations, and abruptly changing their timbral envelopes. The process reaches a peak in m.  50, where we hear one continuous breath that could not possibly have been made by a living human being. Past this point—​which occurs early in the piece, as if to draw our attention to the structural relationship between liveness and

62  Enacting Musical Time artifice—​there is no longer any doubt that the breaths are produced and enhanced electronically, eventually disappearing from the ensemble. Accounting for the role of breath in temA and Roulette means accounting for the bodily presence of performers—​much as I showed in the previous chapter in the case of Norman’s “Susanna.” In temA, the presence Example 2.3  Anna Clyne, Roulette, mm. 1–​53, full score and reduction showing the compound melody. Crossed noteheads indicate “sharp vocal inhalation.” © 2007 By Circle Line Music Exclusive Worldwide Administrators, Boosey & Hawkes, Inc. International Copyright Secured. Used With Permission. All Rights Reserved.

Affordances  63 Example 2.3 Continued

is thematized in the musicians’ effort, whereas in Roulette, an interpretive impulse emerges in response to the conspicuous absence of performing bodies. But it also means accounting for the bodily presence of the listener who responds to these sounds in a way that makes them musical, rather than noise:  a sonic byproduct of an otherwise non-​sonic action. This presence may be reason for some discomfort, because it slips out of our theoretical grasp by virtue of forming the very background of this theory, hence refusing to be modeled rationally. I will argue in Chapter 3 that the body is indispensable to musical understanding even as it eludes attempts at representation, but first it needs to be shown how noise in general, and breathing in particular, becomes aestheticized. In the case of both temA and Roulette, I do not perceive a defleshed and deboned persona injected into the music by the performer, but neither is the presence of audible breath a simple matter of information specifying a bodily or affective state of an agent—​which I will call “ecological information.” Since breathing sounds in this music constitute elements of structure, they expose a certain underlying level of contrivance. What I mean by this is that in situations where breath is not foregrounded and meticulously specified in the score, performers who rely on it as a bodily function that sustains expression (e.g., singers, actors, lectors) adjust their

64  Enacting Musical Time own breathing to the particulars of the situation. They do this by lengthening and shortening the time between breaths, and by controlling expiration in order to achieve desired phrasing. By contrast, breath that has been composed into the structure of a piece becomes static, paradoxically no longer participating in the rhythm that emerges in a “natural” context. In both Lachenmann and Clyne, artifice is intermingled with reality, such that while I do not necessarily feel the urge to jump onto the stage to save the gasping singer, I am also not completely distanced from her. I am immersed in a situation that obligates me to attend to the sounds in a particular manner—​to listen aesthetically. Human breath is characterized by its special status as a marker of bodily effort and intimacy, its power to signify life in general, and its close link with musical expression.9 In this chapter, it will stand in as a sound that has the potential to be transformed from a sonic byproduct of the physical action of breathing to an auditory event with aesthetic significance; in short, a sound that can turn from noise into music. In what follows, I will offer one explication of this process by further developing the concept of affordances in the specific context of music. In agreement with Luciano Berio (1985), who famously defined music as “everything one listens to with the intention of listening to music,” I will argue that all sounds have the capacity to become music through an interaction of two kinds of affordances: social and temporal.10 The former specify the kind of normative behavior that is available to the listening agent, while the latter supply the framework for when to articulate this behavior. To formalize this process, I will extend Anthony Chemero’s situation semantics model of affordances, subsequently illustrating its efficacy by returning to the phantasmagoric breaths in Clyne’s Roulette and examining in detail the very first sound that opens the piece.

Becoming Music (Behave So Strangely) It would be a Sisyphean task to enumerate all the different criteria that listeners might use when distinguishing music from noise. Even phenomena that are not typically considered as such—​for example, the sound 9 This special status of breath is especially evidenced by its inclusion in and exclusion from contemporary sound recordings. See especially Weinstein (2016). 10 Paul Hegarty (2012) analyzes the relationship between noise and time from Bergsonian and Deleuzian perspectives.

Affordances  65 of a lawn mower, or trees rustling in the wind, or a laughing baby—​might be turned into aesthetic objects given the right setting and the right audience. At issue is the fact that noise, as Dyson points out, “always brings with it the materiality, the physicality, and the actuality of the situation” (2014, 10). Noise is not so much a sonic object, but a vibrational index (in a semiotic sense) of the physicality of environmental events. Noise is humans, machines, animals, plants, meteorological phenomena, everything that makes sound in the course of its functioning. David Novak (2015) echoes Dyson when he writes that “noise is an essentially relational concept. It can only take on meaning by signifying something else, but it must remain incommensurably different from that thing that we do know and understand” (126). Novak further notes that the difference between noise and music results from the aesthetic grounds on which both are evaluated. “Music is constituted by beautiful, desirable sounds, and noise is composed of sounds that are unintentional and unwanted” (126). Because categories like beauty, desire, and intentionality are never fixed, the line between music and noise seems to be discursive: what sounds like music to one group might be meaningless noise to another. Paul Hegarty claims that “if noise and music are intimately connected from the outset, then any attempt to get at the core of the functioning of one will tell us something about the other” (2012, 22). Pursuing this idea further, the discursive line between the two terms might provide a clue to what distinguishes noise from music. In particular, noise interferes with the successful reception of whatever the agent at the source is trying to communicate. Music emerges when the agent who creates sound recedes into the background, and what comes forward is the relationship between the listener and the sounds themselves. Such a proposal might seem obstinately indifferent to some of the recent critiques of acousmatic hearing—​a mode of listening associated with Pierre Schaeffer’s musique concrète, in which the source of sound is actively suppressed in order to grasp the elusive (and, as it turns out, illusory) sonic object in its autonomous state.11 And yet, I would argue that to attend to the relationship between sounds does not necessarily erase their connection with the sound-​producing agent. If anything, it emphasizes this connection by foregrounding the listener’s own physical and affective relationship to the agent, and it does so precisely through the lived temporality of the encounter. As I will show later, the disappearance of the

11 For a trenchant critique of acousmatic hearing, see especially Kane (2014).

66  Enacting Musical Time human agent responsible for making noise leaves behind a temporal residue which prolongs the physical encounter that gave rise to the sound in the first place. Under these conditions, it is possible for the semiotic value of sound to change without altering its acoustical features. The question, then, concerns the extent to which the sonic phenomenon stops signifying something else and begins to signify itself, to draw attention to itself. The meaning of the musical sonic phenomenon is no longer “incommensurably different” with that which it signifies, but becomes identical to itself. It becomes self-​signifying. In a well-​known experiment that tested how speech can turn into music, Diana Deutsch and colleagues (2011) played for participants a spoken statement, from which they then extracted a short fragment and began to repeat it at a regular time interval. For the vast majority of listeners, these looped chunks of speech began to “behave so strangely” as to transform into music. In a move that echoes Schaeffer’s earliest conceptualizations of musique concrète, the spoken phrase turned into song by repetition alone, without any other changes to the acoustical signal. Elizabeth Margulis (2013) suggested that Deutsch’s speech-​to-​song illusion works because the repetition of the chunk leads to the phenomenon of semantic satiation, which occurs when “repeated viewings, utterances, or hearings of the same word cause it to seem to degenerate into nonsense” (17). The semantic aspect of the spoken fragment disappears, opening up the possibility of attending to its other features, such as prosody and rhythm. Brian Kane (2014) makes a similar point when he writes that “the locked-​groove recording or tape loop, like word spoken over and over again, halts the flow of signification and promotes, through repetition, the hearing of sounds as such” (26). These are valid observations, but what strikes me about Deutsch’s experiment is that signification does not disappear completely. Words do not become nonsense: they are still there, perfectly understandable by anyone with the right abilities. Rather than halting signification, repetition in this case allows something else to become constituted in perception. Signification is supplemented with a quality that might be comprehended as somehow being “musical.” Deutsch’s experiment illustrates that when speech is broken up into chunks and then looped, its prosodic aspects become explicit as objects of attention. (In fact, one could argue that Deutsch’s own term for the effect—​ a speech-​to-​song illusion—​is not entirely accurate, because the experiment did not involve any manipulation or distortion of perception that would have caused the listener to hear something that is not “there.”) The spoken

Affordances  67 fragment became musical once it attained a certain temporal shape. This was done solely through repetition: the melodic contour of the phrase emerged without prolonging any of the phonemes.12 More importantly, the phrase did not lose its connection with the source. Rather, I will argue below that the transformation occurred at the level of affordances, where the acoustical signal began to signify information that differs from ecological sounds.

Musical Affordances I mentioned in passing in Chapter 1 that Gibson’s concept of affordances has proven remarkably valuable for music researchers, particularly those concerned with interactions between musicians and their instruments, and with the importance of those interactions for the interpretation and understanding of musical structure. As W. Luke Windsor and Christophe de Bézenac (2012) have shown, the term’s widespread use in recent literature points to its theoretical foundation in ecological approaches to perception and cognition. If not always technically faithful to Gibson’s original formulation, the privileging of the physical connection between the bodies of performers and the bodies of instruments is not surprising:  from the perceiver’s perspective, ecological sounds specify their own sources and causes in order to alert the organism to the presence of things in their immediate environment. In the case of musical sounds, affordances specify instruments that produce them (source), as well as the bodily effort with which they were generated (cause). Physical musical instruments have their own affordances that are exploited by composers and performers. One could reasonably assert, in fact, that music considered as a cultural artifact draws on the affordances used to produce it. Whether pre-​composed or improvised, solo or in ensembles, the kinds of music that can be performed are constrained by the physical makeup of the instruments and of those playing them, including the human voice.13 Far less has been written about how, within a strict understanding of ecological perception, affordances can be relevant to listeners. Among the authors who commit themselves to this perspective, many, including 12 Simchy-​Gross and Margulis (2018) have recently shown that the transformation can also occur with nonspeech sounds. 13 For a recent exploration of the relationship between instrumental affordances, performance technique, and musical structure, see De Souza (2017).

68  Enacting Musical Time Windsor and de Bézenac, haphazardly apply it to concepts, rather than to percepts.14 In one incisive critique, Marilyn Nonken (2008) has illustrated how in Eric Clarke’s Ways of Listening (2005)—​one of the first applications of ecological perception to music theory and analysis—​ the notion of affordances becomes dangerously licentious, encompassing categories that may pertain to what one does while listening to music, but not necessarily having anything to do with the direct perception of music. For Clarke, music affords “dancing, singing (and singing along), playing (and playing along), working, persuading, drinking and eating, doing aerobics, taking drugs, playing air guitar, traveling, protesting, seducing, waiting on the telephone, sleeping . . . the list is endless” (Clarke 2005, 204). It is indeed the implausibility of this endlessness that should give us pause, especially when we undo Clarke’s rhetorical move and use Gibson’s original grammatical expression of “affordance” as a noun. Its general formula is [verb-​phrase]-​ability, such that an apple has the affordance of eat-​ability, a rock of throw-​ability, a conspecific of copulate-​with-​ability, or fire of cook-​with-​ability (Scarantino 2003). Applying this construct to Clarke yields some perplexing claims, according to which music would have the affordance of drug-​taking-​ability, or protest-​ ability, or sleep-​ability. While there is no denying that such activities may be facilitated or made more enjoyable with the addition of a musical accompaniment, there is nothing in sound that specifies such behavior any more than would, say, sunny weather or a comfortable couch. Instead of bodily engagement, considering affordances in such a prodigiously expanded form ultimately leads Clarke to emphasize what he calls the “virtual” aspect of musical listening. For him, musical meaning is fundamentally based on listeners’ perception of motion that is virtually “specified in musical sound” (Clarke 2005, 69). Even when not moving explicitly, listeners understand musical passages through their own sensation of self-​motion. Clarke’s argument is that music reflects general ecological perception, in which sounds, by means of change, virtually specify the “motional characteristics of their sources” (74). However, this presents a problem from an ecological perspective, because it transforms the concept of affordances into a metaphor, once again countering Gibson, for whom these are real, physically 14 Windsor and de Bézenac (2012) themselves list five areas in which the concept might be pertinent in musical listening: (1) movement in general, (2) synchronization and entrainment, (3) mood management, (4) verbal activity in the form of writing and talking about music, and (5) interpretation of music. Of these, only the first two exemplify a truly ecological, embodied application of Gibson’s theory.

Affordances  69 instantiated phenomena. This puts Clarke in dangerously close proximity to the very cognitivist accounts he expressly confronts, whereby the (musical) environment is meaningless in itself and requires “enrichment”—​albeit now in the form of culture, rather than mental representations—​in order to be significant to the listener. Taking a stand that is in keeping with the more fundamental tenets of eco­ logical perception, Rolf Inge Godøy (2010) focuses on how music directly affords movement by providing “movement-​inducing cues,” or “gestural affordances,” which “listeners extract [ . . . ] from streams of musical sound” (104). Movement in this case is induced by specific features of sound that specify the sound’s source, as well as the manner in which that source was excited in order to generate pressure waves. Listeners not only draw out this information, but can also project onto sound previously learned images of movements related to sound production. “The idea of gestural affordances of musical sound,” writes Godøy, “initially rests on the assumption that musical sound is a transducer of source-​information, meaning both the actions that go into producing the sound [ . . . ] and the material properties of the sound source” (106). The recognition of the causes and sources of sound constitutes ecological knowledge in listening, such that by becoming familiar with how sounds are produced “listeners will have a repertoire of sound-​producing gestures” (106). Godøy’s hypothesis echoes Gibson’s own insistence that both aesthetic experience and everyday perception have their basis in reality. “The same stimulus array,” Gibson (1966) wrote in a rare mention of music, will always afford the same perceptual experience insofar as it carries the same variables of structural information. [ . . . ] I would argue that structural sequence of sounds may in fact be music, 18th century music, Mozart, badly played Mozart, a sonata, etc. All of them are in the structure of the sounds. When a listener “hears” one rather than another, he does not detect a difference in the structure for the different perception, he only abstracts different features of the available structure. I do not mean that he detects different structures in each case. Structure, in sound and light, is inexhaustibly rich. (248)

Yet, while Godøy’s proposal is attractive from an ecological perspective of sound perception in general, it stops short of explaining music as an aesthetic phenomenon—​an artefactual process whose meaning somehow exceeds its

70  Enacting Musical Time environmental significance. The theory currently does not address the difference between what music affords, and how sounds more generally carry information about their sources and causes. Godøy’s supposition renders music a trace left behind by objects and actions that make sounds, from which the listener can deduce, with greater or lesser acuity, which objects were used and how they were played. Music simply becomes what Nicholas Brown (2006) calls “an audible vestige, a memento mori” of sound-​producing gestures, a ghost of a human presence that at some point exerted itself but has long since receded into the past. There is little doubt that instrumental affordances play a crucial role in our understanding of music. Indeed, conditions of production are firmly embedded in the physical reality of the acoustical signal—​its materiality—​ regardless of whether they are foregrounded as such. For example, when I listen to a performance of J. S. Bach’s “Chaconne” from his Partita for Solo Violin No. 2 (BWV 1004), even if I am unaware of the violin as a physical presence because I am focusing on the repeating bass line, this presence is what makes it possible for me to hear the bass line in this way, and not some other way. The materiality of the instrument is constitutive of my experience: the gentle curve of the modern-​day violin bridge aligns the strings in an arc that necessitates a “breaking” of triple-​and quadruple-​stops; the tuning makes some voicings possible while prohibiting others; the very shape of the instrument enables specific formants to resonate more strongly than others, and so on. Unlike instruments that can sustain several voices at once—​for example, the organ—​the “running off ” of the bass line is linked with the physicality of violin. Even the violinist’s body, with its unique anatomy sculpted by both genetics and years of practice, makes its imprint on the acoustical signal. This idea is explored in detail by Jonathan De Souza (2017), who writes that “instruments are not so easily hidden” from the ears of listeners. Examining Joseph Haydn’s use of horns as an illustration of how “instrumental invariance shapes perception and understanding for listeners, much as it does for players” (147–​48), De Souza argues that different modes of engaging with sound—​including attention to the sound’s source (écouter) and to its morphology (entendre)—​are deeply interconnected, such that each one has the capacity to activate the other.15 Hence, in the case of a horn call, the sounds’ affordances change with each mode, even if the physical structure of the acoustical signal remains invariant. Suffusing the listener’s experience

15 The two French terms come from Schaeffer (1966, 104).

Affordances  71 is a residue of the actions that went into creating the call, as well as the call’s broader cultural meaning in eighteenth-​century Europe. De Souza models this relationship with the help of Lawrence Barsalou’s (1999) theory of perceptual symbol systems.16 On this perspective, sounds activate neural networks composed of different partial inscriptions that have previously encoded different aspects of the listener’s encounters with horns: how the instrument is played, what social function it serves, what are its typical melodic and harmonic patterns found in the repertory, and so on. According to De Souza, these become available to a varying extent in the context of a concrete listening situation. One can also think of musical listening as a transformation from one mode of listening to another, or even a series of transformations, since the process can occur continuously during the course of a single experience. Without denying the effects of the sound source and the listener’s personal background on the richness of experience, I  should like to point out that music, in addition to structuring the environment of listeners and guiding their bodily responses, is also thoroughly imbued with aesthetic meaning. It is a human artifact created precisely because no other event or phenomenon in existence—​either natural or contrived—​can fulfill its myriad functions, including not only those intended for communication and communion, but also those of inducing pleasure, engagement, desire, physicality, contemplation, seduction, spiritual fulfillment, or, more broadly, of managing relationships in situations of “social uncertainty” (Cross and Woodruff 2009, 113).17 As a construct, music generates a complex relationship between objects, events, and listening subjects by both drawing on and artistically extending the temporal structures of everyday listening. Music offers both a reconceptualization of ecological sounds, as well as a repurposing of eco­logical actions, which together serve as specific tools for particular communities: music is recognizable as being meaningful as music by virtue of attending to it as music. Thus, musical meaning inheres not only in its environmental significance, but also in a dimension of sound that is separate from information about what caused it. Its meaning is immanent in the relationship between listeners and their sonic environment.

16 Zbikowski (2017) also draws on Barsalou’s theory in his discussion of how analogs are formed between sounds and other dynamic processes. 17 Note that, pace Clarke, music does not afford any of these; rather, its affordances create the conditions of possibility for these functions to emerge.

72  Enacting Musical Time In light of this immanence, the theoretical problem with pieces like temA and Roulette does not so much concern the difference between écouter and entendre, but rather the process of aestheticizing sounds regardless of one’s mode of engagement. In other words, I can hear the gasps, groans, wheezes, or hisses as noises that issue from a body—​a very real, physical manifestation of what Barthes (1978) called the “grain” of sound—​but still have no inclination to act as if they signified an ecological event that requires my ecological response (e.g., running up to the stage to help the suffering performer). To me, the difference in reacting to these sounds as aesthetic sonic objects stems from being able to attend to two particular subsets of their affordances: social and temporal affordances that together specify aesthetic behavior. The main hurdle in addressing music’s significance is one of grounding aesthetics in ecology. After all, aesthetic experience is typically associated with “higher-​order” cognitive processing, a view that prefers to take ecology and perception out of the equation altogether. Such a stance leaves in its wake only a rarified, decisively disembodied and categorically cerebral aesthetic experience. How, then, can the body, indentured as it is to its ecological medium, participate in this endeavor beyond merely transporting information from the outside world into the mind? How can it function as anything more than a mediator between the stimulant-​rich external world and a brain engaged in performing logical operations and computing rational answers? More broadly, how can the notion of affordances capture musical meaning that is not limited to everyday listening, but that also takes into account the surplus of significance that releases it from containment in fixed structures? Clarke (2005) takes it on principle that “the material objects and practices that constitute culture are just as directly specified in the auditory invariants of music as the events and objects of the natural environment are specified in their corresponding auditory information” (47). And yet, rather than a principle, the way in which affordances participate in cultural practices is precisely what has to be theorized. Still needed is a mechanism that does not merely help us acknowledge, but actually explains the difference between, for example, the sound of someone gasping for air because they are startled, and breath as a structural aspect of Clyne’s Roulette. Such an explanation requires making a case that music has its own affordances, apart from its putative causes, and that these affordances are perceivable directly by the listener. A  proposal that does exactly that has been put forth by Joel Krueger, who claims that music “presents itself as an environmental resource inviting interaction,” and, by way of its structural

Affordances  73 features, affords “synchronous and sustained motor engagement” (Krueger 2014). Krueger’s provocative suggestion is that we perceive music as an aesthetic process—​and not, say, as an auditory cue that signals the location of a performer—​because we perceive its singular “motor potentialities.” What functionally distinguishes music from other environmental sounds is simply that we move to music in particular, unique ways, which are neither reproduced in any other forms of behavior, nor engendered by any other naturally occurring or artificially created phenomenon. This includes overt and ubiquitous movements, like dancing or marching along with music, as well as subtler nodding and tapping of body parts in coordination with music’s temporal dynamics.18 It also includes somewhat less overt, more surreptitious tension and bodily adjustments in response to experientially and emotionally marked moments in music, for example languid, ceaseless melodies that lack clear boundaries, or sudden loud chords that indicate the start of a new section (Burger et al. 2013). Furthermore, music’s motor potentialities are also manifested in the activation of premotor and motor areas of the brain, even when overt movements are suppressed (Cameron and Grahn 2014). Krueger’s view of the function of music affordances—​including their behavioral and emotional dimensions—​is quite detailed, but he shies away from offering a rigorous, analytically relevant definition. What remains to be examined is how these affordances are co-​constituted by the specific features of the environment and by the abilities of listeners. From the perspective of an affordance theory of music, two questions persist: (1) What is directly perceivable in music that has the potential to engender movements of listeners, and (2) how is it perceived? Music has to be shown to furnish the perceiving listener with musical information, which must be available for direct pickup and inhere in the relation between the listener and some pattern of acoustical energy.

Situation Semantics Gibson argued that perception is a process of creating perceptual information through active exploration of one’s environment. For example, changing

18 On synchronized movement and its importance to human cultural development, see McNeill (1997). For a general overview of the different ways in which listeners coordinate movement with music, see Jensenius et al. (2010).

74  Enacting Musical Time the position of one’s head creates a motion parallax, as well as a difference in the arrival times of sound, which, respectively, are instrumental in creating information about the distances of objects and the directions from which the sounds are coming. Unlike extensional processes, in which the organism is presumed to first perceive objects and only subsequently extract or infer their features, perception in the Gibsonian sense is intensional: animals perceive the covarying relations between their own abilities and aspects of the environment that solicit actions.19 Objects, including sonic ones, are irrelevant to the organism’s behavior, contrived as they are after the fact in order to place them into particular categories. This process is captured by Anthony Chemero’s (2009) situation semantics model of affordances, in which he proposes that information “exists in situations, which are roughly local, incomplete possible worlds” (116). In particular, information is the relation between the features of the environment and the patterns of invariants that specify those features to the perceiving organism. The relation between situation types—​general categories of situations—​constrains the relation between features and patterns of invariants in the energy array, here considered as situation tokens. When a situation type S1 constrains some other situation type S2, a particular instance of the second (constrained) type (token s2) carries information about a particular instance (token s1) of the first (constraining) situation type. The model is illustrated graphically in Figure 2.1a. Here, what is given to the organism in the energy array is represented by s2. Chemero illustrates this model using a concrete example of an X-​ray. As shown in Figure 2.1b, available to the perceiver is a specific visual pattern (s2), which is taken as a token of a situation type (S2) where such patterns are images of an animal’s bones. Given that broken bones (situation type S1) cause (constrain) these images so that they represent these bones in a certain way—​that is, they form certain optical arrays available to the perceiver—​the particular visual pattern currently observed carries information that it is an image of a specific broken bone (s1). Taking Chemero’s proposal further, Rob Withagen and John van der Kamp (2010) contend that perceptual information is constituted by a relation between a perceiver and invariant patterns of energy. In their view, Chemero does not fully account for how the actual object of perception is constituted, 19 Covariance refers to the joint fluctuation of variables relative to each other. See more in Hutto (2013).

Affordances  75 (a) S1




(b) S2 is

specifies or correlates with



broken bones

X-ray patterns



some broken bone

this X-ray

specifies or correlates with

Figure 2.1  (a) A generalized situation semantics model of affordances (after Chemero 2009). (b) Information carried by an X-​ray.

implying that some sort of internal processing is necessary on the part of the perceiving organism. The authors thus propose that the object of perception is specified by the relation between a perceiver and environmental invariants. “A pattern in the ambient array can become perceptual information only in the process of perception,” they write, emphasizing the fact that animals must be actively involved in the constitution of information (Withagen and van der Kamp 2010, 158). When considered relationally, “the same pattern can convey different information to different animals, or even for the same animal at different moments in time” (158). Conversely, the same perceptual information can be conveyed by different patterns of energy. In either case, which specific physical attribute of an object or event fulfills the role of signaling an affordance is not know in advance of performing a task for the purpose of achieving some goal. What is given to the organism’s sensory apparatus are patterns of energy represented by s2. Based on the relationship “S1 constrains S2,” s2 specifies—​ or otherwise more or less correlates with—​s1: features of the environment. However, the relationship “s1 ← s2” only becomes activated in the moment of perception, which is to say that some perception-​action (p-​a) activates “s1 ← s2.” Thus, even while the relation between situation types—​“S1 constrains S2”—​can exist without a perceiver present in the environment, “s1 ← s2” can only exist when there is a perceiver perceiving s2. All that matters for that perceiver directly is that s2 “becomes perceptual information for” p-​a, which then specifies s2. Furthermore, if, from the perspective of the perceiver, s1 covaries with s2, then s2 specifies this particular s1. Otherwise, it either specifies some other s1, or else some other s2 actually covaries with s1. For example, given

76  Enacting Musical Time some pattern of invariant energy in my visual field, if, as I move around it, the pattern covaries with my movements in a particular way, I might perceive this pattern as a coffee mug by virtue of it specifying features of the environment that afford behavior on my part that is appropriate to its “coffee mug–​ness”—​grasping, picking up, filling with liquid, drinking from, and so on. If the pattern does not covary in exactly this way, then it might specify information that what I perceive is actually a flat picture of a mug, which does not afford typical coffee mug–​related behavior (s2 specifies some other s1). On the other hand, if I pick up an object in which there is coffee, but the object does not resemble any mug that I have encountered before, what specifies the affordance for behavior appropriate to its “coffee mug–​ness” is just the fact that it holds coffee, and not its non-​coffee-​mug-​specifying features (some other s2 actually covaries with s1). In fact, our everyday lives are saturated with examples of situations like this, and our ability to deal with them is critical in our skillful coping with the environment. In particular, it involves a flexible, improvisatory attitude that we express toward objects, allowing us to use them ad hoc (for instance, when a coffee mug becomes an impromptu pencil holder or a paper weight). Figure 2.2 shows my refinement of Chemero’s model in which I incorporate Withagen and van der Kamp’s shift of the ontology of perceptual information from the relation between objects and invariant patterns of energy to the relation between these patterns and the perceiver. This is illustrated by the addition of the “P-​A is p-​a” type-​token segment on the right side of the graph. Of note here is the fact that the relationship between s2 and s1 obtains as information but s2 need not necessarily specify—​but can merely correlate with—​s1. Meanwhile, the reciprocal nature of the perception–​action/​environment system is emphasized by the additional arrow from p-​a to “s1 ← s2.” The upshot of the preceding discussion is that both affordances and information are kinds of relations:  affordances are relations between environmental features and perceivers’ abilities, and information is a relation between environmental features and patterns of energy that may specify or imply affordances to the perceiver. The pickup of energy as specifying or implying affordances is correlated with the way these invariants are specified or implied by the environment. The organism’s ability to attend to invariants activates the information relation relative to that organism, turning it into perceptual information. In turn, this perceptual information becomes an affordance when it specifies or implies features of the environment that the organism can use to guide action and behavior.

Affordances  77 S1








specifies or correlates with

s1: features of the environment s2: patterns of energy p–a: perception–action



becomes perceptual information for



Figure 2.2  Perceptual information within the information relation (after Withagen and van der Kamp 2009).

Cultural Information The utility of the situation semantics model of affordances is obvious in cases of what might be regarded as law-​like, or causal, constraints between situation types S1 and S2. For example, the size of a ball physically constrains one’s ability to grasp it, or the height of a step places a natural limit on whether it is climbable. Under such conditions, the structure of the energy array is patterned according to ecological laws, or regularities in the relationships between the array and various objects and creatures in the environment as they are perceived by a physically situated organism. However, this model does not yet explain how what might be called the aesthetic information in music—​its meaning in excess of its ecological significance—​can be perceived directly in the acoustical signal. It remains unclear how the constraints between S1 and S2 can reveal information about the sound’s aesthetic qualities without recourse to metaphors. Although Clarke’s engagement with the cultural significance of affordances ultimately leads him into the ecologically dubious realm of virtuality, it does open up a productive path for broadening the applicability of the concept to encompass the aesthetic dimension of music. Especially germane is his assertion—​which I will use as my own starting point—​that “auditory

78  Enacting Musical Time information can specify what may be regarded as abstract events—​and certainly events that are overwhelmingly culturally defined” (Clarke 2005, 46). While continuing in this direction will ultimately turn out to be productive, it requires a definition of a process or mechanism by which ecological information becomes aesthetic information for an embodied, embedded, competent listener. As I will show in this section, it is possible to offer such a definition in a way that remains grounded in the material (rather than abstract) reality of music. “In some quarters of academia, aesthetics is a dirty word.” This point-​blank salvo, which opens Joanna Demers’s monograph Listening through the Noise (2010), encapsulates the anxieties and the handwringing characteristic of some musical scholarship that has emerged in the wake of New Musicology. In these academic quarters, “aesthetic theory seems irreconcilably ideological, an instrument for reinforcing the values and prejudices that have kept a few artists and art consumers in comfort, while making sure that many more artworks and artistic practices lurk in obscurity and comparative poverty” (Demers 2010, 3). Questions of value, autonomy, beauty, or disinterested and affectively divested experience—​all of which are hallmarks of aesthetics discourse—​sound naïve and archaic to scholars who cut their intellectual teeth on the likes of Julia Kristeva, Jacques Derrida, and Michel Foucault (or, in musicology specifically, Joseph Kerman, Susan McClary, and Lawrence Kramer). Swept up by the wave of highly influential texts decrying what was seen as culturally deaf formalism, scholarship today tends instead to foreground issues related to the conditions of possibility of art production, the political and economic implications in music listening, and the construction of identity through musical engagement—​while always mindful of the historical and socio-​cultural contingency of audile know-​how, the constructedness of listening techniques (Sterne 2003). Yet, as Demers reminds us, “any critical writing that seeks to explain what art is, why we produce it, and what distinguishes art from nonart is aesthetics, and thus, in a sense, musicology by definition is a project of aesthetics” (2010, 4). While cognizant of the cultural, historical, and social environments as constructs that can enable—​and also inhibit—​the production and consumption of art, “aesthetics cannot reduce artworks to their cultural, historical, or social backgrounds; otherwise there would be nothing to distinguish art from nonartistic activities. Aesthetic theory [ . . . ] must be sensitive to sociology while also being courageous enough to offer statements about why art is specific to itself and distance from other activities” (10).

Affordances  79 To follow this line of thinking is to emphasize what John Dewey (1980) described as a continuity between everyday and aesthetic experience. Dewey challenged approaches that place artistic creations within a realm in which they are to be contemplated in terms of their uniqueness and singularity. Artistic activity may be qualitatively differentiated from what Dewey called “normal experience,” but it is nevertheless an extension of typical life processes, which consist of the pursuit of harmonious symbiosis of organism and world. “Life itself,” he suggested, consists of phases in which the organism falls out of step with the march of surrounding things and then recovers unison with it—​either through effort or by some happy chance. And, in a growing life, the recovery is never mere return to a prior state, for it is enriched by the state of disparity and resistance through which it has successfully passed. [ . . . ] Life grows when a temporary falling out is a transition to a more extensive balance of the energies of the organism with those of the conditions under which it lives. (Dewey 1980, 12–​13)

Out of this cycle of falling out and reuniting with the world emerges a rhythm. The loss of union is what elicits an emotional reaction, and this reaction becomes the “material of reflection” for a human being. “With the realization [of harmony between organism and world], material of reflection is incorporated into objects as their meaning” (Dewey 1980, 14). Emotional meaning is thus at the very core of the objects humans encounter in their environment. It is then the role of the artist, who “cares in a peculiar way for the phase of experience with which union is achieved,” not to “shun moments of resistance and tension,” but to “cultivate them, not for their own sake but because of their potentialities, bringing to living consciousness an experience that is unified and total” (14). Art, for Dewey, “celebrates with peculiar intensity the moments in which the past reinforces the present and in which the future is a quickening of what now is” (17). Lawrence Zbikowski echoes Dewey when he notes that the primary function of music within human culture is “to represent through patterned sounds various dynamic processes that are common in human experience,” in particular experiences of psychological states and of bodily movements (2012, 127). This suggests that, rather than a categorical boundary between “everyday” and “aesthetic,” there exists a continuum of experience, determined by the perceiver’s relation toward the object of perception. In the case

80  Enacting Musical Time of sound, there is nothing inherently aesthetic about the acoustical signal that is perceived as music; instead, the listener picks up something that engenders an aesthetic stance or behavior. I want to suggest that this “something” refers to specific affordances that, just like any other artifact created for either its utilitarian or aesthetic function, enable and constrain certain actions that fall within expected social norms. In turn, such norms become the input into the situation semantics model of information, whereby instead of offering law-​like causal constraints, S1 constrains S2 by virtue of conventions and customs. If aesthetic behavior is continuous with everyday activity, then the theory of affordances ought to be able to explain music as an aesthetic process without recourse to the indirect virtual world of abstract events. To do so would enable us to escape the problems with aesthetics enumerated by Demers, especially the pernicious suggestions that works of art are autonomous and self-​contained. In the process, it would be possible to jettison the idea of “disinterestedness” from aesthetic experience altogether, seeing it for the problematic Enlightenment construct that it is, and replace it with a bodily commitment to the work through envelopment, immersion, and directness of perception.20 At the same time, music would remain functional—​ satisfying the premise of ecological perception—​but its function would encompass aesthetic components of experience. One important premise to ground the discussion of aesthetics in the context of affordances is that aesthetic experience creates meaning within a field of possibilities delimited by cultural practices. As much as one can agree with Gibson that there is a continuity between cultural and natural environments (1977, 13), both human perceptual abilities and the affordances to which they allow us to respond are entangled with culture, and are continually transformed through historical and social change. Culture here is not an enrichment of more basic perceptual and bodily activities—​an enrichment achieved, for example, through “higher-​level” interpretive mechanisms, such as language or other symbolic representations—​but incorporates these activities as its constitutive parts. This is in line with the perspective offered by the social anthropologist Tim Ingold (2000), who has observed that perception is a cultural skill, honed from birth in bodily activities that humans

20 On the development of the concept of “disinterestedness” in the eighteenth century, first as rooted in ethics and religion, and later as a foundation for a new discipline of aesthetics, see Stolnitz (1961).

Affordances  81 share with their conspecifics. Meanwhile, culture itself is a set of practices that configure how we approach the different sets of affordances in our environment. By engaging in such practices, we acquire specific dispositions and sensibilities that direct us toward particular features of the environment and allow us to orient ourselves toward them in specific ways.21 Learning to discriminate from among countless affordances occurs according to culturally constrained laws, but these laws are not constituted by conceptual schemata that, by means of well-​defined algorithms, metamorphose into symbolic representations. Instead, perception is learned hands on. By sharing training and experience, social agents attune to the same elements in the environment, directing their actions toward the same affordances; in pursuit of the same joint activities in the same environment, they pick up the same information. Social embeddedness is present directly in the way co-​participants share in the active involvement with their environment, creating a communion of experience and a common referential framework.22 Communal participation expedites the creation of what Laurence Kaufmann and Fabrice Clément call “core domains of knowledge” (2007). These domains include “naïve” variants of physics, biology, psychology, arithmetic, and sociology. They are naïve in the sense of stemming from everyday observations performed by people without formal training in the respective academic domains, but this does not make them any less effective in navigating the dynamically changing environment.23 They are grounded in what are perceived to be natural universals, such as the fact that objects fall to the ground when thrown in the air, that seven balls are more than three, or that a smile typically indicates a positive disposition. Among these, Kaufmann and Clément posit that certain forms of social interactions can constitute social affordances. These forms are natural universals that characterize primary structures of life, including basic forms of relations (e.g., kinship, cooperation, dominance, competition), patterns of actions (e.g., fighting, sharing, reconciling, playing), social situations (e.g., food gathering, political struggle), and various obligations and prescriptions. Easily graspable by competent group members, they impart a high degree of predictability 21 Pierre Bourdieu (1977) calls these dispositions “habitus.” Judith Becker (1993) also touches on many of the same points. 22 N. Katherine Hayles (2008) playfully dubs this objectification the “Platonic backhand,” whereby abstractions derived from complex data are constituted “as the originary form[s]‌from which the world’s multiplicity derives” (12). 23 Another term commonly used for this is “folk.” One might also refer to these core domains as, simply, “common sense.”

82  Enacting Musical Time to others’ behavior, helping to create and maintain an orderly social environment. In fact, these elementary social forms are the basic objects of culture understood in the Ingoldian sense discussed earlier:  they are overtly manifested actions and interactions repeatedly performed in group settings that can become semantically elaborated and subsequently redescribed at the representational level.24 Their function as affordances is secured by the fact that they are perceivable by the organism, and they both enable and constrain behavior. According to Gibson, among the richest sources of affordances are other human beings: “sexual behavior, nurturing behavior, fighting behavior, cooperative behavior, economic behavior, political behavior—​all depend on the perceiving of what another person or other persons afford, or sometimes on the misperceiving of it” (Gibson 1977, 135). Social affordances constitute an adaptation that allows humans to pick up patterns of behavior as elemental units that facilitate cooperation and survival (Kaufmann and Clément 2007). These patterns, in turn, transform into conventions—​behavioral regularities whose primary aim is to establish what counts as the norm in a given situation. A transformation from pattern to convention takes place in the context of expectations that are shared among conspecifics, and which stem from an implicit adoption of these patterns for the purpose of fulfilling a desired task. Actions are coordinated among members by analogy with previous collectively experienced situations: if an action was successful in the past, one can expect that a similar situation will elicit a similar result. This creates a ground for expectations to become stabilized and ultimately sustained, in turn allowing social groups to flourish. Conformity can be seen as establishing an economy of conventions by reinforcing actions that are perceived as normative, without the need for symbolic inscription in language or other representations. In this sense, human beings who are socially embedded within a given community directly perceive conventional behavior and its resulting changes on the environment.25 An aesthetic experience takes shape on this affordance-​laden ground of social embeddedness and the joint activities associated with it. Music 24 Semantic elaboration and representational redescription should be seen less like requirements and more like possibilities. For an extension of Ingold’s ideas to the cultural production among early hominins, who—​at least on the evidence that has been uncovered—​were incapable of forming representations in a way that is similar to Homo sapiens, and especially the significance of this non-​ representational culture for the evolution of musical capabilities, see Tomlinson (2015). 25 In Chapter 3 we will see how individuals contest normativity by using their bodies as a site for an enactment of agency.

Affordances  83 affordances encompassed by situation semantics thus function as sonically induced social affordances. Listeners who are well adapted to their sonic environment are able to discriminate with high acuity between those affordances that engender normative behavior, and those that engender behavior that falls outside of convention. They can use the regularities found in musical forms as a basis for particular kinds of actions (including, of course, inaction). It is these actions that I call aesthetic behavior—​ones that are not governed by law-​like constraints stemming from the physical properties of the world, but instead emerge from social entanglement between members of a community and the world with which they interact. In this view, any sound can be conceived as aesthetic given the appropriate context, because its value is not limited to just those properties that exist in a causal relationship with the information it offers—​its source and location.26 Rather, the sound’s meaning has the potential to expand beyond its ecological significance precisely by virtue of the kinds of affordances listeners have learned to respond to. Musical significance lies in the listeners’ ability to situate themselves in relation to the auditory signal in a way that makes manifest behavior that, while congruent with social norms, is not immediately and necessarily relevant to the survival of the individual. In short, the perception of music as music is predicated on its capacity to enable us to suspend everydayness. An example that Zbikowski uses in his 2017 monograph, Foundations of Musical Grammar, might help illustrate my claims. Asking us to consider the variety of meaning that Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein’s “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning” might have in different social contexts, he writes: “it would have one kind of meaning as part of the musical Oklahoma! (for which it was written), another if it were played as a waltz at a wedding reception, another if a recording of it were played when a caller was put on hold, and yet another if the incipit of the tune were used as a ringtone” (20). For Zbikowski, the different functions point to different meanings of the song, which he considers in the sense similar to my “significance” (see Chapter 1). Hence, the meaning of the same tune changes from something one listens to without active participation, to something one can dance to (or understand 26 The reverse is also true when one takes sounds that are typically understood as “musical” and assigns to them an ecological function. Examples include ringtones, doorbells, ice cream truck jingles, car horns, and more. My view here diverges from Krueger’s (2014) insofar as his account presupposes a certain kind of music—​one that elicits entrained behavior—​instead of letting music emerge from the relation between a culturally well-​adapted listener and a pattern of sonic energy. In doing so, he closes off the possibility of unconventional sounds becoming musical in appropriate circumstances.

84  Enacting Musical Time its affordances of danceability), to something that informs the caller that they are still on the line, and finally to a signal that alerts one to an incoming call. I want to point out that with each function the affordances of the auditory signal change in ways that highlight the role of social context in their emergence. In particular, the circumstances of musical performances typically prevent joint participation, even if one is familiar with and capable of singing along. Hence, in the first case, the affordances are of an aesthetic object that is expected to be enjoyed without crossing the boundary between listener and performer. While discrete foot-​tapping or head-​nodding is not discouraged in the context of a musical performance, here it does not constitute the sanctioned form of aesthetic behavior. By contrast, wedding receptions are events in which bodily participation is not merely expected, but often outright demanded. In the second case, then, the aesthetic object of music is actively constituted by those listeners who are able to map specific body movements (waltz steps) onto specific events in the auditory signal (pattern of periodicities that gives rise to a triple meter). Finally, in neither the hold nor the ringtone case can one properly speak of “music” as I have been considering it here, but more precisely of noise in the sense of sound in excess of the main goal of the interaction (which is not to say that even in these instances the tune could not become musical by virtue of a listener attending in a particular way, such as swaying along). The distinction between aesthetic and everyday sonic experience here lies in the qualitative—​not quantitative—​differences in how these sounds are bodily, affectively, and functionally approached. Demers calls this “aesthetic listening,” which for her designates an activity that creates a distinction in the sounds’ value within the context of the listener’s embodied situation (2010, 15ff). Music on this view is not a mere refinement or intensification of everyday forms, but instead belongs, part and parcel, to these very forms. Although it is not necessary for tasks that are immediately and necessarily relevant to everyday survival—​like feeding, maintaining territory, or engaging in reproductive behavior—​it accompanies these activities in ways that may be structurally integral to them (DeNora 2000). However, Clarke’s earlier claim that music affords these activities misses the mark. Instead, in the right context music offers different perceptual information—​that is, it constitutes a different sort of relation between the perceiver and the acoustical signal—​than non-​aesthetic listening. What music does (and what it does very effectively) is to establish a temporal perimeter that restricts certain behaviors and limits them to those that are socially recognizable

Affordances  85 as “aesthetic.” This is why a work like John Cage’s 4′33′′ can function as music: not because there is anything inherently identifiable as musical in the acoustical signal alone, but because of the conventions that surround the ritual of performance in Western classical music culture. It is precisely the prescribed (and, indeed, inscribed in the score) framework of four minutes and thirty-​three seconds, split into three movements, that formally suffuses whatever sounds one hears with aesthetic, in addition to ecological, significance. Imagine, for example, how different the experience of silently listening to the environment would be if there were an intruder in your house and you were hiding in the bedroom closet, or at night in the wilderness known for the presence of bears or coyotes. Returning to the situation semantics model, by casting a temporal net around what might otherwise be construed as random environmental noises, Cage’s piece radically constrains the availability of p-​a tokens to only those that are appropriate to musical behavior, as stipulated by cultural conventions (e.g., sitting quietly in a darkened auditorium). By way of such conventions, the affordance model incorporates cultural events, like music, as constitutive of the situation that is perceived by a well-​ adapted listener. Importantly, the cultural significance of music as patterns of sound imbued with a special kind of meaning is detected directly as a social affordance, which carries its own constraints and connotations for what counts as normative behavior. In this view, it is unnecessary to contrive a virtual environment in which musical agency unfolds, because all the perceptual information needed by listeners is already given in the relation between them, the acoustical signal to which they attend, and the overall context in which the event takes place. Replete with conventional information, music can be constituted as such by the situation semantics model of affordances, which in turn allows its aesthetic function to emerge without isolating it from historical, cultural, and social contexts.

Situation Semantics and Musical Affordances I suggested earlier that, from the perspective of ecological perception of music, two questions must be addressed. These concern (1)  which of the directly perceivable features of music specify movement information for listeners, and (2) how these features are perceived by a culturally competent listener. Taking up situation types that constrain the kinds of information

86  Enacting Musical Time specified in—​or otherwise correlated with—​music, there are several ways to model this. (1) As shown in Figure 2.3a1, S1 is the source of sound S2, which constrains (causes) this sound by virtue of some natural law concerning the relationship between physical objects and their acoustical potential—​for example, the correspondence between air vibrating in a cylinder and timbre. Given that the situation (S2) is music (s2), music carries information about the instrument or voice that produced the sound (s1). This neatly diagrams Godøy’s (2010) approach, where the information available to the listener concerns the method of sound production. Noteworthy for my argument is the fact that this model offers no explanation for how music is constituted as something perceivable: it is simply asserted as s2. If, on the other hand, s2 were a specific sound (call it “this sound”—​whatever it might be at the moment), then music as such is left unspecified altogether, as illustrated in Figure 2.3a2. (2) Figure 2.3b1 shows a type of S1 that is a culturally specified event, and this event is the source, as well as a constraint, of sound that is of a type S2. (a1)

(a2) source


is this instrument or voice (b1)

cultural event


constrains (causes)





this instrument or voice


(b2) sound is

is music


this sound

cultural event




constrains (causes)


(c) cultural event

constrains (causes)

is this event

this sound

sound is

is music (Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5)


sound is

specifies (is music)

Figure 2.3  Music and/​as information in the situation semantics model. NB: “Sound” and “this sound” refer to patterned sequences of sounds.


Affordances  87 Here, the constraint is constituted by conventions and customs, rather than by natural laws. The sound is “this particular series of notes” (s2), which in turn carries information that s1 is “music.” For example, suppose the listener hears three iterations of the pitch G that are of equal durations and of a particular timbre, followed by E♭ a minor third lower, which lasts some fifteen times longer than the others (Figure 2.3b2). Given what the listener knows about sounds having particular timbres and exhibiting particular temporal organization—​that is, that timbres and temporal organization are engendered by certain events, some of which are cultural and therefore products of conventions and customs—​she perceives this specific series of pitches and durations as information that the environmental feature correlated with these pitches and durations is “music” (more precisely, that it is Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, but she need not be explicitly aware of this fact in order to experience the percept). (3) The final alternative, captured by the diagram in Figure 2.3c, is that music does not carry information, but rather is information itself. A type of S1 here is again a culturally specified event, and this event engenders (by convention or custom) S2, which is sound. Unlike alternative (2), the “particular series of notes” (s2) carries information—​in the form of “music”—​that s1 is “this particular event.” For example, if s2 were the series of notes represented by the score shown in Figure 2.3c, the information specified by the music would result in a perception of a “birthday celebration” (s1). Notice that both alternatives (2)  and (3)  share the same situation type, namely, a culturally determined event that causes—​or is otherwise the source of—​sound. This is different from the situation types found in (1), where the cause is a physical source, a musical instrument that creates vibrations of air. We also see that, in each case, the listener perceives the same pattern of energy, but this pattern carries different kinds of information about different situation-​1 tokens: (1) how the sound was generated, (2) what specific piece of music is perceived, and (3) what token of the “culturally specified event” type is taking place. Thus, the token itself can be any number of things that are of the type S1, and are determined by cultural and social contexts and norms. Alternative (3)  graphically represents a perspective favored by Nicola Dibben (2001), whose main argument is that musical sounds, in addition to carrying information about their sources and acoustic features, specify cultural events, and that the (conscious or unconscious) decision to hear music one way or another rests on the listener. Music, considered as a cultural event, can carry a number of meanings, depending on whether the listener

88  Enacting Musical Time associates it with events intrinsic to what she hears (“intraopus”), with other musical pieces (“extraopus”), or with events or objects that are not musical at all (“extra-​musical”). For example, Dibben found that when asked to describe sounds, most listeners used words indicating its source—​an extra-​ musical association—​if that source was known to them.27 Although they model aspects of musical experience that are undoubtedly relevant to many listeners, neither alternative (1) nor (3) demonstrates how music is constituted as an object of perception. In version (1), music is already given as a pattern of energy, while in version (3), music itself is information. In contrast to these, alternative (2) shows how a pattern of sounds becomes musical perceptual information for a listener, which makes it particularly suitable for developing a model of musical affordances. In short, the specific pattern of energy that is detected becomes perceptual information for the perceiver, engendering a particular action and guiding the unfolding of that action in time. In turn, since the “s1 ← s2” relation is activated by the perception–​action, the same action reciprocally shapes perceptual information. Percept and perception covary, such that changing one variable necessarily changes another, which signals the appropriate situational context to the perceiver. The effect is akin to reasoning “if, as I respond with this action to this particular pattern of energy, my relation to it changes like that, then the entire situation is a token of the type S1.” What is especially elegant about a situation semantics approach to musical information is that once a situation token s2 and a constraint are known, it becomes possible to generate different kinds of information about different situation tokens s1. In other words, the perceivable pattern of acoustical energy can be made to directly specify and imply different things for different perceivers, and even for the same perceiver at different times. The three alternatives highlight the need for the perception–​action segment that activates each one of these models. After all, music and sound participate in a number of contexts, and an active, situated, competent listener is able to actuate any one of them. In Chapter 3 I will examine in more detail the bodily mechanisms that constitute the perception–​action segment, looking in particular at the temporal profiles of movement in response to music, and theorizing the resultant embodied feel as an example of musical knowledge. But before moving 27 Note that the use of such descriptors could have been the result of listeners lacking the technical vocabulary to describe sounds directly.

Affordances  89 on, I need to determine more precisely the kind of information that music carries, which will in turn reveal something about its affordances. To do that, I would like to put forward two claims. The first is that this information, as well as the information generated by listeners when they move to music, is temporal information that specifies when to move. In other words, it is the activation of “s1 ← s2” through specific movements that turns environmental affordances into musical ones. The second claim is that actively listening to sounds renders them musical when movements are correlated with those features of sound that do not specify its source and cause, but instead its relationship to other sounds.

Temporal Affordances In most musical contexts, aesthetic behavior consists of overt movements in response to the auditory signal (Keil 1966). These can be as simple as tapping one’s foot or clapping along with the perceived beat, or as complex as full-​ blown choreographies that engage the listener’s entire body. Much has been written about Western art music exemplifying an aberration of sorts, contrived in the wake of certain early-​nineteenth-​century ideological traditions, such as what Leon Botstein (1999) calls the “post-​Wagnerian glorification of aestheticism,” or an “ideology of intimacy.” In this view, there is a separation between musicians and audience members, isolating both groups and upholding music as an autonomous aesthetic object.28 Listeners are expected to intimately connect with this object and to experience a private moment that can only emerge from intense inactivity. To delve into the philosophical, aesthetic, and political ramifications of this attitude, the way it privileges certain musical forms while denigrating others, or the way it works to exclude specific social groups from musical participation, would take us too far afield. The crux of the matter is that listening without moving one’s body can not only feel odd, and oddly disconnected, but sometimes also requires an explicit suppression of actions. In Chapter 3 I will bring in a literary example in which a member of an early-​twentieth-​ century audience desperately tries to disguise her spontaneous gestures—​ which unfortunately paints her as a musical ignoramus. Even modernist works, which are ostensibly intended for “intimate” cerebral enjoyment,

28 Christopher Small (1998) calls this “passive ritual.”

90  Enacting Musical Time acquire a different dimension of meaning once the listening body is allowed to express itself. One need look no further than the still-​flourishing tradition of Émile Jaques-​Dalcroze’s plastique animée to find both children and adults improvising movements to the music of Boulez, Cage, Crumb, and other modernists—​music that might not be immediately classified as “danceable.” The point is that music, when considered as a social affordance, offers opportunities for adopting a particular bodily and affective stance toward the auditory signal. This stance may include overt movements that are coordinated with sounds, as well as less distinctive postures, levels of corporeal tension, spatial orientation, and so on. I  call these opportunities “temporal affordances,” because rather than indicating the kind of action to be performed, they signal when it should be performed. Thus, in general, a temporal affordance is information specified in perceived events in the dynamical relationship between two or more physical affordances. Information here is construed as the relationship between an organism and an event, while the term “specified” concerns the way in which this relationship creates a special set of constraints and opportunities unique to the situation. That is, the information is neither in the event nor in the ways in which the perceiving organism can interact with it, but in the dynamical system that emerges between them. A temporal affordance is the ideal “now” in which an action needs to be executed in the context of a changing environment taken with respect to the perceiver. For example, a ball in its passive state does not afford catching; it does so only when it is in motion, when it is traveling at the right speed, and when it is in the ideal position relative to my ability to intercept it. A temporal affordance is more than simply temporal information in an otherwise physical affordance. For example, a photograph of someone caught mid-​air during a jump contains information about the temporal context of the action that is shown, but this information is not an affordance because it is irrelevant to the observer in terms of her own actions. Rather, a temporal affordance is information that is relevant to the perceiving organism in that particular situation, in cases when temporal alignment with the object in question is critical to the successful realization of an intended action. To define it more strictly, a temporal affordance is an opportunity for action whose meaning as such cannot be perceived in an isolated instance but rather only as it unfolds over time. For example, a moving walkway in itself affords two kinds of behavior: stationary (e.g., standing, sitting, lying down) and mobile (e.g., walking, running, tumbling, etc.). This is specified by its physical affordances, such as a flat surface that supports a human body, a balustrade

Affordances  91 with a moving handrail, and a relatively moderate pace at which it moves forward. Yet regardless of which action one chooses, a walkway eventually ends, and at its endpoint one’s task is to step off it and onto stationary ground. It is precisely this endpoint that constitutes a temporal affordance—​it specifies a change in the relationship between two different physical affordances that is critical to initiating and executing the action of stepping off. The task is successfully accomplished when one is able to pick up the perceptual information created by the change in the layout of affordances, at the time when this change becomes relevant to one’s action. In the visual world, temporal affordances are specified by the changing arrays of objects in the environment relative to one another and to the perceiver. In the auditory world, the same can be said about our attunement to sounds in the environment. Our everyday soundscape presents us with information about the spatial arrangement of objects, as well as their physical properties, but in many cases either the objects are not stationary, or we ourselves are moving relative to them. We attune to the sonic features of the sounds these objects make in order to use them as cues for actions that ensure our physical well-​being. Certainly, when we listen to music for aesthetic enjoyment, or even as part of embodied cultural practices, we can do so within an ecological framework, for instance when we recognize a sound of a specific instrument or when we attune to the spatial location of instruments in an ensemble. However, when we attend to those features of music that are in excess of its environmental significance, the transparency of these sounds makes it difficult to pin down where exactly affordances are specified. As one possible solution, Justin London considers the periodicity of sound as a temporal analogue to Gibson’s spatial perceptual invariants, and posits that such periodicities “guide the perceiver to direct his or her attention to a particular (future) location in time” (2012, 10). This process leads to entrainment, which refers to the listener’s capacity to organize his or her behavior such that it coincides with the periodic events in the auditory signal, resulting in the emergence of meter.29 Music that consists of such periodicities, or one in which periodicities can be implied on the basis of context (for example, when the absence of an expected event nevertheless does not disturb the

29 The evolutionary underpinnings of the emergence of entrainment in humans are discussed by Merker et al. (2008). For a detailed explication of the term, as well as its value for ethnomusicological research, see Clayton et al. (2005) and responses. The neural underpinnings of entrainment have recently been enumerated in Levitin et al. (2018).

92  Enacting Musical Time metrical framework of the piece), can be said to afford synchronized behavior as one of the available aesthetic responses. Sonic affordances in London’s conception work analogously to features of physical objects, but the analogy may be less applicable to music in which periodicities are nonexistent, such as Lachenmann’s temA or the pieces I discussed in Chapter 1. When there is nothing to entrain to, listeners have to rely on more general aspects of sound for detection and subsequent action on affordances. London’s use of affordances rests on an analogy between space and time, evident, for example, in his reference to “temporal locations,” or “music as it unfolds in time.” One way to think about this model is that there is some sonic object A, and some sonic object B, and between these objects there is a span of time t. Time is a measurement that connects these objects and relates them to one another. If the same t subsequently characterizes the “space” between B and another object C, then we have isochrony and entrainment can emerge. Note that what is actually invariant here is t. While this seems to model certain intuitions about our perception of periodicities, I think it brings in the notion of time-​as-​measurement in a way that is at odds with Gibson’s ecological theory. Specifically, it assumes that the relationship between listener and time, on the one hand, and between viewer and space, on the other, is similar enough to map the structure of the latter onto the former. But on a strict understanding of Gibson there are two problems with this analogy: first, since upcoming sounding events exist only in the listener’s imagination, there is a strong implication that perception is indirect; and second, it assumes that time—​here, the invariant segment t—​can be perceived in and of itself. Not only are these incomprehensible from the perspective of ecological theory, but they confound the distinction between abstract and experiential concepts of time. Thus, while it is true that entrainment invokes the listening body as a force that structures the auditory signal, the notion of temporal invariants has to be taken as one level removed from time itself. It is grounded in an isomorphism between space and time that I already discussed in Chapter 1, and, although it can be a useful heuristic in the case of music with detectable isochronous rhythms, recent work on entrainment (including London’s) has revealed it to be a very flexible mechanism capable of producing stable non-​isochronous patterns (e.g., Polak and London 2014; Kvifte 2007; Haugen 2017). This suggests that perhaps the perception of temporal invariants, and their function as affordances, is less like an imposition of a grid and more like Merleau-​Ponty’s “upsurge” (see Chapter 1), in which the significance of each event—​hence its power

Affordances  93 to solicit action—​changes depending when it occurs relative to the listener’s own temporal framework. At issue here is the affective relationship humans have with objects and events they encounter, specifically objects and events that are nonexistent, like future or past phenomena. I will have more to say about this in Chapter 3, but for now I want to suggest that a more general perspective can be built on the basis of an often neglected aspect of Gibson’s theory, in which physical objects are not the only affordance-​laden things in our environment. In particular, the perceivable environment consists of media, substances, and surfaces (Gibson 1986). For humans, the medium is air, which not only allows us to breathe, but also, offering little resistance, to move. It is through the air that we acquire information about the world. We are able to see, hear, and smell our environment because of the way air transmits light, vibrations, and gaseous molecules. Thanks to the properties of this transmission, we learn about the locations and properties of objects that inhabit our environment, locations and properties that have meaning to us from our particular vantage point. As such, the medium itself is what affords movement and perception. By contrast, substances are solid materials, which form physical objects—​affording neither movement nor perception, but making up the foundations of the environment. “To identify the substance,” writes Gibson, “is to perceive what can be done with it, what it is good for, its utility” (1985, 131). Finally, surfaces constitute the interface between media and substances. It is here that most of the action takes place, because surfaces physically specify the kinds of movements one can make. They do so through shapes, layouts, and resistance, but also through reflecting light, through sending vibrations into the medium, and through our bodies coming up against surfaces in the form of touch. Temporal affordances are specified in the medium itself. As I move about in a changing environment, the medium controls my locomotion and behavior by affording the perception of the substances and surfaces of objects in that environment. As the layout of these objects changes—​through their own intrinsic movement—​so too does the array of their affordances, or what they afford as a system relative to me. It is not the case, however, that the affordances of one object always causally affect the affordances of another (although this may sometimes be true); rather, the information that I pick up about the system of affordances I encounter is presented to me via changes in the medium—​for example, changes of illumination and vibration. Each object in the system maintains its own affordances, as specified by its substance

94  Enacting Musical Time and its surfaces, but the whole system changes from my unique, subjective perspective. Hence, it is the medium—​not the objects themselves—​that specifies when an action needs to be performed, and it is here that temporal affordances are constituted. Music, taken as an affordance for movement, structures the medium. Unlike air, which typically offers no perceptible structure in and of itself, music presents us with organized patterns of vibrational energy, which relay to us information about its temporally meaningful opportunities for motor engagement. Moreover, whereas sounds taken ecologically transmit information about the physical properties of the objects that caused them, music’s function is to specify how movements can unfold independently of this information. In fact, properties of substances and surfaces that generate musical sounds can be completely irrelevant to the experience of the listener—​as evident especially in electronic music. What is meaningful, instead, is patterned energy and the temporal affordances that it specifies. Because music does not physically constrain the listener, only the when—​and not the what or the how—​is given directly in the signal. Information concerning the kinds of actions that one can perform, and the manner in which to perform them, gains relevance when one takes into account the functions that music plays in our cultural practices. That is, it is specified by the conventional social affordances discussed earlier. The significance of placing music’s affordances in the energy-​carrying medium is that it gives an ecological ground to aesthetic experience by allowing us to consider it as a relation between the medium and the listener, incorporating the meaning-​making body into what is an otherwise inaccessible domain of “higher order” cognition. Figure 2.4 illustrates this using the model cultural event MEDIUM








this sound


becomes temporal information for

Figure 2.4  Music as perceptual temporal information.

perceptionaction is

patterned movement LISTENER

Affordances  95 of situation semantics. As was the case in Figure 2.3b1, cultural events constrain sound, which in turn constrains one’s perception-​action capabilities, such that whatever sound the listener perceives becomes temporal information (the when). This temporal information is perceptual information, which engenders bodily responses in the form of patterned movements (e.g., gestures, actions, and behavior in general). These responses then activate the relation between perceived sounds and music, which results in the former specifying and becoming information about the latter. Finally, thick black arrows connect the medium—​through music—​ to the listener, who encompasses perception–​action and specific bodily responses, as shown with a dashed box. Consequently, music becomes constituted as music through the body’s patterned movements, making it truly an embodied experience in the most fundamental sense. Importantly, the situation semantics model incorporates both social and temporal kinds of information, showing how they interact on different levels. In particular, the sound’s temporal organization signals the kind of aesthetic stance that is available to the listener, given this music’s role in the specific social context in which it is encountered (sound constrains the availability of patterned movements in the perception-​action node). For example, a “wobbly” bass underlying a series of isochronous “glitchy,” mechanical sounds will signal dubstep as a possible musical genre, inviting listeners to actively respond in a way that will incorporate such moves as “popping,” “animation,” or “slow motion”—​rather than, say, tap-​dancing or performing a pas de poisson. The reverse, then, also holds: responding with these same movements to a rhythmic series of digitally manipulated industrial noises renders them musical by activating the “s1 ← s2” correlate. In this case, it is the patterned movement itself that renders the recognition that whatever this sound happens to be right now specifies that the cultural event in question is music. Meanwhile, as sounds become temporal information for patterned movement, the choice of actions (or inactivity) one can take up in response is already constrained by the totality of the cultural event, as seen at the top of the model. Hence, a concert hall performance of Roulette will engender completely different behavior than if it were played at a coffee house or a dance club, without altering its function as “music.” As the context guides normative bodily responses, culturally competent listeners are in turn able to demarcate temporal affordances differently than someone who is an outsider. Sounds as affordances become what Mike D’Errico (2015) calls “cultural agents,” which work to constrain and disseminate behavioral

96  Enacting Musical Time responses. Consequently, affordances are not uniformly available to everyone: different groups respond differently to different aspects of the auditory signal. One especially obvious example of this is the tendency of some audiences to doggedly clap on beats 1 and 3 without regard for the norms appropriate to the musical style, effectively turning all pop and rock songs into marches. This behavior may seem awkward to a listener who identifies with a different cultural group, because the activation of the “s1 ← s2” correlate (here music ← this sound) by patterned movements is quite different for someone aware of the feel of synchronizing with beats 2 and 4. In both cases, the same s2 (this sound) specifies different perceptual information, hence offering different temporal affordances.

Musical Affordances of Breath From an analyst’s perspective, the sheer number of temporal affordances with which music furnishes a listener is staggering. Because each situation in which sound is constituted is aesthetically unique, the model must be rendered anew for each listening, resulting in behavior that cannot be predicted ahead of time. Only a tiny subset of all possible relations becomes actionable at any one time. Recall from the discussion in Chapter 1 that not every affordance is realized by becoming manifested in movement, and only those that turn into invitations, or solicitations, have value for the organism at the moment of their instantiation.30 In light of this observation, the final step in the model is to account for the process that precipitates this turn. To ground it in a concrete example, I will examine how the situation semantics model helps to explain the mechanism by which breathing in Clyne’s Roulette becomes a musical event, and its consequences for the construction of meaning in this particular piece. For listeners without access to the score, the initial sound of Roulette is unambiguously un-​musical, on par with, say, the sounds of creaking chairs or turning pages.31 Taken solely on the basis of its semiotic value, it is a mark of a beginning, an auditory as well as physical point of coordination among the members of the string quartet. It is a pre-​beginning, a sound outside of 30 David Kirsch (2013) calls this moment the “enactive landscape,” which De Souza (2017) further glosses as “a set of affordances that are activated for an agent” and “a space of possibilities in which technology and technique coevolve” (52). 31 See more in Zagorski-​Thomas (2014).

Affordances  97 the boundaries of “the piece proper.” Indeed, with its ecological significance, it circumscribes what one would normally consider “music.” By signaling to both the players and the listeners that an entrance of a musical utterance is imminent, the breath creates the very boundaries that exclude it from that utterance. Importantly, this breath must be understood not just semiotically, but also semantically: within the context of the entire situation encompassed by the performance. As soon as it specifies its coordinating function, it becomes extraneous—​noisy, in the sense of exceeding the putative parameters of “the piece.” Because it serves no ecological purpose of signaling what it would typically signify—​namely, the presence of a human being in a particular state, say, of surprise or sudden agitation—​it invades the musical space. In fact, the breath is doubly invasive because it seems to violate performance decorum, which dictates that all sounds intended to coordinate the performers be as silent as possible, precisely so they do not disturb the precious fragility of the “musical work” that follows. However, the entrance of the string players is shadowed by a pre-​recorded chorus, a collective of bodies decidedly absent from the performance space. This disembodied shadowing immediately inserts an ambiguity into the piece: was the sharp intake of air a preparation for the singers? And, if so, was it also pre-​recorded? A listener would likely dismiss the opening breath as an event altogether separate from “the piece”—​an annoyance, like any other noise whose unwelcome seepage into our consciousness calls for an unequivocal (if not always successful) erasure. But when another breath signals—​actually, creates—​the beginning of the second phrase in m. 5, followed by a third in m. 9, and so on, it is no longer possible to disregard the demanding presence of this sound, so recognizable in everyday listening, yet so foreign (and hence strikingly expressive) in the context of this music. Composer Salvatore Sciarrino describes the effect quite incisively: “Certain types of sounds, breathing for instance, are not only ambiguous but also very powerful. Because it is not clear who has breathed. One might think the instrument is the one breathing and not the performer (the flutist for example). Yet one hears the breath and begins to breathe with it. Thus, there is a sort of triangulated identification of musical representation” (quoted in Helgeson 2013, 10). Breath in music draws attention to itself because it has no identity—​or, perhaps more accurately, its identity is not fixed: it is always in the state of absolute incertitude—​and yet it exerts a presence through what can be described, following Deleuze, as “pure intensity” (1994, 240). Philosopher Steven Shaviro articulates this

98  Enacting Musical Time point even more suggestively when he notes that, in general, “something that is invisible and impalpable fails to be simply absent, simply not there. Rather, it insinuates itself within the very present that excludes it, or haunts the corporeality to which it cannot be reduced. It is an excess, or a residue” (quoted in Quinlivan 2012). Like the Latin spiritus or the Greek pneuma, the sound of breath gives a sign of life without revealing its own source in a physical body. In Roulette, the bodily source of breathing disappears not only figuratively, melding into music’s representational sphere, but also literally. Although breaths continue to mark up the musical surface throughout the first section of the piece (up to m. 105), after m. 54 they are no longer made by the performers on stage. Instead, they are taken up by the pre-​recorded track, undergoing increasingly more pronounced transformations and gradually losing their humanness by becoming extended in time to the point of impossibility. Two of the most dramatic of these transformations occur in mm. 49–​ 54 and mm. 97–​105. Here, sounds of breath no longer have the capacity to signify the presence of another person, even one who is physically absent but whose life left a sonic trace on the recording. Indeed, the real and artificial modes of presence dissolve into one another in a manner somewhat similar to the opening of Milton Babbitt’s Philomel (1964; for soprano and tape). In both cases, live (acoustical) and pre-​recorded (electronically manipulated) sounds, practically indistinguishable from each other, together participate in the suspension of everydayness by effacing any potentially discernible identity, and begin to furnish an altogether different set of affordances: temporal affordances. The temporal profile of the event in question becomes the only perceptual information available to the listener. The breathing performers disappear, leaving behind them their time as an offering that gives shape to our encounter with the music. Despite its phantasmagoric nature, this is a very real, physical encounter, because our own “time-​scapes”—​the concrete, living instants in which our subjectivity experiences itself as embodied and situated (more on that in the following chapters)—​are porous to externality through our capacity to affect and be affected. Like all animate life, we are extended into the world as a matter of principle, ontologically (Merleau-​Ponty 1968). Indeed, even the simplest unicellular organisms do not simply float, adrift in a current that drags their passive forms around the world. They respond to their environment; they physically penetrate the world, initiating and modifying their own movement in response to the physical or chemical changes they detect (Fenchel 1987). For us humans, the originary postnatal act of animation

Affordances  99 is breath, the fundamental extension of subjectivity into the world, which brings us into the most intimate contact with the Other. After all (notwithstanding the possibility of amplification) to feel and hear someone breathing requires proximity, and in this proximity we encounter the Other as an object of our care. We care about the Other’s breath, which does not merely represent life, but is their life. As described by Emmanuel Levinas (1987), breath opens up a “sacred space” of responsibility for the Other when they are most vulnerable. From the first to the last, the preservation of the Other’s breath—​ and, as such, the Other’s autonomy—​is our moral burden. According to Levinas, because I  am ethically obligated to safeguard its autonomy, the Other disrupts my temporality with its own. The person I  encounter face to face is not my contemporary; we do not simply meet one another at the same time. There is instead a misalignment, or a non-​ coincidence of our individual instants that causes them to become inserted into one another. The resulting time is neither mine nor the Other’s, but is constituted by the relation between us. Because the intertwining of temporalities occurs at the level of the body, the relationship that yields such a time is fundamentally affective. It is our affective stance that turns Others into entities of our care—​not mere beings “out there,” but beings toward which we address ourselves with interest and partiality.32 The encounter with the Other does not take place in a value-​free vacuum, in which opportunities for engagement exist as mere potentials. Rather, alterity draws us in by the way in which it solicits a particular kind of relation. The Other’s breathing attracts a response, either positive or negative, by virtue of the affective tone that the encounter creates. Recall from Chapter 1 that solicitations differ from affordances in that they are concrete, affectively driven responses that take place at no other time than now. An apple sitting in front of me might afford eating, but unless I am hungry and there is nothing more palatable around me, that affordance will remain as mere potential. On the other hand, that first cup of coffee in the morning does more than simply exhibit the potential for drinking: it is irresistible, it beckons and urges me to act. From our perspective as embodied, situated beings, the world is a web of attractions and repulsions in which we are absorbed and to which we continually respond. 32 Somewhat problematically (but nonetheless suggestively) Sianne Ngai (2005) calls this affective stance “tone,” which she defines as “a dialectic of objective and subjective feeling that our aesthetic encounters inevitably produce,” one irreducible to either the emotional response of the perceiver, or the perceived object’s representations of emotions.

100  Enacting Musical Time Hubert Dreyfus (2014) has argued that when we are engaged in expert activity—​for example, when we drive a car or, more apropos here, listen to music—​solicitations disappear. We no longer respond to them explicitly, but instead they become incorporated into our bodily schemata, a concept that will be taken up more fully in Chapter 3. What remains of those solicitations is the intensity of the system that we co-​constitute together with our world, and it is this intensity that gives shape to our actions. That is, the disappearance reveals an affective relation that gives structure to our encounter, and to the time that emerges from it. The erasure of the physicality of the Other, such as that occurring in Roulette, leaves time in its wake because the originary act that intermingled the Other’s temporality with mine—​the initial breath that signaled the presence of humanness—​had already taken place. An acoustical affordance became an invitation, which in turn became an obligation for me to continue caring even after the Other has disappeared. The affective positioning of the listener, comprising an on-​the-​edge balancing act between, on the one hand, familiarity and the sense of presence, and, on the other hand, strangeness brought on by the dissolution of the ordinary, already initiated the process by which s2 (this sound) became temporal information for p-​a (perception-​action). The sounds of alterity thus affix themselves in relation to the listener, not as spectral remainders of the human beings that made them, but as real cues for bodily engagement. The literal effacement of the performer helps to highlight the temporal nature of the relationship between listeners and the acoustical signal, but it is not necessary for sounds to become aestheticized musically through their temporality. For example, as I argued in Chapter 1, the violist’s body is indispensable to understanding the violence of Norman’s “Susanna.” There, the temporal profile of the act is essentially connected with the presence of the performer, even if everyday listening is suspended by means of the performance situation. Moreover, the bodily disappearance is never absolute, and listeners do not disregard the source of sound as constitutive of their experience. It matters greatly, for example, that Lachenmann’s temA is scored for voice, flute, and cello. On the one hand, these instruments are representatives of three distinct families, which makes them unrelated in terms of the mechanics of sound production, and allows for a remarkably rich palette of sonic effects. On the other hand, they are all linked by the sonic materiality of breath, each one thematizing it in such a way that the bodily act becomes a timbral resource. While it never completely sheds its narrative potential, breath here acquires its own dimension by becoming detached from

Affordances  101 the voice and traversing the soundscape on its own terms, as a musical intangible object. In yet another act of transfiguration, Pythagoras’s abstract ratios are replaced by living corporeality as an element that unifies sonic relationships across different modes of sound production, in a way returning noise to music. Despite substantial differences, what matters in all of these cases is that, by virtue of their temporal organization, sounds that have such strong links to the environment acquire a dimension that exceeds their ecological significance. This is because the perception–​action mechanism in the situation semantics model, “P-​A is p-​a,” is selective as to which temporal information it responds to in order to activate the “s1 ← s2” correlation. The selection process is necessary, for while the listener remains attentive to certain kinds of temporal information—​such as regularly occurring beats, or sounds indicating the physical state of another human being—​he or she is not causally compelled to respond to them. That is, not all temporal information furnished by the pattern of sounds becomes a solicitation. The choice of which temporal information to respond to, and the manner of the response, is driven affectively. For example, whether I  respond to choking sounds by running over to the afflicted person with an offer of assistance—​treating it as if it were what Cross and Woodruff (2009) call an “honest signal”—​or whether I remain seated and engrossed in their timbral character, is a direct result of my embodied stance toward the situation. When I opt for the latter, my behavior is organized with respect to an affordance that is not eco­ logically specified by the auditory information—​here, the physical source of the sound—​but to a conventionally specified temporal affordance.33 Considering that conventional specification is constrained by social norms created in joint interactions, the correlation “s1 ← s2” is fundamentally linked with affect. When s2 (this sound) has a temporal profile of a certain kind, the information it furnishes guides the actions of the listener, and in turn these very actions activate “s1 ← s2” as music. ***

33 Here I am following Sabrina Golonka (2015), who proposes that “Conventional information is being used any time behavior is organized with respect to a property different from the one causing the information” (239).

102  Enacting Musical Time The utility of the situation semantics model of musical affordances inheres in its capacity to show that the significance of music lies in lived time. It is not that time functions as a vehicle for musical unfolding, or that temporal concepts are imposed on this unfolding through symbolic representations, but that the perceptual information available to the listener is fundamentally temporal in nature. It is this fact, I contend, that is partly responsible for what makes music music. The model also shows the indissoluble link between music’s temporal organization and the embodied, situated listener: the former furnishes perceptual information that structures bodily perception–​ action, while the latter activates the specificity of sound as music. Regarding information as covariance reveals that there is nothing inherently “musical” in the acoustical signal alone, but rather that the entirety of the situation as perceived by a well-​adapted listener is necessary in order to elicit an aesthetic experience. Finally, the proposed solution to the problem of musical virtuality emphasizes the importance of a situated, embodied listener as an agent that essentially enacts music. The process of musical affordances becoming invitations for aesthetic behavior is manifested through the body, not through some disinterested cerebral contemplation. Before closing this chapter, one final point demands our attention, and it concerns what might be taken as one of the utmost limits of musicality: Cage’s aforementioned 4′33′′. Unlike the pieces I analyzed earlier in this chapter, the everydayness of sounds here is not suspended by changing the temporal profile of events that would be normally found in the environment anyway. At first blush, there is nothing in the sonic materiality itself (s2) that would activate the “s1 ← s2” (music ← this sound) correlation. Only the extrinsic constraints enumerated earlier bracket whatever listeners hear as an invitation to engage with sounds aesthetically by attending to their relationships with other sounds. The sounds themselves remain indeterminate, unchanged, and not necessarily humanly organized, and so they retain their ecological temporalities. And yet, the act of attending—​or, more accurately, of forming—​the links between them already alters the temporality of individual sounds. Since perception encompasses the entirety of the situation, including the cultural constructedness of the event, the temporal affordances of these sounds do change. In particular, they change relative to the listener, such that they no longer remain connected with random physical events, but with each other. It is as though Cage asks his listeners to impose a coherence where there is none, a coherence that can be loosely understood as “these things belong together under the conditions you are currently experiencing.”

Affordances  103 In turn, by being enfolded within the listener’s own temporality, sounds captured within this frame acquire a temporal depth, duration, and interval—​a past and a future. The body of the listener does not disappear from the transformation of ecological sounds into music. On the contrary, considering the body as central to the temporalization of the environment amplifies its role in constituting 4′33′′ as an aesthetic object. I will take up this topic in Chapter 3, where I will argue that it is through the body that musical time is constituted, as this body differentiates musical events from a timeless, continuously unfolding sound. In the process of actively responding to music’s temporal affordances, an embodied, situated listener expresses his or her knowledge of what it feels like to listen to sounds musically, or, more precisely, what it feels like to hear sounds as invitations to coordinate one’s actions.

3 Body What never was seen, or heard of, may yet be conceived; nor is any­ thing beyond the power of thought, except what implies an absolute contradiction. But though our thought seems to possess this unbounded liberty, we shall find, upon a nearer examination, that it is really confined within very narrow limits, and that all this creative power of the mind amounts to no more than the faculty of compounding, transposing, augmenting, or diminishing the materials afforded us by the senses and experience. —​Hume  (2008)

In one of the earlier chapters of E. M. Forster’s Howards End we find an extraordinarily vivid scene unfolding in the mind of Helen Schlegel, one of the novel’s protagonists. Helen is part of a colorful entourage assembled for a Sunday afternoon performance of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony in Queens Hall. “Enwrapped” by the music, she imagines heroes and shipwrecks, dancing elephants, Beethoven himself, and, famously, goblins.1 It is these goblins that consume Helen’s attention: lacking any hostility—​yet horrible and terrifying all the same—​they march across the world spreading “panic and emptiness.” She seems to comprehend their purpose when she draws parallels between the imagined universe of Beethoven’s music and her own life: “The goblins were right,” she thinks, in that the exalted Romantic values of “splendor or heroism” quickly dissolve once life brutally thrusts us outside “the reliable walls of youth.” Beyond the cocoon of childhood and adolescence such high-​minded principles and codes of conduct reveal themselves as nothing more than idealistic fancies, effortlessly drowned out by society’s moral lethargy. Helen’s observation makes Beethoven’s intervention into the goblin march emptier and all the more quixotic, because the goblins never 1 For an extensive exegesis of this passage, see Burnham (1999). Enacting Musical Time: The Bodily Experience of New Music. Mariusz Kozak, Oxford University Press (2020). © Oxford University Press. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190080204.001.0001

Body  105 disappear completely. They merely withdraw from “the gusts of splendor, the heroism, the youth, the magnificence of life and of death.” Indeed, Helen’s reflection signals that their reappearance is likely, although it is uncertain whether her premonition—​“they could return”—​is ominous, or if she is merely acknowledging its factual possibility.2 The Symphony finds its meaning in Helen’s life, in her personal struggles and disappointments, and in her eventual resignation. It is a deeply private, singular meaning, forged in the fleeting threads that Helen weaves and stretches between musical events and her extra-​musical world, but it is also a meaning that has to be brought out of the music (L. Kramer 2002). This literary example shows the power of language to emancipate something latent in music that is not meaningful in itself, but which becomes so in the process of interpretation. Sounds become images, become concepts, become stories. Pictures and narratives elicited by Beethoven’s music transform for Helen into both echoes of and commentaries on her real-​world concerns, and it is likely no coincidence that Forster chose this symphony as a vehicle through which to reveal an otherwise inaccessible aspect of Helen’s mental life. As Julian Johnson writes, musical modernity on the whole, and Beethoven’s works in particular, “is bound up with the lure of hermeneutics” (2015, 241). Johnson identifies this interdependence as the general tendency of modernity to expose and mobilize music’s readiness to be meaningful, and the social dictum for listeners to develop and express their own personal accounts of musical understanding. Forster’s portrayal of Helen Schlegel’s experience is notably extravagant, created through a seamless fusion of rudimentary music theory and poetic 2 Helen’s is no perfunctory reading of the Symphony: her warning that the goblins could return despite Beethoven’s “tonal ramparts” and “vast roarings of a superhuman joy” is evidence of an awareness that there is nothing necessary or immanent in tonal forms. No matter how much Beethoven buttresses the jubilant key of C-​major by repeatedly hammering out the final cadence, the possibility for events to take a sudden turn continues to linger like a sinister shadow. My sense is that this is precisely what Helen means when she notes that the goblins are still “there,” as if “there” were some musical space that exists even when the echoes of the final chord of the Symphony cease to reverberate. The goblins, in other words, are in the tonal system itself, and they remain there because the system is entirely manmade. Of course Beethoven “knows” that the goblins are there, and he makes certain that we know that they can return, thereby letting us in on the fact that the system is rigged in such a way that anything can happen. Here my interpretation of Helen’s reading is different from Burnham’s, who hears the Scherzo theme in the last movement as a necessary narrative and affective incursion meant to create a contrasting section so that the “splendor” of C-​major can retain its effect (Burnham 1999). By contrast, my sense is that Helen hears the grandiosity as an empty rhetorical device which, as it turns out, does nothing to dispel the panic spread by the goblins. For her, the goblins will return because the grandiose theme cannot keep them away in perpetuity; for Burnham, the C-​major tonality achieves grandiosity because it contrasts with the Scherzo theme.

106  Enacting Musical Time imagery. By contrast, one response to the performance that is given a curt treatment is that of Helen’s aunt, Mrs. Juley Munt, who “tap(s) surreptitiously whenever the tunes come—​of course, not so as to disturb the others.” Her actions seem to provide little literary sustenance compared to Helen’s poetic flights. The peripheral, almost puerile way in which Forster presents Mrs. Munt might paint her as someone whose musical experience is shallow and simple, maybe even simple-​minded. We learn, for example, that she especially enjoys the lighter treats presented during the concert—​an unspecified overture by Felix Mendelssohn and Edward Elgar’s ultra-​patriotic “Pomp and Circumstance”—​from which we are to gather that something as profoundly expressive of the human condition as Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony would escape her understanding. As if to underscore this point, she remarks to Helen’s brother, Tibby, that she could not remember the specific transitional passage he mentions because “when every instrument is so beautiful, it is difficult to pick out one thing rather than another.” Further punctuating her ignorance, she adds that she is not “musical” but only “cares” for music, and notes that she is actually unaware when she likes the music and when she does not. Striking in this comparison are the lengths to which Forster seems to go in order to portray Mrs. Munt’s tapping as a mindless, perfunctory reflex, in which there is a direct, causal relationship between sounds and actions. Her behavior in that sense is indistinguishable from that of “dancing” robots, whose motors are driven by beat-​finding algorithms. The principle is the same in both cases: the system, naïve to the causes underlying its behavior, is stimulated by sound, which it “parses,” outputting random actions that cease as soon as the sound stops. I have argued in the previous chapters that music is fundamentally meaningful at the level of pre-​reflective, bodily engagement, and that it is at this level that the meaning of music is temporal. But it is one thing to claim that musical understanding is grounded in bodily movements, and quite another to assert that these movements themselves already constitute a form of musical knowledge.3 Indeed, while it requires little effort to accept Helen’s fanciful narrative as an example of musical understanding, applying the same measure to Mrs. Munt’s behavior might be met with skepticism. Yet there exists a continuum between these two extremes—​one poetic and cerebral, the other prosaic and corporeal—​a continuum that enfolds worldly, 3 The former view is espoused by proponents of the conceptual metaphor theory, for example Cox (2017), who draws substantially on Lakoff and Johnson (1980).

Body  107 bodily, and mental processes into a unitary phenomenon of cognition.4 By foregrounding this continuum, in this chapter I will examine more closely the listening body to argue that tapping is far from a senseless reflex initiated by the ignorant philistine whenever music comes on. I will show that movement in general, in addition to being the primordial form of musical engagement, is a kind of knowledge, a kinesthetic knowledge of “how music goes.” Since music is a process that affords the enactment of lived time, listeners’ bodily responses constitute a form of knowing time itself. Therefore, to take musical time seriously is necessarily to take seriously the embodied, situated listener for whom music serves as a means of affectively and dynamically knowing the world. *** Human bodies are from the outset inexhaustible by the very theories that try to disclose their being and doing. As the cultural historian Thomas Laqueur remarks, “we remain poised between the body as that extraordinarily fragile, feeling, and transient mass of flesh with which we are all familiar—​too familiar—​and the body that is so hopelessly bound to its cultural meanings as to elude unmediated access” (1992, 12). Splintered and inarticulate when objectified by the anatomical gaze, but biologically and technologically integrated when propelled by self-​motion in tasks aimed at sustaining life, bodies confound ontological fixity by fluidly acquiring, removing, interchanging, and replacing layers of mediation between themselves and the world in which they are situated. Bodies are altogether irreducible to the organic forms on which they are completely dependent, and resistant to external influences while thoroughly suffused with them. They have been described variously as processes, multiplicities, intermediaries, situations, limits and possibilities, socially discursive objects distinct but inseparable from their worlds, fractal projections of subjectivity (Wegenstein 2006). Terms like these accrue to the fleshy mass, thereby creating a kind of negative space: never quite getting to the material thing but nevertheless sketching the hazy outlines of its potentialities. 4 In Music Alone (1990), Peter Kivy defends a similar position, which he characterizes as seeming “utterly incredible” to his readers. While Kivy and I arrive at similar claims, our paths lead through different intellectual terrains—​his analytical philosophy (seeking cognitive content in the mind of Mrs. Munt), mine embodied cognition (regarding Mrs. Munt’s skillful movement as a form of knowledge).

108  Enacting Musical Time In contemporary academia, with its emphasis on process and qualitative difference over substance and quantity, it is no longer legitimate to ask what the human body is, because what the body is is a permanently fluctuating, continually deferred assemblage. According to Susan McClary (1995), “historians have come to realize that the body itself has always been a contested category, that its experiences differ radically according to time, place, social class, gender, ethnicity, age, and much else. In other words, we cannot appeal to the idea of a transhistorical body” (83). The body is as much a biological matrix of structurally and functionally differentiated cells as a discursively fragmented and semiotically synthesized manifold, reconfigured again and again by the most current conventions and ideologies. It is both encased within its skin and spills out into its milieu by way of different prostheses (Hayles 2008). If the contours of the body are blurry, it is because our view of it is acutely inhibited by an inescapable blind ​spot. “We don’t know what a body is,” writes Elizabeth Grosz, “because a body is always in excess of our knowing, and provides the ongoing possibilities of thinking or otherwise knowing it. It is always in excess of any representation, and indeed of all representations” (2001, 27). We cannot withdraw from the body’s embrace far or long enough to be able to circumscribe it with our thought, because it forms the very foundation of this thought. It is always as inhabitants of our bodies that we understand, know, remember, judge, anticipate. We do not merely have bodies but, as Merleau-​Ponty (2012) reminds us, we are our bodies.5 Implicit in the notion of possessing a body is a view that bodies are no different from other objects one finds in their milieu, and that the attribute of possession involves a disembodied subjectivity—​be it a Cartesian cogito, or a Kantian faculty of judgment—​which is made manifest through the body’s actions on the physical world. This attitude gestures toward the existence of some cryptic dimension of human existence that remains undisclosed, except for those brief moments when a small, meticulously contrived part of it becomes exposed when the magician pulls back the curtain.6 Yet, as Merleau-​ Ponty has argued, “I have no other means of knowing the human body than by living it, that is, by taking up for myself the drama that moves through it 5 Our seeming ownership of our bodies is a condition that Peter Szendy (2015) is at pains to decipher. 6 Marcel Mauss, for example, writes that “the body is man’s first and foremost natural instrument,” a statement which suggests that there is someone behind the body, a subjectivity that sits in the driver’s seat and for which the body is a means of expression (1973, 75).

Body  109 and by merging with it. Thus, I am my body, at least to the extent that I have an acquisition, and reciprocally my body is something like a natural subject, a provisional sketch of my total being” (2012, 205; emphasis added). In other words, rather than revealing thought and disclosing a cognizing subject, or externally manifesting what are essentially translations of internal mental processes, bodily actions just are cognition—​they are subjectivity.

Embodied Cognition For the purposes of this discussion, the most significant consequence of the claim that observable bodily doings are not merely incidental to, or driven by, or even manifestations of thought, is that bodies responding to the acoustical signal are already engaged in music analysis. Actions like Mrs. Munt’s tapping are themselves a form of understanding of musical processes. It is not an understanding in the conventional sense of forming mental representations of sonic phenomena, but rather an understanding that happens between the listener’s body and the world, a way for the body to come up against the world such that its geometric form and the distribution of its potential energy already encapsulates the spatiotemporal capacity of this encounter. In contrast to the biological entity whose description is exhausted by anatomical designations, this is a lived body: Husserl’s Leib, Merleau-​Ponty’s le corps propre.7 It is experienced in the first person and characterized by an openness to the world, it inhabits space and time, and it is physically and kinesthetically familiar with its milieu. Rather than probing its ontological status, it is more promising to approach this body through its capabilities, limitations, and developmental possibilities. Of course, the issue of capabilities in itself is an ontological matter, albeit indirectly so, because it foregrounds what Grosz (2004) describes as the body’s “open-​ended connections with space and time, its place in dynamic natural and cultural systems, and its mutating, self-​changing relations within natural and social networks” (3). However, a discussion framed around capacities is more explicitly directed toward the processual unfolding of the body, rather than its fixed state. In other words, such a discussion draws attention to the body doing analytical work.

7 See Merleau-​Ponty (2012). In the most recent English translation, David Landes interprets le corps propre as “one’s own body,” but goes to some length to explain in his introduction that the phrase does not mean possession of the body (cf. Szendy above), but rather being a body.

110  Enacting Musical Time The first step in reframing the discussion of musical understanding involves a reassessment of the nature of cognition. The traditional account limits cognitive processing—​memory, decision-​making and planning, categorization, and language processing—​to the activities of the brain, treating the rest of the body as peripheral support or a transmitter of information. The mechanisms responsible for activating these are limited to modular neuronal structures, where each cognitive capacity is thought to be materially instantiated in its own dedicated brain area. In turn, this modularity promotes a view of cognition as stably grounded in patterns of neuronal firings that either store or constitute mental representations. The classical view has been disputed by proponents of embodied and enactive approaches to the human mind, based on the fact that if the body and the environment are together irreducibly implicated in cognitive processing, then the notion of a modular, neurally distinctive brain architecture is implausible.8 While hardly a coherent field, and certainly not without significant and contentious theoretical and methodological differences, embodied cognition typically embraces one fundamental principle: the human body does not just ground cognition, but instead cognition depends on the entire body in many different causal and physically constitutive ways (Wilson 2002; Shapiro 2011). The body in this model is considered a central element of cognitive processing, while the brain is neither the sole, nor even the guaranteed, seat of thinking, remembering, or learning. Hardly the final arbiter of rationality, it is merely one of the nodes in the brain-​body-​world system that in its totality constitutes cognitive activity. As pointed out by Francisco Varela, Eleanor Rosch, and Evan Thompson (1992) in their groundbreaking study, these three nodes are in constant mutual interaction. Understanding of the environment does not depend on the perceiver’s projection of representation-​driven models onto the world, but on his or her bodily engagement. The world “shows up” to the perceiving agent as overlapping fields of affordances and abilities. Pulling these ideas together, Shaun Gallagher (2013) defines cognition as “an enactive, emotionally embedded engagement with the world by which we are able to solve problems, control behavior, understand, judge, explain, and generally do certain kinds of things—​much of that constitutionally shaped by tools, environmental factors, social practices, etc.” (11). Cognition in this broader sense is an activity of a body that is animate and “in touch” with its 8 For a penetrating critique of the classical view, see for example, Anderson, Richardson, and Chemero (2012).

Body  111 milieu, and involves all perceptual, cognitive, and motor capacities. Meaning is enacted, or brought forth, as the cognitive agent interacts with the world. Embodied cognition is especially interested in explaining how thoughts and emotions emerge as consequences of humans having particular sensorimotor systems. In the strongest sense, the body constrains, distributes, and regulates cognitive behavior by playing a “compulsory, critical, and constitutive” role in solving mental tasks (Wilson and Golonka 2013).9 Embodied approaches to cognition have not escaped the attention of music scholars, where much of the work has been focused on determining how the listeners’ and performers’ musical understanding is grounded in the structures and activities of their bodies.10 While the aims and methods vary, the common theme is that active, situated bodies participate in the construction of musical meaning, for example, by supporting the linguistic concepts used to describe auditory phenomena (Cox 2017), or by serving as a conduit that mediates between the acoustical signal and mental activity (Leman 2007). Drawing on these and other studies, in what follows I will pursue the implications of a radically integrated wholeness of a mind-​body-​ world system as far as is feasible in a musical context, starting with the claim that there is no formal difference between cognition and behavior: to act is to think. Musicological accounts that take seriously the inextricability of the mind-​ body-​world system tend to remain on the theoretical side, foregoing critical engagement with specific pieces of music.11 Supplementing these accounts, my goal in this chapter is to explore the pre-​linguistic, bodily level of cognition as it pertains to music analysis. As Bernard Stiegler put it in his influential trilogy Technics and Time (1998), the body’s “technics” (la technique) are a way of “bringing into being what is not” (9). In the present context, what the body brings forth is the very “stuff ” of music, what Judy Lochhead (2015) 9 For a discussion of the difference between causation and constitution, see, in particular, Ylikoski (2013). Briefly, causal explanations deal with change in the properties of a system, while constitutive explanations deal with the properties of the system at any given moment. For an exceptionally clear analysis that is relevant to embodied cognition, see Danaher (2015). 10 Some representative sources include Godøy (2003), Cox (2017), Leman (2007), Moran (2011), and Schiavio et al. (2014). An overview of some of the most recent empirical trends can be found in Leman et al. (2018). For a cogent review focused primarily on the work done by Marc Leman and members of his team, see Matyja (2016). Most recently, Mailman (2018) rightly critiques what he sees as a “universalizing impetus” of embodied cognition that insists on a “natural” relationship between musical sounds and their embodiment, suggesting instead an approach that highlights music’s artifice and allows for the expansion and extension of how music is embodied. 11 Cox (2017) and Mailman (2018) are notable exceptions here in that both authors are ultimately interested in relating theory to musical practices.

112  Enacting Musical Time calls “musical things.” Stiegler’s view is echoed by Salome Voeglin (2010), who writes in her stirring manifesto that a sonic thing “is empirical, neither formed nor deformed, but formless unless it meets a hearing body” (19), adding later that the process of listening is itself an “act of production” that “builds” and “forms” these things in a process that is “emotional, binding, and contingent” (24). Here, the body does not merely underlie conceptual understanding, but creates, or perhaps reveals, the very entities with which it engages. Thus revealed, musical things are thoroughly temporal in nature because they remain structurally coherent while simultaneously undergoing disintegration into a state of non-​being. In fact, I will go so far as to posit that they are not in time at all—​that they do not exist in an otherwise independently moving temporal flow—​but rather are of time: they are constitutive of temporality. That is, time has the particular features and capacities it does because it is made up of these entities. Time does not act causally on them, for example by organizing them into a particular sequence. Instead, the organization of these entities just is the organization of time. Time cannot be conceived independently of them, and so it cannot be conceived independently of the body that brings them into being. At this level of analysis, the listener-​sound dyad does not exist in time but enacts time. The details of this enactment will be discussed in the following two chapters, but first I argue that bodily responses to the acoustical signal must be taken seriously as a kind of temporal knowledge. Specifically, I make a case for listeners’ gestures, finger-​and foot-​tapping, swaying, and other sorts of bodily activities to be considered as forms of kinesthetic knowledge, or knowledge of the feel of performing any of these actions. Before moving on to a more exhaustive analysis of this knowledge and how it is enacted, I will first describe what bodies do when responding to the acoustical signal.

Temporal Bodies Synchronization Perhaps the most obvious thing that bodies do in response to sounds is to synchronize with them. The more we learn about the mechanisms of synchronization, both in humans and in other species, the more impressive a phenomenon it turns out to be. It is a striking achievement in which bodies in motion become coupled in time and generate what we saw in Chapter 1

Body  113 as “muscular bonding,” William McNeill’s term for a positive emotional arousal that facilitates social cohesion and increases efficiency in joint tasks (W. McNeill 1997). While common enough to seem to disappear into the white noise of human existence, synchronization is far from a simple process. In fact, it appears to be contingent on our ability to entrain to an external stimulus, which itself has to be isochronous, that is, organized such that upcoming events can be predicted with near-​perfect accuracy (Merker et  al. 2008). In the case of an auditory signal, for example, we have to be exposed to a series of regular, periodic changes in the spectral features of sound, occurring within a narrow window between about 100 milliseconds and 5 seconds. Events falling within this timeframe become the tactus of a musical phrase, turning, through differentiation, into what Justin London (2012) describes as “the temporal ground for the perception of rhythmic figures,” or meter (65). To be sure, sounds are not the only phenomena to which humans can entrain, but they are the easiest and engender the most accurately timed actions (Merker et al. 2008). Having successfully entrained to the same isochronous signal, listeners can synchronize their movements not only with the sound, but also with each other, resulting in an experience that is thoroughly communal and intersubjective. In turn, these synchronized listeners share both the goals of their actions and the trajectories of their movements in response to opportunities afforded by the auditory context. What matters in such instances is not just the timing of movements, but also how they unfold between endpoints and what kind of kinesthetic qualities they make manifest. The emergence of synchronization can be illustrated with motion-​capture observational studies, such as those I conducted with my colleagues at the University of Oslo.12 When asked to move with what they heard, participants were able to entrain to periodicities in several excerpts in which regular organization emerged following metrically ambiguous sections without a detectible tactus. They did this even without explicit directions to synchronize, suggesting that the periodic events in the auditory signal served as convenient “targets” for movement, which translated into peaks in movement acceleration (Zbikowski 2004). Example 3.1 shows one such case. The musical fragment heard by the participants consisted of mm. 533–​542 of Harrison Birtwistle’s Exody (1997; for orchestra). In addition to the score, 12 Details of this experiment, as well as a more thorough analysis of this and other excerpts, can be found in Kozak (2015).

114  Enacting Musical Time Example 3.1  (a) Harrison Birtwistle, Exody, mm. 531–​542. ©1998 By Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd International Copyright Secured. Used With Permission. All Rights Reserved. (a1)

the example includes three histograms. The vertical axes display percentages of participants whose movements elicited peaks in acceleration within a succession of 350-millisecond windows; the horizontal axes show time (in seconds). For example, the first tall peak in the middle histogram, labeled

Body  115 Example 3.1 Continued. (a2)

(a) in the example, indicates that around 12.5 seconds (s) into the Birtwistle fragment, 92% of participants—​that is, 11 out of 12 non-​musicians—​moved in such a way that their actions created a peak in acceleration. Starting at around 7s into the recording (the third notated beat of m. 535 in the score), the brass set up a lilting ⁶₈ meter, with trombones and tubas

116  Enacting Musical Time Example 3.1b  A histogram of acceleration profiles of participants moving to Exody. (b)

articulating every sounding downbeat (at the interval of three quarter notes), trumpets the second beat (also at the interval of three quarter notes, but beginning a dotted quarter after the trombones and tubas), and horns every beat (at the interval of a dotted quarter note).13 Within this framework, a melody emerges in the strings in a kind of hocket in which the articulations of the big

13 I am making a crucial distinction here between notated beats and sounding beats, which in this particular case do not correspond to one another. Sounding beats establish the ⁶₈ metrical framework whose “downbeat” occurs on the third quarter-​note beat of each notated measure.

Body  117 beats are passed from one group to the next. The string parts are very thick, characterized by a canon based on an ascending figure, thus the “melody” is really an ancillary result emerging from a much more intricate, contrapuntal sonic fabric. Yet regardless of how the passage looks in the score, a metrically organized section is aurally unmistakable, and this translated into the participants’ movements. The first peak, at 7s, correlates with the initial brass downbeat, and the subsequent peaks with the following beats. Moreover, the highest percentage peaks in the top panel of the graph, at 12.5s and 14.5s, also correlate with downbeats; however, since they do not occur immediately at the onset of the passage but instead on the downbeats of “measures” 3 and 4 in the metrical sequence—​actual measures 537 and 538—​this high agreement likely reflects the effect of entrainment on participants. The other two prominent percentage peaks, at 23s and 28s, also correlate with the punctuations in the brass and the strings. The emergent structure of the music helps shape not only synchronization but also the ostensible lack of movement articulations evinced by periods with few acceleration peaks. The very beginning of the excerpt (up until 6s—​ mm. 533–​535) can be described as an undulating mass of string sounds with subtle articulations in the percussion (xylophone, harps, and electric piano) and piccolos. The overall effect, which results from the high tessitura and a diffusion of simultaneous attacks, sounds like playing a cassette tape on fast-​ forward. In the strings—​divided into soli instead of full sections, and playing a muted flautando—​there are five different rhythmic strands happening simultaneously, resulting in a very dense texture, with uniform timbre throughout the passage. A similar situation obtains between 17s and 22s, and later between 24s and 28s (mm. 539–​541 and 542–​545, respectively). In all three of these cases, the three histograms show that there is a correlated drop in the percentage of acceleration peaks for the corresponding timeframes, which suggests that, in general, such rhythmically diffuse textures afford unfocused movements that lack definite articulations. To put it differently, there is low differentiation on the part of participants regarding sonic affordances for changes in movement acceleration, which results in a lack of synchronized activity. The ability to synchronize movements is so essential to human existence that it strengthens attachment and increases cooperation between group members even when those members do not derive any pleasure from the task at hand (Wiltermuth and Heath 2009). Synchronized activity alleviates the selfish tendency of some members to “freeload”—​that is, to bear less

118  Enacting Musical Time productive and participatory burden than is incumbent on them through social obligations. Perhaps this is one reason why nearly every culture partakes in rituals that involve synchronized behavior, but which themselves have no immediately discernible material goals. Emotional and physical attachment formed between individuals during synchronous activity infuses the productive spheres of social life, so much so that an inability to synchronize is regarded as a pathology.14 Consider, for example, how the villagers in Igor Stravinsky’s ballet The Rite of Spring select their sacrificial virgin: she is the one who, missing a step, essentially falls out of sync with the rest of the dancers. Synchronization creates Foucaultian “docile bodies”—​malleable corporeal forms that contribute to economic growth through an increase in productivity and efficiency (Foucault 1995). Here, nonsynchronous bodies need to be purged from the social fabric as something harmful to the structure of the community. Their failure to entrain degrades the particular spatiotemporal configuration that makes the community thrive in the face of uncertainty brought on by an unforgiving nature. In addition to aesthetics, there is thus an ethical dimension to synchronized movement, which can be turned into artistic expression, as in Wayne McGregor’s critically acclaimed ballet AtaXia (2004).15 Created in close collaboration with neuroscientists and psychologists as part of the Choreography and Cognition research project, the work’s aim was to investigate the body’s functionality when perturbations outside of its control prevent it from adequately performing some task. Uncomfortably drawing attention to the biases and prejudices that might lurk within our own embodied existence, bodies in the ballet move as if stricken by the titular illness, deformed and “out of time” with each other—​the world a moving target. The effect is as predictably unsettling as it is unexpectedly beautiful, revealing novel rhythmic corporeal patterns that remain obscured in ordinary circumstances.

14 The positive effects of synchronized postures and gestures, especially in the context of verbal communication, also extend to the emotional disposition between speakers. For example, Tschacher and colleagues (2014) found that in dyadic interactions, positive affect was positively correlated with synchrony between participants. 15 More information can be found on McGregor’s website at http://​waynemcgregor.com/​ productions/​ataxia. Accessed April 12, 2016.

Body  119

Coordination One thing that pieces like The Rite of Spring and AtaXia reveal is that the ability to synchronize is a manifestation of humans’ capacity to function efficiently within their physical and cultural environments. However, it might be more productive to consider synchronization as a “boundary concept,” defined differently in different epistemological domains.16 For example, whereas physics considers synchronization as characteristic of two systems that are softly coupled and autonomous (Pantaleone 2002), studies show that exact timing mechanisms, if they exist at all, do not emerge at the behavioral level (Repp and Su 2013). Even expert drummers, long considered ideal human synchronizers, play merely “well enough” to seem, or to signal the intent, to synchronize, falling short of the kind of exactitude demanded by precise measurement devices (Polak, London, and Jacoby 2016). This exposes a forced time compliance levied on the players by the very technology that aims to understand the process of synchronization, in effect hijacking this process and substituting its own criteria of success and failure. The danger is that research questions can prematurely assume the form of “How well can you do X?” rather than first getting to the bottom of “What exactly are you doing?” The cards are stacked against human players who will never be as precise as the machines meant to quantify their behavior, because human timing mechanisms operate in an entirely different modality. Our lives seem to be primarily organized around temporalities that are a lot more fluid and far less regular than those that would allow for synchrony. Whether engaging in various types of communication or other joint physical activities, or simply navigating our quotidian world, most situations we encounter are not structured periodically. Even without temporal regularities, we are able to successfully perform tasks in which timing is critical to the achievement of a desired goal. Think, for instance, of catching a fly ball, or stepping off an escalator, or getting on a chair lift. These are all activities that require us to take into account the strict temporality of the world with which we are interacting, but without the need, or even the ability, to synchronize with it. Success in these cases depends on so-​called emergent timing mechanisms, in which one is not concerned with calculating the time between salient events in the external world, but with smoothly and efficiently 16 Star and Grisemer (1989) introduced “boundary objects” as objects that are “both adaptable to different viewpoints and robust enough to maintain identity across them” (387). I modified their idea to capture the non-​physical aspect of synchronization.

120  Enacting Musical Time executing an action in the context of a concrete, situated task (Zelaznik et al. 2008). The timing of such actions is negotiated by the body in relation to the affordances of other bodies and objects in the environment: balls, escalators, chairlifts, and so on. Regularly occurring events that can be used as moments of intermittent calibration of our actions are relatively rare. More often, the primary measure of success for these actions is constituted by complementarity. In contrast to concurrence, complementarity is a dynamic spatiotemporal network within which each participating body—​here construed very broadly to include human, non-​human, and even non-​biological partners—​is able to account for some, but not all, of the resulting structure. Recall the long quotation by Dewey from Chapter 2, that life itself “consists of phases in which the organism falls out of step with the march of surrounding things and then recovers unison with it” (Dewey 1980, 12). There are points of physical and temporal contact that link us directly with the external world, constituting moments of coordination, of bodily integration, of convergence. “Coordination” here means a mechanism that organizes on multiple timescales the experience of several bodies—​or bodies and object—​in a dynamic and complementary way. It works by integrating disparate temporal patterns—​for example, non-​metrical musical sounds and a moving body—​ into an aggregate. This aggregate is created by softly coupled dynamics that persist despite falling outside of their natural state of equilibrium—​a phenomenon known as “metastability” (Laroche, Berardi, and Brangier 2014). As a result, a system can both seize onto moments of temporal convergence and subsequently decouple in an active, flexible adaptation to environmental demands. Whereas synchronization depends on prediction, coordination entails getting swept up in a temporal tide that results in a kind of fragile integration at the systemic level. The drive to achieve the most advantageous hold on the world—​what Merleau-​Ponty (2012) calls “maximum grip”—​ pervades all living beings as a fundamental characteristic of perception, and as such any interaction between bodies is always incomplete. This incompleteness arises from flexible fluctuations in the dynamics of the interaction itself—​seen, for example, in departures from synchrony in the interplay between mothers and their infants. Optimal relational dynamics involve a balance of stability and elasticity, a compromise between random fluctuations and strictly metronomical rhythms. Coordination to music is highly contextual, which might account for the fact that it has received considerably less attention in empirical research than

Body  121 the more temporally restrictive synchronization. It is difficult to uncover potential invariant couplings between affordances and actions when the model has to be created anew with each situation. Since soft couplings are ephemeral—​essentially “one-​offs”—​their role in grounding musical temporality is far less robust than the stability offered by synchronized movements, which is considered to be a key factor in the cross-​cultural functionality of music. And yet, as a mechanism for timing movement, it is coordination that is far more important to our inexorable synthesis with the environment, a condition that is exploited in many musical contexts. To take but one example, Ellen Dissanayake (2000) has long reported that coordination of movements and sounds in back-​and-​forth interactions between infants and their caretakers—​what she calls proto-​musical behavior—​is an important evolutionary adaptation. In these cases it serves a more important function than synchronization because it helps establish crucial timing behaviors that are used in everyday social encounters. The importance of coordination for musical situations can be seen in the ways in which ensemble members rely on the subtleties of co-​performers’ gestures to make sure that they are “in time” with each other. Players continuously couple and decouple their actions from other members, at times falling out of synchrony, only to converge at moments that mark structural events in the music—​downbeats, for example. One possible explanation for how this intermittent coupling happens is based on the notion of affordances.17 Recall in particular that perception drives action, while action, as I showed in Chapter 2, reciprocally generates perceptual information. This perception-​action cycle is intentional insofar as it is directed toward some entity or phenomenon in the world, which initially shows up as an indeterminate plenum, and only gradually becomes determined through skillful actions. But rather than perceiving objective features of this world, the basic tenet of an ecological approach is that we perceive opportunities for action, or affordances. That is, instead of the objects themselves, we perceive ways in which they solicit further determination through skillful bodily engagement. There is thus a level of indeterminacy prior to the concrete action that one performs with respect to the rest of the ensemble.

17 Sawyer (2005) presents a slightly different approach, in which co-​performers create mental representations of each other’s actions. Such representations are antithetical to the Gibsonian ecological approach that I am developing here.

Example 3.2  Brian Ferneyhough, Third String Quartet, mm. 49–​55. © Copyright 1987 by Peters Edition Limited, London. Reproduced by kind permission of Peters Edition Limited London.

Body  123 Keeping this in mind, imagine that you are the second violinist in an ensemble playing Brian Ferneyhough’s String Quartet No. 3, and your goal is to arrive on the E♭ trill in m. 54 together with the viola and the cello (as shown in Example 3.2). Along with the preceding thirty-​second note, which functions as a kind of up-​beat, it is the only moment that affords simultaneous sound production in a passage that extends back to the middle of m. 50. It would be a stretch to claim that throughout this fragment you monitor and adjust your movements to those of others, or that you represent their bodily intentions in any active, ongoing way. Instead, what is far more parsimonious is that the behavior of the other quartet members serves as an affordance for your own actions.18 According to Samuel Todes (2001), we have a sense of what it feels like to achieve a satisfactory gestalt, and we try to minimize our own sense of deviation from it by skillfully moving our bodies. Hence, as a musician, all you have to do is monitor your own sense of deviation from the satisfactory gestalt, which is the E♭ in m. 54, and make the necessary adjustments when the resulting auditory signal fails to satisfy your needs. In this view, the musical goal emerges from the aggregate of bodily interactions, rather than existing apart from the activity of the ensemble. There is a feedback phenomenon that Merleau-​Ponty (2012) calls the “intentional arc,” which describes our relationship with the world that we perceive in terms of an increasing determination of its features. “Through movement,” Todes writes, “we do not merely notice but produce the spatiotemporal field around us, our circumstantial field, the field in which things appear to us” (Todes 2001, 49). This process of production—​which below I call “kinesthetic knowledge”—​is reflected back to us in the features of the world that invite our actions, which is to say that the world becomes increasingly determinate as we acquire specific dispositions for responding to its solicitations. In the case of playing Ferneyhough’s quartet, this determination consists of the feel of arriving on the E♭ trill together with the violist and the cellist, and it emerges from a skillful response to those musicians’ affordances for behavior.19 When coordinating events that preclude synchronization, ensemble performers obviously rely on insiders’ knowledge honed through intimate familiarity with the music and, perhaps more importantly, through hours of playing together. But this ability is not limited to performance. Even when

18 Recall Gibson’s maxim that “behavior affords behavior” (1986, 135). 19 Writing specifically about the musical groove, Roholt (2014) discusses the experience of bodily rightness or wrongness as the basis of feeling in terms of Merleau-​Ponty’s “motor intentionality.”

124  Enacting Musical Time the structure of the acoustical signal prevents listeners from entraining, there exist events that nevertheless engender actions that happen consistently at the same time. Different listeners, at different times and on different occasions, are able to coordinate their movements with the same sonic phenomena through soft coupling, giving these phenomena a particular kind of salience that they otherwise might not have. Listeners are able to attune to similar acoustic features, projecting onto them similar structure, and generating similar patterns of behavior. In the same motion-​capture study mentioned previously, this effect was exceptionally clear in listeners’ bodily responses to an excerpt from Elliott Carter’s Asko Concerto (2000; for chamber orchestra), shown in Example 3.3. In this particular case, the acceleration profiles of participants revealed an unexpected consistency in movement, as seen in the histogram in Example 3.4. Note especially the peak labeled (a) in the graph, which turns out to be consequential for the present discussion, because it corresponds to a seemingly unexceptional descending dyad in the oboe (D♯5–​G♯4 in m. 23). Since the melodic strand of each instrument is fragmented, it is likely that throughout the entire excerpt listeners were generally tuning into the overall, holistic effect of the combination of the three instruments. This dyad, however, is singled out: not only is it exposed in terms of timbre and register, but it also appears on its own, following a continuously shifting compound melody that involves the participation of all members of the trio (mm. 20–​23). This isolation can be taken as a structurally meaningful moment, and its relationship to listeners’ movements may mark it as a unifying process in this section of the piece. Consider the interval of a descending perfect fifth. Although it is an inversion of the ascending fourth that opens this trio (see the oboe in m. 20), it is unlikely that listeners were immediately aware of this relationship. Instead, the turnaround itself—​the fact that the music changed directions from an ascent to a descent—​might have played a significant role in shaping the listeners’ experience. As Example 3.5 shows, the first four measures of the fragment are characterized by rising dyads, many of which are articulated legato with slight emphasis on the first pitch in each pair. Thus, the specific action that would correspond to these dyads is established right away as a relevant aspect of the piece’s organization. Looking ahead, we can see that the oboe turnaround in m. 23 initiates a reversal in the direction of the dyad, while at the same time maintaining its articulation and, for the most part, emphasis. From that point, nearly every measure until the entrance of the ritornello in m. 55—​which marks the end of this trio—​contains at least one such dyad (seen in Example 3.6).

Example 3.3  Elliott Carter, Asko Concerto, mm. 20–​30. © 2000 By Hendon Music Inc. International Copyright Secured. Used With Permission. All Rights Reserved.


Example 3.4  A histogram of acceleration profiles of musicians (n = 15) moving to Asko Concerto. 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0










time (s)

Example 3.5  Elliott Carter, Asko Concerto, mm. 20–​23, reduction. Solid slurs indicate ascending legato dyads (plus a triad in m. 22) occurring in the same instrument.

Example 3.6  Elliott Carter, Asko Concerto, mm. 23–​54, reduction. Descending dyads (plus longer gestures). Solid black boxes inscribe longer segments with common-​tone continuation. Dotted boxes show descending tetrachords.

Body  127

Kinesthetic Knowledge Observational studies reveal a consistency in participants’ movements, even when the temporal organization of music prevented them from entraining to the signal. While this finding leads to any number of questions about the sonic conditions that make such consistency possible, what is especially germane to my argument is why the body’s capabilities should unfold in the particular ways they do. My answer is that by coordinating actions with an auditory signal, the body enacts its kinesthetic knowledge—​that is, its knowledge of temporal processes. The creation of an embodied musical understanding is no different from how we make sense of the world more generally by acting within it in a skillful and corporeally rational way. Maxine Sheets-​Johnstone calls this a “kinetic body logos” (2009, 33). For her, thinking is kinetic and dynamic, unfolding in and simultaneously creating its own spatial and temporal forms. We think in movement by enacting our kinesthetic knowledge of the world’s temporal processes, and this world includes music as one of the aesthetic extensions of everyday significant forms. Our bodies, as Sheets-​ Johnstone puts it, know what to do: thinking in movement “means that a mindful body is creating a particular dynamic as that very dynamic is kinetically unfolding. A kinetic intelligence is forging its way in the world, shaping and being shaped by the developing dynamic patterns in which it is living” (2009, 33). Kinesthetic knowledge is thus no mere “physical knowledge”—​ mechanical muscle memory that lacks the mark of the truly cognitive. To the contrary, there is rationality in movement: kinesthetic knowledge is cognition itself. Returning to the literary example that opened this chapter, Mrs. Munt might have come dangerously close to breaching concert hall etiquette with her tapping, but she most certainly was no mindless automaton. Even if she was unable to articulate it with words, her understanding of music was no less sophisticated than Helen’s. Mrs. Munt’s movements just were musical knowledge.

Definition There are many types of activities that are difficult—​even impossible—​to explain but which nevertheless express a form of understanding. For example, remaining upright and moving forward on a bicycle does not require me to

128  Enacting Musical Time have theoretical knowledge of gyroscopic, gravitational, or inertial forces. Similarly, possessing such knowledge can in no way guarantee my ability to remain upright and moving forward. And yet the skillful action itself is a non-​verbal manifestation of my understanding of the underlying physical principles, even if those principles resist explication. Since riding the bicycle is also a response to the bicycle’s affordances, the activity imbues with significance the object composed of a frame, handlebars, a seat, and two wheels. The bodily know-​how gives meaning to what is otherwise just a collection of metal and rubber parts.20 The ability to ride a bike appears in Leonard B.  Meyer’s monograph Explaining Music. “Understanding music,” he writes paraphrasing Bertrand Russell, “is not a matter of knowing the technical terms of music theory, but of habits correctly acquired in oneself and rightly presumed in others. Listening to music intelligently is more like knowing how to ride a bicycle than knowing why a bicycle is ridable” (Meyer 1973, 16). For Meyer, knowledge-​how is an aspect of one’s habits, an “almost intuitive” form of understanding grounded in “sensing or guessing” the structure of whatever is currently capturing one’s attention (17). De Souza (2017) uses this example as a foil for a phenomenological analysis of the relationship between performers and their instruments, noting rightly that knowledge of how to ride a bike better characterizes playing an instrument than listening, because in both cases there is an explicit interaction between a human and a physical object. While mindful of this caveat, I want to recover Meyer’s claim by suggesting that listening, like performance, is also an example of a knowledge expressible as skillful action. The novel perspective that I bring to bear on this matter is that listening is not an example of knowledge-​how, but of kinesthetic knowledge.21

20 A  musically relevant example of this kind of bodily expression of principles underlying a temporal object is “the groove,” an aspect of certain musical genres that is absolutely essential, yet eludes verbal explication. In addressing the question “what is it that listeners know when they know a good groove?” Zbikowski (2004) suggests that “rather than limiting ourselves to conventional music-​theoretical constructs (and their representations), we need to think of musical knowledge as involving a network of information. That includes assessments about bodily states or the possibilities for bodily motion, knowledge about the basis of musical interaction, and abstract concepts” (273). 21 There is considerable terminological confusion concerning the different kinds of non-​verbal, bodily expressions of knowledge and understanding. In particular, the concept of knowledge-​how—​ in contrast to knowledge-​that—​comes from Gilbert Ryle’s groundbreaking study The Concept of Mind (1949). Meyer does not cite Ryle, but he does acknowledge Michael Polanyi, who is credited with developing the related concept of “tacit knowledge” (Polanyi 1958). While often used interchangeably, knowledge-​how and tacit knowledge nevertheless differ from each other:  where the

Body  129 Kinesthetic knowledge is a contextual enactment of the dynamics, affectivity, and intercorporeality of our bodily involvement with the world. It is the feel of living as an animate, environmentally embedded being engaged in some task. It is a means for the body to absolutely differentiate itself and, by intervening on the world, to enact its agency in response to both physical and cultural constraints. It is inscribed in our body schemata such that it enfolds not only our bio-​psychological nature but also our technologies and artifacts. Allowing us to successfully navigate our milieu, it constitutes a dialogue between habit and novelty. Let me flesh out this complex definition. Context Kinesthetic knowledge is similar to Michael Polanyi’s “tacit knowledge” insofar as it is knowledge that is manifested with actions (Polanyi 1958). As such, it is in contrast to explicit knowledge, which is expressed in linguistic concepts, principles, and axioms. In the strictest sense, both tacit and kinesthetic knowledge are absolutely closed off to explication and representations, because to explicate them would be to already fundamentally alter their nature. However, despite some convergence, there is one crucial difference between them: kinesthetic knowledge is a necessary condition for the manifestation of tacit knowledge. For example, having tacit knowledge of driving a car must include the kinesthetic knowledge of the feel of pressing on the gas pedal, or the feel of shifting gears, or the feel of making a hard-​left turn. These are not general, abstract representations; rather, they are specific to the car one is driving, the conditions in which it is driven, and the state in which one is while driving (e.g., tired, distracted, under the influence). Where tacit knowledge describes the general skill, kinesthetic knowledge refers to the particular: What can I do, given this concrete situation, with these specific constraints and opportunities, and how can I adjust my actions on the fly in order to successfully perform my task?

former can include what I have earlier described as a “narrow” sense of cognition, the latter is strictly expressed in the co-​variance of the agent and his or her environment without the need for axioms, corollaries, or principles that serve to generalize perceptual bits of information. Furthermore, both differ from “procedural knowledge,” which concerns the role of consciousness in how knowledge is manifested (Fantl 2017).

130  Enacting Musical Time Dynamics Kinesthetic knowledge is dynamic in that it is deployed contingently. It does not unravel mechanically as if the body were running a program, but co-​ arises with the constitution of the objects that are acted upon. For example, “tying a shoe” as a form of kinesthetic knowledge is deployed differently depending on whether one is tying one’s own shoe or someone else’s, whether the laces are too long or too short, or whether those laces are made of leather or yarn. In each situation, the enaction of knowledge is contingent on the properties of the object, but the object as such is not given in advance of the action itself. Tim Ingold (2000) calls this an “incorporation” of current physical, biological, social, and cultural conditions into the body’s sphere of capabilities.22 Incorporation is a way for movement to generate forms that do not exist before movement is enacted. In the example of tying the shoe, the object “shoe” emerges as a particular token when the body’s kinesthetic knowledge negotiates actively and in real time the shoe’s affordance of tie-​ability and wear-​on-​foot-​ability. Similarly, a fragment of the acoustical signal shows up as a musical thing—​for example, a tactus—​when the listening body actively realizes the sound’s temporal affordances for a particular kind of aesthetic behavior, such as synchronization or coordination. Affectivity At the moment of performing an action, precisely when kinesthetic knowledge is enacted, the dynamics of my movement are influenced by my affective dispositions. The world must matter to me in some determinate way—​it must have value, or valence—​in order for me to initiate my engagement with it. Kevin O’Regan and Alva Noë (2001) have shown that the ways in which we deal with concrete things in our environment are guided by this environment’s “sensorimotor contingencies,” which are lawful relations between the actions we perform and the associated sensory stimulation. In effect, these contingencies are folded into our kinesthetic knowledge as part of our body schemata (more on that later), providing information concerning how to act. But in addition to the how, it is also necessary to consider the why: Why do we act in these ways but not others? As I discussed in Chapter  2, only a handful of the many affordances presented by the 22 Ingold borrows the term “incorporation” from Paul Connerton (1989), and contrasts it with inscription, in which “some pre-​existing pattern, template, or program, whether genetic or cultural, is ‘realized’ in a substantive medium” (193). We can also distinguish incorporation from the popular term “offloading.”

Body  131 perceiver-​environment system may be useful or useable. The why, according to Gallagher and Bower (2013), “depends on latent valences that push or pull in one direction or another for attention and for potential sensory-​motor engagement, reflecting, for example, a degree of desirability” (234). These “valences that push or pull” are nothing other than affect—​the very mode of deployment of kinesthetic knowledge. They are the affective gestures of “from/​to,” toward and away, philia and phobia, which characterize perception. Similarly to Heidegger’s Befindlichkeit—​our attunement to the world’s beckoning—​affect here functions as something like a selection parameter for our kinesthetic knowledge.23 Intercorporeality As an enactment that slips through the grasp of representation and remains absolutely withdrawn from explication, kinesthetic knowledge cannot be validated through propositions. Its “truth value”—​that is, how well the actions of a knowing body harmonize with that body’s physical reality—​lies in how it succeeds in practice. Naturally, there can be many different measures of success for a task at hand. For example, the members of a first-​violin section of an orchestra might come from different pedagogical backgrounds, and may use different playing techniques for the same passage of music. Yet as long as they are playing the same pitches, at a similar dynamic level, and with matching articulation—​that is, as long as the auditory result passes some test of similarity—​it matters little how exactly they accomplish it. Here, success is defined by the final result of an action, while the exact manner of achieving the goal is irrelevant. At other times, however, it is the manner of performance that makes the action successful, regardless of the outcome. Marching and military drill, for example, serve no immediate function in twenty-​first-​century combat, yet are still practiced as a way of disciplining and regulating the bodies of soldiers, preparing them to fight alongside other bodies and unquestioningly carrying out orders while enduring physical and mental stress (W. McNeill 1997). Since bodies do not exist in isolation, kinesthetic knowledge is intercorporeal—​a collective phenomenon that participates in our distributed cognitive capacities (Clark and Chalmers 1998). It is partly shaped by other bodies around us, each with its own dynamic and affective way of engaging 23 “Attunement” is Joan Stambaugh’s translation of the German term in Heidegger (1996). Dahlstrom (2013) uses the term “disposedness.”

132  Enacting Musical Time with the world. From the moment we are born, we become integrated into specific social practices that provide a common ground for linking us with our conspecifics (Mauss 1973; Tomasello 1999). These practices, of course, include musical practices, but also more pedestrian activities, like eating or walking. Our bodies, like those of soldiers or orchestral violinists, are disciplined in various explicit and implicit ways in order for us to function as productive members of our respective social groups. Every bodily expression thus becomes meaningful against a background of the totality of knowledge that we share with those around us. Kinesthetic knowledge is at once an enactment of our subjectivity and a confirmation of our membership in a particular social group.24 Cultural constraints Thinking in movement is shaped by social interactions and the resultant networks of social practices. For example, listening to Judas Priest’s “Painkiller” at a concert would most likely entail some form of vigorous headbanging, whereas if you heard the same song at an academic conference, you would probably confine your movement to unobtrusive foot-​tapping. According to Carrie Noland, social conditioning functions both to restrain and to enable the body’s potential: [T]‌he body’s motility is the first vehicle societies employ to express their values and perpetuate themselves. The acquisition of a habitus, a set of bodily techniques, inevitably shapes the unfolding of virtual kinesis and constrains the types of kinesthetic sensation that will be available for inspiring innovation and resistance . . . If moving bodies perform in innovative ways, it is not because they manage to move without acquired gestural routines but because they gain knowledge as a result of performing them. (Noland 2009, 7)

Noland further argues that against the discipline imposed by social conditioning, “gestures, learned techniques of the body, are the means by which cultural conditioning is simultaneously embodied and put to the test” (2009, 2). 24 Related to this simultaneous enactment and confirmation is the notion that kinesthetic knowledge—​as knowledge in general—​is what Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick describes as “the magnetic field of power” (1994, 23), and hence its formation and manifestation takes place within a carefully conditioned social hierarchy. For further discussion of this and of bodily technique as epistemic, see Spatz (2015).

Body  133 Kinesthetic knowledge, born of routine and habit but subject to individual variation, creates the conditions for the body to modify and sometimes even reject cultural conditioning. Resistance leads to the creation of new meanings, or new ways in which the world becomes significant, because the human subject is led to discover how the individual body effects responses that are unique to its capabilities, despite being bound by discipline. Ingold (2000) has noted that, under such conditions, culture itself has to be construed in terms of social activities that, through participation and resis­tance, configure how individual members approach the various affordances in their environment. Humans, Ingold argues, do not operate primarily in the symbolic world superimposed by cultural conditioning, but rather in one that emerges in everyday practices from bodily interactions with others. Kinesthetic knowledge is acquired through movement, through an active process of exploring the world with one’s body. By sharing in the same practices, social agents attune to the same invariants in the environment, and as they pursue the same activities in each other’s company, they pick up the same information. In turn, social embeddedness shapes collective representations that end up functioning as cultural conditioning for the body. Put simply: to move together is to think together. Intervention Intercorporeal practices provide social validity and order to everyday actions. For example, as Stephan Käufer and Anthony Chemero (2015) note, “we walk in different ways depending on whether we are walking indoors or out, through a crowd or into a church. Without having to think about it, we have a refined sense for how close we should stand to others, or how loud we should be. We whisper in movie theaters and shout in bars” (59). And yet, rules of social engagement can be breached at the level of practice, making visible the potential differentiation that exists underneath all kinesthetic interactions. You might decide that headbanging to “Painkiller,” although seeming to violate behavioral norms, is nevertheless an appropriate expression of your bodily engagement with the song even at a conference. This expression would obviously be taken as a major breach of decorum, but infractions can occur on a much smaller scale. As another example, consider how one’s penmanship is a cumulative result of gradually but persistently breaching a template that is drilled into children. This breach might be conscious—​for instance when learning a language with unfamiliar characters—​or it might be a result of literally feeling one’s way with a pen around a piece of paper. With

134  Enacting Musical Time variation on both micro-​and macro-​levels, the body can draw on its own kinesthetic knowledge to assert its agency and generate a subjective form of understanding. This generative assertion of agency is possible because kinesthetic knowledge, rather than representing the world, intervenes in it. Where representations necessitate that the world remain external to the body as a stable and fixed form into which this body is deposited, intervention creates space and time. According to Merleau-​Ponty (1968), movements of the body “are not only [ . . . ] vague deformations of the corporeal space, but the initiation to and the opening upon a tactile world” (133). In turn, these movements “incorporate themselves into the universe they interrogate.” Kinesthetic knowledge is a way of intercepting whatever is happening in the world, of taking a world event or object and orienting it through and with respect to one’s animate body. Kinesthetic knowledge introduces change into the world, and it is this change that asserts the body’s agency: it creates meaningful dynamical forms and constitutes this world in terms of objects, tools, other beings, events, and so forth. To intervene, in other words, is to alter the course of the process that one encounters, to interject perturbation and unpredictability, to disrupt the otherwise stable dynamics of the system. But movements can only intervene if the body knows what it feels like to engage the object it faces; otherwise we would be compelled to forever haphazardly fumble through the world. This prerequisite obtains even in cases when the body encounters a new object, or when it makes a mistake about the object’s affordances. In fact, it would be impossible for the body to know that it made mistake at all if it did not already have kinesthetic knowledge about how the physical engagement ought to feel. The physico-​social world places both tactile and animate demands on the moving body. Hence, when reaching for an object, the hand’s shape, trajectory, and kinetic energy all prefigure not just the object’s shape and weight, but also its most immediate function. Yet the body does not even need an external physical object to feel and express a kinship with the world; it needs only a sense of its own animation. It knows what it feels like to move in a particular way, and thus enacts its kinesthetic knowledge, through its body schema. This schema provides a crucial link between Gibsonian affordances and kinesthetic knowledge by furnishing the lived body with a set of processes with which to become and remain open to the world.

Body  135 Body schema Merleau-​Ponty used the term “body schema” to designate the sense in which bodily skills underlie the possibility of experiencing the world by giving it form.25 In distinction to the body image—​which concerns how one sees his or her body and what sorts of conscious ideas, beliefs, and perceptions one has about it—​the body schema is an unconscious “system of processes that constantly regulate posture and movement [. . . and] that function without reflective awareness or the necessity of perceptual monitoring” (Gallagher 2005). Gallagher further refines the notion by pointing out that the body schema is a dynamic process with different levels, combining hierarchically to form the schema for the current situation. Not confined to patterns of neural activation, body schemas “involve more general constraints placed on action by the whole body as it moves through an environment” (244). The body schema integrates the body with its environment, allowing for the emergence of the affordance system. According to Merleau-​Ponty (2012), “human life ‘understands’ not only some definite milieu, but rather an infinity of possible milieus” (341). Through the body schema, the world for us is “defined [ . . . ] by a certain manner of articulating or of structuring the surroundings” (117), which means that we can perform any action that is allowable by our capabilities—​not just the ones that constitute our embodied history. It also means that the schema is dynamic, enfolding all movements and postures into a single, evolving experience. Furthermore, as technical objects constitute a large part of communicative and communal behavior, they become folded into the distributed cognitive network along with the biological bodies of other human and non-​human animals. The result is the emergence of post-​human “cyborgs”—​ entities whose bodily capabilities extend beyond their corporeal framework (Haraway 2006). By interfacing with the environment, incorporating the very world onto which it intervenes within the process of regulating bodily states, the body schema spills beyond the body’s biological confines and becomes augmented by the very habits and artifacts with which it comes into contact while enacting the body’s agency through its kinesthetic knowledge. For example, Mark Hansen (2006) has compellingly illustrated that the body 25 Merleau-​Ponty’s French term was schéma corporel, which was translated in the earliest English editions of Phenomenology of Perception as “body image.” According to Frédérique de Vignemont (2018), the first use of the terms “body image” and “body schema” to distinguish different types of bodily representations can be traced to Henry Head and Gordon Holmes’s work on brain lesions (1911). For more on the two terms see also Sheets-​Johnstone (2005), who suggests that a more appropriate designation for the process is “corporeal-​kinetic patterning.”

136  Enacting Musical Time schema assimilates, replicates, and incorporates aspects of digital technologies into its own range of action capabilities, resulting in an expansion of the body’s enactive potential when this body participates in certain forms of interactive media art. Meanwhile, Paul Connerton (1989) has further noted that physical actions maintain and convey cultural memory, with kinesthetic “systems” like the body sustaining important historical structures. In this view, music may be construed as a particular kind of technology, a sedimented pattern of interactions that is deployed to fill a functional gap in intercorporeal engagement, serving to link the community’s history with the individuals presently enacting their kinesthetic knowledge. Because music both reaffirms and shapes anew the way people move, it remains a superbly efficient way of bringing participants together into a particular temporal structure. Specifically, it creates the conditions for those participants to draw on their own abilities to synchronize and coordinate movements in order to remain temporally aligned with one another and with the world. Indeed, according to Lawrence Zbikowski (2017), “the basic function of music in human culture is to represent through patterned sound various dynamic processes that are common in human experience” (15). Habit Zbikowski points out that because music makes use of analogical reference—​ that is, a form of reference in which “a token shares structural features with some other entity or phenomenon” (9)—​it “provides the means to create a context for the shared experience of dynamic processes” (15). Through patterns of sound, music creates the conditions of opportunity for representing complex spatial and temporal relations, for example when repeated melodic figures provide the basis for metrical organization. As such, it might be said to constitute a repository of a community’s bodily and affective capabilities. Movement to music does not so much trace its shapes, but rather animation actively constitutes music as such through its deployment of the body schema in response to the temporal affordances it encounters. The body schema is not only spatial but also temporal: it extends the biological body “beyond its actuality” and toward potentiality—​that is, toward future possibilities that imbue the current situation with significance (Hansen 2006). In turn, this body learns to differentiate further affordances by being moved and shown how to move (or not to move, as is sometimes the case). In this way, members of the same community learn to pick up the same affordances, such that the object that furnishes these affordances becomes

Body  137 a kinesthetic memory of the bodily capabilities of that community. Music serves as a cultural memory that both inscribes and allows for the enactment of individual bodily agency. Recent work by Nori Jacoby and Josh McDermott (2017) uses an empirical method designed to ascertain participants’ perceptual biases, which helps to illustrate how music encodes cultural memories. The researchers asked participants—​both Americans in the United States and members of the Tsimané tribe, an indigenous Amazonian society known for harmonic preferences that differed from Western ones—​to continue reproducing short three-​interval rhythmic figures, such as the ones shown in Example 3.7. The initial figure, called a “seed,” was selected randomly from among all possible three-​interval figures, including those containing non-​integer ratios (e.g., 1.6:2.14:1, which is impossible to show using Western music notation). Unbeknownst to the participants, each one of their own reproductions was presented back to them as the next stimulus in the series, such that after several iterations the rhythm became dominated by each participant’s individual proclivities and converged onto a statistical perceptual prior. Revealing markedly different rhythmic biases for the two groups—​the Americans and the Amazonians—​the authors suggest that these priors are “substantially modulated by experience and may simply reflect the empirical distribution of rhythm that listeners encounter” (Jacoby and McDermott 2017). Structural similarities between encountered situations and available actions are captured as habits. These habits are materialized in artifacts, which solidify important relationships between agents and environments, becoming repositories of cultural kinesthetic memory. Among such artifacts—​which become implemented in the body schema through the sanctioned behavior that they solicit—​is music. However, habits and their

Example 3.7  Examples of three-​figure rhythmic patterns (“seeds”) used by Jacoby and McDermott (2017).

138  Enacting Musical Time materializations do not unfold “thoughtlessly” or automatically;26 rather, they embody certain characteristics of the external world.27 As De Souza (2017) writes, “habits, unlike innate reflexes, are acquired and more or less flexible. A  habit can stagnate, of course. But since it has been learned in the first place, it can also be unlearned, relearned. Habit, in other words, is not fixed but dynamic” (13). As the material manifestations of habits, both artifacts and actions are themselves forms of memory, fleeting and imperfect as it often is, but always forming a backdrop against which movements can unfold with flexibility and sensitivity to the changing conditions of the environment. According to Merleau-​Ponty (2012), habits rearrange and renew both the spatiality and temporality of the body schema. The body becomes “transplanted” into the objects it handles and the events in which it participates, including those that have become memorialized as artifacts. These artifacts in turn become incorporated back into the body as part of its schema (Hansen 2006, 44). The boundary between things and the body is dissolved, while the body’s power and scope increase through its coupling with the world. Habit, in other words, makes possible a kind of metamorphosis: as the kinesthetic memory of movement becomes incorporated into the body schema, the object or event that has the kinesthetic knowledge inscribed on it disappears, and, rather than perceiving it, one perceives through it.28 The habitually rearranged and renewed body, whose movements are a deployment of previously enacted meanings, permeates non-​habitual movements that actively make sense of the world, movements that generate new meanings in the course of their unfolding. Habit and non-​habit are in constant dialogue—​tension, even—​as the fluidity of the environment necessitates creative ways of responding to its solicitations without the body becoming unhinged by constant novelty. Imagine what our experience of the constantly changing world would be like if we were never able to integrate this change into forms with which we were already familiar. Or, conversely, 26 Ryle (1949) treats habits as automatic behavior. For him, they are the antithesis of knowledge-​how. 27 See, in particular, Dewey (1980), who conceptualizes habits as a creative self-​transformation of action. Habit here is not a sedimented regularity, but includes an implementation of action as a possibility of future transformation. Because it faces conditions that are not always foreseeable, action can be successful only if it includes a freedom of variation. 28 The object or event becomes a Heideggerian tool in the sense of becoming “available” to the subject (Heidegger 1996).

Body  139 think of how spectacularly unsuccessful we would be in coping with this change if the only repertory of actions available to us were driven by unalterable motor programs. The subject has to negotiate between familiarity and its lack. Habit is what makes perception possible in the first place by providing a recognizable ground against which novel actions can unfold, preparing the subject for experiencing the world and coming into contact with alterity. This ground may at times shift, or it may be uneven, but it nevertheless persists as part of the subject’s body schema. Habit becomes the ground for perception while simultaneously erasing those aspects of the world that have been incorporated into it. Perception thus requires a perturbation that forces the body out of its habitual engagement, creating windows of opportunity for learning, unlearning, and relearning in De Souza’s account. In the case of music, certain habits of movement are inscribed onto sounds, and these habits themselves embody temporal patterns of engagement with the world. It is those patterns of temporality that disappear from perception and become the means through which we perceive. Specifically, they become the means through which we perceive music as such by investing it with a certain kind of bodily significance. But music continually introduces sonic perturbations into those temporal patterns, which forces the body out of habitual movements and compels it to create sense for itself by enacting non-​habitual ones. Kinesthetic knowledge allows this body to respond to sonic perturbations in a meaningful way by guiding the listeners’ movements, by negotiating between habit and non-​habit. An enactment of a musical cultural memory is never a mere re-​enactment: it is a construction of the present moment, which intermingles habit with invention, remembering with forgetting. Hence, when listeners respond to music with their bodies, actively synchronizing or coordinating their actions and giving structure to what is otherwise a meaningless acoustical signal, they make sense of a particular kind of artifact that inscribes—​in the form of process—​the kinesthetic memory of their community, while simultaneously allowing them to enact their agency. Absolute difference Process—​the transition between states of being and non-​being—​is fundamental to temporality. My sense is that this is what Christopher Hasty (1997) means when he implores us to “take time seriously”—​that is, to contend with the essential ephemerality of a phenomenon like sound. It is in this spirit that I want to suggest that lived time is radically intertwined with kinesthetic

140  Enacting Musical Time knowledge—​indeed, that it is the body’s kinesthetic knowledge of its own absolute difference. The relevance of this assertion for music will be clarified in the following section; here, I focus on explicating the term itself. Unlike a process that simply unfolds without any differentiations, time has a structure consisting of the past, the present, and the future. Of these, Merleau-​Ponty has argued that the present is the coincidence of an embodied consciousness and its physical being.29 It is one’s experience of an explicit presence of a spatiotemporal context for skillful responses to the various solicitations in the environment. It is when and where we are right now, our point of direct contact with an external world. In the present we calibrate our being relative to external processes; in the musical present we do so through enacting our kinesthetic knowledge of either synchronization or coordination (or both). Echoing Scott Marratto (2012), we can say that the present is not a pre-​existing form, but an enactment of our very being and subjectivity, which, as we saw earlier, occurs in the rational movements of our bodies. The present is enacted through the materialization, or a coming-​into-​being, of a determinate, sentient, animate self—​an “I”—​in a movement that creatively exceeds its cultural conditioning and asserts itself as an autonomous agent. This moment becomes part of a unified experience of the self through retentions that link it with the past, and through protentions that probe the future. There is a temporal depth in the present such that it is not a “chunk” lined up in a sequence with other similar “chunks,” but rather a kind of deformation, or what Merleau-​Ponty (2012) calls an “upsurge,” in which explicit (enacted present) and implicit (absent-​but-​generative past and future) experiences are folded into a single act. A spatial analogy can help illustrate the body’s role in constituting this upsurge. Objectively rendered personal space extends equally in all directions around the subject, with the “I” at its center forming the zero-​coordinates. Geometrically, my spatiality can be measured in a way that relates everything to me with equal value—​that is, it can be measured using the same unit of length. This view reduces space to what Heidegger calls its “occurrent features,” or those aspects that make up its “presence-​at-​hand,” rather than remaining characterized by its “available” features, or those that are 29 Marratto (2012) has persuasively defended Merleau-​Ponty’s position against what Derrida identified as a “metaphysics of presence,” which is a view that privileges continuity and identity over discontinuity and difference, thereby occluding alterity in how one experiences their own body. As Marratto points out, alterity is evident in Merleau-​Ponty’s concept of the present in the form of an essential absence that constitutes it: the present is an absence of the past and of the future.

Body  141 “ready-​to-​hand.”30 By contrast, the subjective experience of space as something we inhabit essentially distorts its dimensions, making it immeasurable using units of equal value. Because my body has a front and a back, and because it has needs and concerns that include both biology and physics (e.g., dealing with gravitational forces), there is an essential asymmetry in my experience of what I can and cannot see, of what I can and cannot do, basically of what matters to me right now and what falls away as background. My body “measures” this space insofar as it assigns value to it, but it is not a kind of measurement that I might make with a ruler: my body simply does not project itself equally in all directions. The body inhabits the world through what Merleau-​Ponty (2012) calls its “spatiality of situation,” which anchors the body in the objects that it faces in its various tasks. The placement of my body and the objects that elicit a skillful action create a unique perspective from which the world appears to me in a certain way. Specifically, as I direct my actions toward some object or activity, my body emerges as a field of potentialities. Aspects of the world that matter to me, that are the focus of my care, are constituted as the objects of my bodily engagement—​or possibility of engagement—​with them. My body measures the space that I inhabit through its own affectivity, or its capacity to affect and be affected by the world (something to which we will return in Chapter 5). We can consider temporal experience analogously, especially in light of Merleau-​Ponty’s gushing metaphor above. As a moment of calibration, the present has a certain feel, a determination that is characterized by a simultaneous absence of the past and an opening into the future.31 Again, there is an asymmetry. The present and the past (I leave out the future for now, but will come back to it in Chapter 4) are constituted by the patterns of my bodily engagement with the world. My movements have a certain temporal feel such that the body knows not just what to do but also when to do something and how long it takes to do it. Kinesthetic knowledge thus has a constitutively temporal dimension. “The movement that I actually create at any moment,” writes Sheets-​Johnstone, “is not a thing that I do, an action that I take, a behavior in which I engage, but a passing moment within a dynamic process, a process that I cannot divide into beginnings and endings. [ . . . ] My thinking in movement is thus not an assemblage of discrete gestures happening one after the next, but an enfolding of all movements into a perpetually moving 30 De Souza (2017) discusses these terms in the context of musical instruments. 31 Merleau-​Ponty calls this opening “dehiscence”—​a term borrowed from botany. I will come back to this point in Chapter 5.

142  Enacting Musical Time present” (2009, 34). My body measures time by assigning it value, and its measurement is also affective, in the sense of having a different value for me. The value that the body assigns to time is the degree to which the body’s actions successfully harmonize with the world’s unfolding. Can I run toward the corner of the baseball field fast enough to catch this fly ball? Can I shift my weight onto my forward leg just so in order to step off this escalator? Can I, a second violinist, play through this difficult passage quickly enough to land on the E♭ trill in m. 54 of Ferneyhough’s String Quartet No. 3 at the same moment as everyone else? These are all questions that can only be answered in the process of performing these specific actions, and they require that the body take up a certain disposition toward the physical and sonic objects with which it interacts. What interests us in the present context is how exactly the body assigns value to time, and what are the consequences of this assignation. Music—​specifically meter—​readily demonstrates what is at stake. We saw earlier that meter is an organizational schema imposed on sonic processes by an actively engaged listener. According to London (2012), the basis for this schema is the listener’s ability to entrain and synchronize with what one perceives to be periodic, tactus-​level events in the auditory signal. Meter can thus be considered a musical manifestation of the body’s ability to detect and synchronize with such periodicities. This quality, in turn, makes meter a kind of measurement, because it brings out the temporal value of the listener’s engagement with sound. This value is not present in the sound as such, but rather is bodily and enacted, which means that it is fundamentally asymmetrical. Not every moment is equally materialized. There is a greater affective significance in events that are occurring in the present than events in the future or in the past, and among the latter, a greater significance in those that are in the immediate future and the most recent past than those that are more remote. Picking up a thread from Chapter 2, this perspective offers a tantalizing possibility that meter is actually irregular, in the sense of the body’s enacted temporality, and that it ebbs and flows precisely like Merleau-​Ponty’s upsurge. The bodily experiences of the future and of the past are not exact translations of one another. Even if it were possible to objectively “measure” meter according to a single value of the periodic time interval, in terms of lived time the metrical landscape of a piece of music is uneven, contingent upon the changing significance of auditory events relative to the listener. This metrical unevenness emerges because the assignation of value to lived time occurs through the enactment of kinesthetic knowledge, which means that

Body  143 what governs this process is the feel of synchronizing with periodic sounding phenomena. Rather than a grid extending evenly into both past and future directions relative to a centrally located listener, meter is constituted by the invariants in the body’s movement itself, that very activity that gives form to sonic things through the temporal modes of synchronization and coordination. And if it is feel that “measures” music, then I would go so far as to say that we do not synchronize with music because we perceive periodicities, but rather that we perceive periodicities because we are able to synchronize our own periodic movements with the auditory signal.32 In other words, the sense that the events we perceive are periodic comes from our ability to act on them as affordances that solicit particular kinds of movements, not the other way around. And we know that we have successfully synchronized with this signal—​that is, given the specific cultural constraints under which we are operating, the value of our action has been successfully assigned—​because our kinesthetic knowledge provides the basis for what it feels like to do so.33 Specifically, the body knows what it feels like to synchronize with an auditory signal because, in addition to its ability to predict and entrain to it, there is something in how movements are enacted that allows meter to come into being. Consider that we can synchronize to a variety of sonic phenomena—​ including ticking metronomes, dripping faucets, and clanking train wheels—​ without rendering these sounds “metrical.” Therefore, if we regard meter as an aspect of our behavior that has aesthetic (musical) meaning, it is not just that sounds solicit particular kinds of movement that gives sounds aesthetic (musical) significance. Predictability and entrainability may be necessary, but they are not sufficient for the emergence of meter. What is needed is the kinesthetic knowledge of the absolute difference of the body from itself, or the feel of the body shifting its perspective on the very things that it constitutes 32 Support for my assertion comes from Andy Clark’s (2015) theory of the predictive brain, according to which we encounter the world in the form of expectations of how our sense of the body’s position in space and the forces that are inherent in its various configurations will be if we engage with it. What is missing from Clark’s account is the temporality of the body, both potential and actualized. With this caveat, “periodicity” can be said to be the error between our body reaching some acceleration threshold and the sound that we hear. If the two happen to coincide, we have attained synchrony, where periodicity is achieved when this error is minimized. 33 Tiger Roholt (2014) makes a related point when he writes that performed rhythmic patterns have an affective dimension, and that “feeling a groove, and understanding it, does not occur in thought, nor in listening alone, but through the body” (2; emphasis in original). Similarly, discussing the way in which Scandinavian reinlender fiddle players internalize patterns of elongating and shortening certain rhythmic figures, Jan Petter Blom (2006) claims that “rhythm largely belongs to the field of tacit and embodied knowledge based on motor experiences” (78). Notably, what Blom means by “rhythm” is limited to a periodically repeating sequence of regular temporal intervals that “exists as a unified system of experience and deep-​structural knowledge” (75).

144  Enacting Musical Time through movement.34 Comparable in its unceasing self-​referentiality of the body to Husserl’s “lived-​body exteriority” (Aussenleibnichkeit),35 absolute bodily difference is what it feels like to move left to right, or front to back, or up and down; to put weight on this leg or the other; to unlock this joint or that, flex this or that muscle, and all the while maintaining corporeal identity—​the body’s agency, its subjectivity. This feel allows the body to enact the present by incorporating the absent past and the future into the point of contact with the world while simultaneously intervening on this world. Let us examine this process more closely.

Kinesthetic Knowledge in Music Analysis So far in this chapter I have described the nature of bodily responses to an acoustical signal, provided a context for this behavior within larger questions of embodied cognition and kinesthetic knowledge, and speculated about the reason for the enactment of bodily responses as a way of making sense of music. In its course, the discussion pointed to lived time as an indispensable element of this interaction and of kinesthetic knowledge itself. However, one might argue that these issues are more relevant to empirical studies of cognition and perception, and not really the purview of music theory and analysis. Supplanting simple binaries like fast/​slow, long/​short, continuous/​discontinuous with new descriptions based on bodily patterns of intensity—​or even excising language altogether and replacing it with body-​based analyses—​ may seem capricious insofar as there appears to be little necessity for such moves other than inventing ever more fanciful metaphors. There must be a more compelling reason for exploring music through the body’s capabilities than a mere diversity of temporal meanings. Broadening the interpretive field by bringing the body into theoretical discourse and thematizing non-​ spatial and affective forms of time has to be justified in terms of the body’s contributions to the construction of musical meaning. In this final section of the chapter, I will suggest one such justification.

34 In Chapter 4 we will revisit this idea from the perspective of Merleau-​Ponty’s ontology of the flesh, in particular his example of the hand both touching and being touched, both an object and a subject (Merleau-​Ponty 1968). For commentary on Merleau-​Ponty’s notion of the body feeling itself, and its implications for the phenomenology of perception, see Carman (2008; esp. 110ff). 35 On Aussenleibnichkeit, see Husserliana: Edmund Husserl—​Gesammelte Werke vol. 14, 327–​29; 336–​37.

Body  145 If time were not somehow articulated, we would be unable to experience it as we do: an expanded present, a moving window with the “now” continually at its center. It is as if articulation creates a break in the window, and this very break—​as a consequence of time flowing when we turn explicit aspects of experience into implicit ones (more on this point in Chapter 4)—​moves to the side and eventually disappears beyond the frame. Indeed, it is this movement of the articulation from its center to the periphery that constitutes the window as such. The process of events becoming past delineates the frame of the “now.” Events are articulated by the moving body. In particular, the body folds events into its structure, giving them a past and a future as they move into and out of the body’s spatial situation: they become and cease to be objects of care for the body. Through this bodily articulation, time is enacted as every gesture attains a temporal thickness and density. We can observe this enactment in the case of sound. Sound is the perception of a succession of air pressure waves, but this succession does not have a temporal structure on its own. I mean by this that it lacks the past-​present-​ future framework, and is instead characterized by two temporally relevant features. First, as Hasty (1997) argues, sound is not fully constituted until it ceases to exist, because it unfolds continuously. Drawing on the philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead, Hasty suggests that sound is “in the process of becoming” (71). Sound is flow, “diversified but unbroken”; structure, on the other hand, is fixed, “removed from temporal process” (67). Second, music consists of sequences of articulations, or differentiations in the acoustical signal, that together comprise rhythm. These sequences of articulations do not so much carve up the temporal fabric, but rather participate in its very creation—​they are woven into it. Sound by itself remains undifferentiated; it has no past and no future. There are no moments that might open up onto the “as yet unknown,” no windows of possibility that imply, point toward, or, by their essential absence, demand a continuation. For such moments or windows to exist, there must be a subject, an embodied consciousness that experiences sound. Sound is nothing but expansion; it does not recognize relationships between events. To make the point even sharper, there are no events to recognize, for they are yet to be constituted. The undifferentiated sonic process has to be articulated from the outside. The window metaphor is felicitous here, because it implies that there is a frame within which an articulation occurs and an event becomes constituted. This frame has edges that delimit the living present; beyond this frame the world is inaccessible to us directly. These edges are fuzzy—​a kind

146  Enacting Musical Time of fog that masks the transition from the present into the past—​but they nevertheless circumscribe our temporal window. The frame also allows for the “ceasing to be” of an event, its “running off ” as articulation becomes past. Since it unfolds continuously, the acoustical signal by itself does not have this frame. Instead, it is the rationally moving body that imbues the undifferentiated process with articulations. The body remembers, creates a history, and opens up into the future, orienting the sound within its own window of an expanded present. It introduces the essential absence that demands a continuation, while at the same time having its own milieu inscribed upon itself in the form of habits, neural patterns, body schemata, and so on. Considering a concrete example, I discussed earlier how in practice the moving body can articulate the sonic process according to two modes of temporal behavior: synchronization and coordination. Which mode of behavior is enacted—​and thus which events become articulated as a result of this enaction—​depends on the body’s kinesthetic knowledge and the resulting sense of creating its own agency at the given moment. If we focus on a very basic form of a musical response, a finger tap, this movement becomes more than a mere acknowledgement of a sonic event. Instead, it constitutes this event as a musical thing by the fact that it folds the corresponding sound into the body’s temporal framework. A tap, in other words, gives sound a present and, simultaneously, a past and a future: a past and a future of the body whose kinesthetic knowledge created the conditions for it to tap precisely at this moment. By tapping, the body articulates the sonic process according to itself and its milieu, including its bio-​physical and cultural conditioning, and it allows sounds to emerge as significant events that coalesce around it. To put it in the context of affordances, the body’s sensorimotor orientation and capabilities enable it to perceive the undifferentiated process as an opportunity for articulating events. The body initiates the turn from ecological sound to musical event through the form of its engagement. Simultaneously, the emergent events become meaningful precisely by the temporal structure that the body gives them: they become significant because they are brought in to participate in the past-​present-​future structure of the body. Merleau-​Ponty (2012) writes that the “original temporality [ . . . ] is the power that holds [events] together by separating them from each other” (446). I want to suggest that what he means is time as the process of the body itself—​that it is the relation between the body and the acoustical signal that maintains a unity of the events while keeping them apart. It does so through

Body  147 the body’s schema, which synthesizes and habitualizes the body’s capabilities relative to its environment. The body schema accomplishes this synthesis and habituation because it is a continuous enactment and concealment of what is present and what is not. The schema, recall, is an active process of patterning, which means that it is fundamentally and generatively temporal. Hence, rather than an interruption of the flow of time, articulation is the very constitution of this flow. Through its animation, the body synthesizes events that it itself constitutes, events its very movement differentiates from what is otherwise pure transition—​the expanded, moving window of the present. The unity and coherence of the body, constituted by its schema and made manifest in the particular way in which it engages in the world, holds sonic events together as a meaningful thing, a thing that has its specific temporal dynamics and that has emerged as something significant. At the same time, the unified and coherent body keeps these events apart, preventing them from coalescing into a singularity—​a pure co-​existence. Staying with the above example, each tap is at once a unique differentiation from pure transition as well as another differentiation in a sequence of such differentiations. This double function gives tapping a certain temporal shape that is not captured if we think of beats as a grid of equal time intervals. Tapping has a kinesthetic feel that alters and deforms time itself, much like a speedboat deforms the surface of the water with its wake. It is from this deformation that Merleau-​Ponty’s “original temporality” emerges. The listener creates time as a fundamental aspect of musical meaning by articulating and synthesizing—​perhaps even “enveloping,” a term to which I will return in Chapter 4—​the phases of the acoustical signal with his or her movements.

4 Flesh Touching—​touching oneself seeing—​seeing oneself the body, the flesh as Self —​Merleau-​Ponty  (1968)

As we go about our daily lives, our bodies—​subsumed as they are by our body schemata—​largely disappear from view. Without so much as a second thought, we have a precise sense of how we occupy the space around us; without reflection, we feel how our actions directly and indirectly affect objects and other beings in our environment. Whether we are brushing our teeth or reaching for a cup of coffee, our movements are flexibly guided in a way that does not require any active monitoring of the position of our limbs or the direction and timing of their movements. We exhibit in our interactions an openness to the contingencies of the environment, all the while maintaining what Merleau-​Ponty calls “style”—​his term for a certain bodily coherence that makes us move in no other way than “just so.” This openness is a necessary condition of our existence inasmuch as survival itself depends on our propensity to make on-​the-​fly adjustments in encounters with a world that is unpredictable, dynamic, and at times even hostile. Yet our day-​to-​day affairs are increasingly mediated by digital technology, which pushes against our biological embodiment as it stubbornly adheres to the internal logic of algorithms responsible for its operations. This technology, even while augmenting our reality in ways both helpful and amusing, seems to stand in contrast—​at times even in antagonistic opposition—​to our natural adroitness and sensitivity to subtle changes in ourselves and in our surroundings. Indeed, in recent years digital augmentations and enhancements of our capabilities have dramatically reconfigured not only the concepts used to theorize bodies, but also the functional markers of Enacting Musical Time: The Bodily Experience of New Music. Mariusz Kozak, Oxford University Press (2020). © Oxford University Press. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190080204.001.0001

Flesh  149 humanity evident in those bodies themselves, a condition that some have identified (or diagnosed) as “post-​human” (Hayles 2008). Already in the early 1980s, Canadian sound artist David Rokeby began to explore the aesthetic potential of this curious and mercurial relationship between our analog bodies and digital technology. His work culminated in a series of installations titled Very Nervous System (VNS), in which simple first-​generation motion-​capture devices allowed participants to directly manipulate sounds with the movements of their bodies. In one such installation, “Measure” (first shown in 1992 at the “New Music Across America” festival in Toronto), the physical object and the only visual cue nested in an otherwise empty room is a clock, whose ticking is amplified and processed in real time in response to the actions of whoever enters the installation space.1 In the artist’s own words, “movements . . . transform the acoustic behavior of this virtual (acoustic) space” created by the sound source (Rokeby 2000). Without movement, the ticking remains regular, but its temporal and acoustic properties start to morph as soon as a participant begins to gesture within the space. It is as if the flow of time itself, represented by the visual cue of a clock and by the sound of ticking, becomes disturbed and “radically mutated” as movements increase in energy and speed. “At its extreme, the measured pace of the ticking falls apart into chaos out of which a resonant tone emerges, the pure expression of the virtual space’s acoustics, under the stimulus of the by now obscured ticking” (Rokeby 2000). The interactive environment, where the opportunity to move freely in the space is correlated with the fluidity of sonic transformations, differs from a musical instrument that necessitates well-​defined, directed actions in order to master its mechanics. Instead, as Anna Munster (2006) observes, “the interface is a space for improvisation, and the more one improvises in the space, the more the space develops its shifting topography” (119). There is no prescribed structural trajectory constructed by the composer and waiting to be retraced by the participant. On the contrary, the sonic and gestural extremes delimit a spatio-​temporal zone in which each participant creates his or her own structure. Form becomes plastic and corporeal—​literally in the bodies of participants—​where all possible configurations of movements and sounds are permitted. Repetition, development, closing and opening of gestural spaces—​all of these give rise to a unique structure that works through one’s 1 A video of the installation is available at http://​www.davidrokeby.com/​measure.html. Accessed May 10, 2011.

150  Enacting MusicAL Time awareness of one’s own body and the effects of one’s actions on the sonic environment. Time takes shape—​the shape of human movement. But this is not just any kind of movement. Instead of replicating the familiar tooth-​ brushing or cup-​ grasping body of everyday life, VNS encourages participants to create something out of the ordinary. Initially, the regular sounds of the clock in “Measure” engender entrainment, but once the interacting participant begins to move, the sound starts to change. Its regularity gets knocked off balance, seeming to produce a wobble in time that disturbs the body’s typical mode of being and encourages further interaction. A fissure thus appears between one’s normal actions and a change in behavior that is almost coerced by the modified sounds. When it becomes clear that the clock is not just a synchronization machine—​that there is something more complex going on than just a straightforward bijection between the period of one’s gestures and the regularity of ticks—​participants seem to be sonically impelled to use their movements to continually explore the soundworld that emerges in Rokeby’s work. As an impetus for this exploration, the body is jolted out of its first-​person, pre-​reflective state and thrust into a third-​person perspective of an external observer. Such a juxtaposition of the two bodies—​the lived with the objective—​is obviously marked: this is not how we operate under familiar conditions, where the body recedes from our awareness as we perform quotidian actions without any noticeable cognitive effort. And yet this is where an aesthetic engagement with the installation takes shape: in the crevice between subjectivity and objectivity of the body. Thanks to the particular combinations of sounds and gestures afforded by “Measure,” one becomes aware of one’s body as an intentional agent straddling the line between subject and object, between self and other. Participants experience sound through and with their bodies, creating patterns that shape acoustical phenomena into whatever form they desire. The emergent relationship between bodily capabilities and sonic constraints is far more malleable than if one were to engage with a physical musical instrument, and this ultimately results in an artistic expression that is singular and—​despite being available to the gaze of bystanders—​strangely private. Rokeby’s “Measure” exposes a tension between the continuous movement of the body and the discontinuous workings of digital technology, underscoring a persistent anxiety that stems from the basic need to understand time in the face of our own finitude, something that we are hopelessly incapable of accomplishing. But, in the process of interacting with the audio­ visual cue, time is shaped metaphorically. It only seems that Rokeby is able

Flesh  151 to manipulate our experience of time by simply “mutating” the sound of the clock. Although we often conflate our representations of time with time itself, such that altering their appearance may suggest to us an altered temporality, we remain mindful of the fact that “real” time does not bend to our whim. Think, for example, of the symbolism behind Salvador Dalí’s famous melting clocks, or behind the ominous handless timepieces in the dream sequence from Ingmar Bergman’s 1957 film Wild Strawberries. Since depicting time in the form of tools that we use to measure its passage is the closest thing we have to visualizing it, we comprehend these images as ripe with metaphor. The ubiquity of clocks, calendars, and timers might make them synonymous with time proper, but we retain an awareness that they act as mere stand-​ins for “the real thing,” which we never seem to be able to reach.2 To bring back the notion of post-​humanity, these devices can be construed as prostheses, helping to extend ourselves into a realm that is beyond our grasp, linking us with a presence that we are not biologically equipped to perceive. Certainly, what undergoes transformation in “Measure” is not time itself, but rather the amplified sounds generated by the clock. Time flows onward, irrespective of how—​or even whether—​there is anyone participating in Rokeby’s installation. When thinking about time, it is not uncommon to have a sense that there is something “there” before our individual existence, indeed before human intervention as such. After all, each one of us—​in some persistent if embryonic and indefinable way—​is part of a larger cosmic flow, a flow that is much bigger and much more powerful than one might be able to fathom. Yet there is another kind of time at work in “Measure.” It is a time that evades capture and expression with our familiar representations; a time that is felt and lived, rather than measured and counted; a time that, instead of mere quantity, also has a particular quality. Merleau-​Ponty reminds us that “objective time” is a tool used to record time—​via clocks, calendars, and other representations—​ but it is not time itself. In what Merleau-​Ponty (2012) calls “true time”—​in contrast to a series of regularly spaced instants, which vanish anonymously as soon as they appear—​each moment’s arrival, each present, effects a change in all the previous presents.3 Each present is part of a vast network where all 2 Monelle (2000) writes that “clock time is, in ordinary terms, an abstraction. It cannot be experienced directly” (82). 3 Susan Langer (1953) makes a distinction between “clock time” and what she calls “musical time.” Jonathan Kramer (1988) draws on this distinction in The Time of Music. Musical time for Langer is perceptible and ordered, and it is unified and completely formed. This is different from Christopher Hasty (1997), for example, for whom musical time emerges in the process of listening.

152  Enacting MusicAL Time the nodes are interconnected and interdependent, like a dense web where a jitter of a single thread sends tremors toward every corner of the system. As Merleau-​Ponty writes in Phenomenology of Perception, time “is not for us a system of objective positions through which we pass, but rather a moving milieu that recedes from us, like the landscape from the window of a train” (2012, 443). The main goal of this chapter is to show how musical time is enacted when the listener’s lived body interacts with the temporal object that is music. I focus on the body as it is experienced by a subject in his or her everyday engagements with the environment, as opposed to the objective body of the natural sciences. The difference will become obvious over the course of our discussion, but it is important to keep in mind that the two bodies are not entirely separate from each other. Instead, they manifest an ambiguity that is fundamental to our exis­ tence and to our capacity to perceive the world. So far in this book I have presented a framework consisting of two foundational claims: that music is a system of solicitations emerging between bodies of listeners and an acoustical signal, and that the body is a kinesthetically knowledgeable form that embodies and enacts musical meaning. Building on this framework, in this chapter I appropriate Merleau-​Ponty’s ontology of “flesh” [la chair] in order to explore the point of friction between a situated subject and an unfolding environment as the source of time that shapes our experience. It is in Merleau-​Ponty’s writings, in fact, that one finds the clearest articulation of the relationship between time and the lived body, in which he uses the term “flesh” to characterize the inextricable link between ourselves and the world we inhabit. Fortuitously, although not accidentally, his ideas concerning the basis of consciousness in a perceiving, situated, holistically conceived subject, as well as the indissolubility of the subject-​object relationship, easily harmonize with Gibsonian affordances by shifting the perspective of the model to subjective experience. It is as if affordances and flesh were two sides of the same coin: the former describing the interaction between bodily and environmental capacities, the latter disclosing the structure of the system as a whole. At the same time—​and much like Gibson’s ecological project—​Merleau-​Ponty’s phenomenological exercises were developed in the context of visual and tactile perception, and as such do not readily transfer to music. The cause of this incongruity lies in the fact that the auditory world of aesthetically conceived patterns of sound is intangible

Flesh  153 and ontologically indefinite.4 Specifically, flesh requires a physical anchor for the subject’s perceptual act—​an anchor that music is incapable of providing without losing time as its constitutive dimension. Thus, after explicating Merleau-​Ponty’s ideas concerning the body’s capabilities and its relationship to the external world, I will suggest a corrective that takes as its point of departure music’s temporality. I will argue that the experience of musical time requires a particular bodily comportment on the part of the listener, one that foregoes any attempt at capturing the semiotic meaning of sounds, and instead releases the listener into the sonic world. Much like the case of Rokeby’s “Measure”—​a work to which I will return at the end of this chapter—​it is my argument that such an abandonment of the self inevitably opens up a gap in which time is allowed to emerge. This chapter is sparing when it comes to musical references, but it nevertheless forms the keystone of this book’s argument. For that reason, I would encourage the readers to briefly suspend their desire for specific illustrations and follow me through the theoretical thicket, which serves as a crucial step for understanding my analyses in the last two chapters. The path will recapitulate many of the concepts I have already introduced in previous chapters, recasting some in new terms (e.g., affordances and solicitations reconceived as flesh) while giving others more robust theoretical support (e.g., embodiment and enaction as emerging from particular bodily capabilities), but the main thrust concerns the phenomenology of the lived body as it enacts time. I begin with some general remarks about the body’s unity as it is subsumed by its own horizon of action capabilities, followed by an exploration of how perception constitutes its objects in the process of making sense of the environment. I then turn to Merleau-​Ponty’s notion of time as something that emerges from an ambiguity between a lived (subjective) body and a biological (objective) body, constituted by the inherent instability of the present moment and its opening into the future. More precisely, the present moment is a potentiality that allows the subject to enact time by turning it into an actuality. I  then discuss flesh as the infrastructure within which such enactment can take place, arguing that time in this view constitutes the form of our interaction with the world. In the last part of the chapter I draw the reader’s attention to the problems that music injects into the concept of flesh, 4 Merleau-​Ponty himself wrote relatively little about music, especially later in his life, when his philosophical thoughts turned almost exclusively to visual art. Moreover, as Amy Cimini (2012) points out, his treatment of music is somewhat anachronistic, bound up with the score and uncharacteristically disembodied.

154  Enacting MusicAL Time ultimately constructing my own account of musical time predicated on the indissolubility of the listener-​sound dyad. *** The essence of temporal origins for Merleau-​Ponty is that the body “secretes time” (Merleau-​Ponty 2012, 249). The remarkably evocative image invites any number of interpretations. We could perhaps envision the body leaving time in its wake, like a scent that is dynamically altered by its movements. We might picture it as an aura that envelops the body, the body never able to escape its swaddling embrace. It lingers, suspended in space, as if drawn together by some magnetic force exerted by the body. It moves with the body; together they are in synchrony. But it does not move uniformly: the body’s movements create within the secreted time vortices, eddies, waves and ripples, cascades of energy, all kinds of bifurcations and convergences familiar from fluid dynamics. The aura swirls, jostled out of its equilibrium by the body’s disturbances. This poetic figure of time is brimming with exegetic potential, but it does not tell the whole story. Left here, each one of us would have our own “time” secreting from our individual bodies. Indeed, locked in as we would be within our own auras, we would hardly be able to speak of “time” at all. Just as Galilean relativity tells us that, given a constant velocity, a person trapped in a windowless vehicle has no way of confirming whether the vehicle is moving, a body imprisoned in a temporal blanket would have no point of reference to help it perceive time’s most basic characteristics, like passage and dimensionality. We would still have recourse to an externally imposed objective time, of course, but the essence of time as something lived—​as something significant—​would vanish.5 Individual temporalities—​those auras that envelop our bodies—​must be somehow open and in contact with each other. This means that the openness of temporalities is a necessary condition of having a sense of time’s passage and of its past-​present-​future structure. The sense of an event’s “pastness,” for example, can only be felt when one has a temporal distance from said event, but this temporal distance only emerges 5 Note that such temporal imprisonment would effectively render the concept of “objective time” useless, because its efficacy depends on interactions among multiple temporal beings. As a cultural construct, objective time is a measuring tool used to coordinate individual behavior relative to other human beings, and so its “timefulness” arises from its application to private temporal trajectories that interact with one another.

Flesh  155 when one experiences one’s own temporality against that of someone (or something) else. One could argue that, unlike a windowless vehicle, the sense of time’s passage does not have to come from outside of ourselves. It seems that our train of thought alone is enough to provide the necessary reference. But even then the sense of passage requires an intervention onto this very train. As I will discuss later, Merleau-​Ponty calls this auto-​affection, which is the affection of the self by the self. One of these “selves” is the body as subject; the other, the body as object. There has to be a self-​reflection of consciousness for the sense of pastness to emerge, because otherwise experience would amount to an unchanging present. The body in isolation thus does not create time; at best, it is one of its co-​ creators. Hence Merleau-​Ponty immediately goes on to add that the body “becomes that location in nature where, for the first time, events, instead of pushing each other into the realm of being, project around the present a double horizon of past and future and acquire a historical orientation” (2012, 249). Of note here is the description of the body as a “location in nature”—​ a part of the world. The body is both a subject and an object among other objects, a material locus of worldly activity.6 Around this locus, events themselves, by virtue of their relation to the body, project a “double horizon,” which Scott Marratto (2012) productively interprets as “the spatio-​temporal arena of the ‘I can’ ” (118), or, in other words, the space and the temporal dynamics of the body’s capabilities and possibilities of engaging with the world. These capabilities and possibilities are precisely what unifies time and gives events a past, present, and future, without which these events would merely pass from one to the next, devoid of any temporal significance. The body’s engagement with those events by way of expressive, directed, intentional movements is what creates time as an aspect of experience. Since it must be secreted somewhere, the temporal aura of Merleau-​Ponty’s poetic image is situated. More precisely, it is situated in a space between the body and the world. In order to further develop these claims, and to examine their implications for a theory of enacted musical time, I therefore start with the body, where, in order to understand how it secretes time, and how it unifies temporality within the aura of its capabilities, I will reach back to the very emergence of the “I can,” to the acquisition of “I can-​ness” along with its negative, “I cannot.” 6 To emphasize this point, Merleau-​Ponty writes elsewhere, echoing the French existentialist philosopher Gabriel Marcel, “I am my body” (2012, 205).

156  Enacting MusicAL Time

The Body’s “I Can” According to Merleau-​Ponty (2012), “the body cannot be compared to the physical object, but rather to the work of art” (152). It is important to keep in mind that the French philosopher refers strictly to visual art, which reproduces neither the objective reality as such, nor anyone’s experience of it; instead, it may be said to “prolong” the sensorimotor dynamics of perception (Marratto 2012, 103).7 The artist has a particular perceptual relation toward the object he or she perceives. This relation encompasses aspects of the artist’s bodily comportment, the affordances of objects in the world, and the spatiotemporal framework within which the perceptual act unfolds. The artistic creation in turn extends this link between the subject and the world into the realm of the visible. A painting for Merleau-​Ponty is thus more than a mere object that the viewer beholds: it is a dynamical construct that creates a very specific perceptual relation with the world. It is not a visual record of the objective world, to be brought out like evidence of a crime during a trial. Nor is it a transcript of the painter’s perceptual act, in which viewers become witnesses to perception. Instead, a painting is an invitation to explore the nature of the painter’s stance within and against that world. The viewer must actively participate in the creative process by prolonging the dynamics of the artist’s relation with the world into his or her own perception. The creative act of expression, on the one hand, and what is actually being expressed, on the other, are thus inseparable. The meaning of this act—​its value, its significance—​is articulated within the relationship that the creator already has with the contents of the creation, not through an insertion of external representations. This creative act does not take on prior meanings, but instead generates its own meanings in a process that continually cycles between the perceptual relationship and the previously mentioned prolongation of its dynamics. As the artist’s movements “palpate” the visual scene (to borrow yet another term from Merleau-​Ponty), the production of a work of art inaugurates the same expressive norms that guide it. 7 In that regard, Merleau-​Ponty fixates on the painter, because for him painting is the only artform that entitles the creator “to look at everything without being obliged to appraise what he sees” (1993, 123). Whereas all arts “draw upon the fabric of brute meaning,” verbal arts are expected to “take a stance” relative to what they describe—​that is, there is an ethical imperative weighing on the likes of poets and philosophers—​while music is “too far on the hither side of the world and the designable to depict anything but certain schemata of Being—​its ebb and flow, its growth, its upheavals, its turbulence” (123). Originally published as “L’oeil et l’esprit” in Art de France 1 (1961).

Flesh  157 Another way of saying it is that the depicted object, or landscape, or person, becomes constituted as such in the process of creation, in the process of the artist’s responses to the affordances furnished by the world. Of course, this view is an extension of an ecological perspective, in which all objects acquire meaning through the actions of an organism. The wider implications of this view for understanding musical time concern the unity evident in the relationship between the artist and what is being depicted, the fusion that finds its nexus in the material creation. A work of art is neither an imitation of the objective world nor a subjective projection of the world by the artist’s imagination; rather, it is a synthesis of self and world. For Merleau-​ Ponty to say that the body is like a work of art, therefore, is to say precisely the same thing: it is a synthesis of self and world. The body is neither a pure subjectivity—​a Cartesian cogito certain only of its own existence—​nor an objectively extended assemblage of parts. Instead, it is a unity. It is a unity precisely because it synthesizes aspects of the self with aspects of the world through its perceptual acts. All living creatures, from the simplest to the most complex organisms like ourselves, are in pursuit of ways that help them maintain their existence, including nourishment, genetic sustainability, and the persistence of physiological processes. We are all animate creatures, and this animation is the most basic capability of our bodies (Sheets-​Johnstone 2011). Animation manifests our capacity to experience self-​movement as constitutive of our perception. As Marratto (2012) writes, “meaning is rooted in the dynamic structure of behavior by which I make sense of my surrounding world precisely in responding to its complex demands” (4). Perception, therefore, is a matter of self-​movement; it is behavior through which an organism creates its own sense of the world. This movement reveals the relation between myself and the world because it manifests the inescapable fact that I am always situated, always embodied, always in physical contact with some tangible aspect of my immediate environment. In its kinesthetic form, self-​movement absorbs the sensible qualities of those things toward which it is directed, for example when the shape of my hand extended toward a cup in front of me prefigures this cup’s geometry—​the fact that it has a handle, that it is of a certain size and weight, that it is made of a certain kind of material, and so on. Meanwhile, these same sensible qualities only appear in self-​movement, such that the “handle-​ness” of the handle, or the “lift-​ness” of the cup’s weight are not evident outside of the affordance system that the cup creates with

158  Enacting MusicAL Time a capable organism. There are no sensible qualities—​no meaning of the world—​that exist independently of the expressive movement that is directed toward them. Movement as a perceptual act participates in fusing the body and the world in two ways. First, it reveals the world to the subject. Quite literally, movement is what makes the world “sensible”—​that is, audible, tactile, even visible. Without movement, none of these sensations would be possible. When I perceive a beat in my favorite Beatles song or when I feel the texture of velvet, I do so only by virtue of my being able to move my body in a particular way that makes these aspects appear in my perception. As I already pointed out in Chapter 1, Kevin O’Regan and Alva Nöe (2001) have shown that even perception of color, long thought to be a mechanistic process of light hitting specific cells of the retina, depends on tiny movements that we make with our eyes.8 Second, movement also works in reverse by revealing the subject to the world. That is, I learn about my body and about my own capabilities by attending to the ways in which the world resists my movements, thereby giving them structure. For example, when I sink into my office chair, I feel not only how it gives way to my body and deforms under my weight, but also how my body is transformed and enveloped by the chair’s size, stiffness, texture, and so on. I feel my body “being felt” by the chair—​not in an anthropomorphic sense, of course, but as a body that allows itself to be shaped by something external. In other words, rather than being disclosed to me in a neutral, desultory state, my body is formed in response to the world’s solicitations. There is what Merleau-​Ponty calls a “reversibility” between myself and the world, a double articulation in which the world is made manifest through the body while the body is made manifest through the world. Perception is movement, animation, gesture. To move is to assign value to the world; to perceive is to enact the subject’s kinesthetic knowledge. Perception thus depends on one’s enactment of previously acquired knowledge concerning the consistent ways in which self-​movement changes one’s perceptual field (Noë 2010). I  showed in Chapter  3 how certain actions performed by listeners express those listeners’ kinesthetic knowledge about music’s dynamical processes, its temporal dimension (or “how things go”). Kinesthetic knowledge here is not something one “has,” but something one enacts: it is an expression of a particular relation between 8 See also Bompas and O’Regan (2006).

Flesh  159 the subject and the world, an expression that is itself a perceptual act (i.e., an act of assigning meaning to the world). Perception, then, is an enactment of this relation given the specifics of the current situation. Considering as an example the task of tying a shoe, think about the many different contexts in which it might need to be accomplished—​standing, sitting, your own, someone else’s, carrying a heavy backpack, suffering from injury, and so on. All of these variations on the shoe-​tying routine illustrate that even though we might have something like a broad conceptual category called “tying a shoe,” in reality it is made up of so many different situations that, even if the actions appear to be similar, it is difficult to speak of the same experience in each case (Lashley 1951).9 There are different qualitative dynamics that both shape and are shaped by each scenario, and which result in the deployment of different sense-​making (perceiving) movements. Kinesthetic knowledge, therefore, refers to the ability to adjust this action to the contingencies of the situation. In other words, it is not so much a matter of “I know how to tie a shoe,” but rather “given these particular circumstances, I am able to make manifest my body’s capabilities in a way that lets me accomplish the task of tying a shoe.” It is the process—​enactment—​through which the general becomes particularized in the current situation, a set of variations improvised on the spot by a body adapted to its milieu. Insofar as perception entails both an active manifestation of kinesthetic knowledge and a receptivity to environmental circumstances, it leaves us open to the world, exposed and vulnerable. As Marratto puts it, “there is an element of contingency in our perceptual experience which prevents us from asserting the absolute priority of form, or structure, over content” (2012, 41). The form of our experience—​the shape of our gestures as we reach for objects, the timing of our gait as we jog on the sidewalk, the resolute touch with which our fingers palpate the opening chord of Beethoven’s “Waldstein” Sonata—​is not given prior to the action, but must instead remain flexible to the constraints and opportunities afforded by the situation. Rather than becoming locked up in our own bodies, we leave open the possibility that the world might surprise us—​that by the time the gesture, or step, or hand shape approaches its target it might no longer be on target. The environment that is so intimately familiar to us has the capacity to foreshadow its own 9 Lashley (1951) pointed out that no two actions are the same, but rather constitute tokens belonging to the same action type.

160  Enacting MusicAL Time changeability for a situated perceiver with the appropriate kinesthetic knowledge, for example when the light hits the pavement just so, altering the optical array such that we perceive the sidewalk to be uneven and adjust our stride length. But even as perception actively makes the world appear to us, it is open “to a reality that is neither simply given nor simply produced by the subject” (2012, 41). As much as things that populate our environment solicit our actions (insofar as we make sense of them as soliciting our actions), the act of perception does not create the thing itself. There is always some thing “there” prior to our intervention. Because the perceiving body must assign value to a world that is not entirely of its creation, the manifestation of the “I can” involves an attempt to “get ahead” of oneself, to self-​generate, to auto-​affect. The body displays a “movement of existence toward others, toward the future, and toward the world” (Merleau-​Ponty 2012, 168). The temporal dynamics of perception are thus shaped by the body’s anticipation of how the world will be articulated in the future. As Merleau-​Ponty notes, perception is at once prospective (i.e., the to-​be-​perceived object is experienced as the final stage of the perceptual process) and retrospective (i.e., the object will eventually be present to the perceiving subject as the “stimulus” that motivated the perceptual act). For example, if I am reaching for a cup, it is the forthcoming contact with a solid object of a particular size and shape that gives structure to my gesture—​the position of my arm, the extension of my fingers, the flexion of muscles in anticipation of the cup’s weight. This contact, of course, will happen in the future, when the cup will be perceived as the goal of the action. However, this goal was already what motivated the action to begin with, replacing the cup at the initiation of the gesture as something that—​at least at first glance—​was always there as the goal. Thus, the temporal dynamics of perception involve a synthesis of the different perspectives in the action of the body itself, where their origins become blurry as the action essentially constitutes “the now.” In other words, neither prospection nor retrospection are available to the perceiving (acting) subject at the moment of perception (action), but rather form a necessary background against which this moment unfolds. Perception spills over into the past and the future. The moving body is thus always a unity, always in synchrony with itself, even as its temporal dynamics pull it in different directions: toward both a future that must remain open and a past that was never really present.

Flesh  161

From “I Can” to Time In the previous section, I  offered a phenomenological description of the body’s capabilities and its inherent openness to contingency. It is within the arena of these capabilities that the body becomes a locus of temporal dimensions—​the past and the future coalescing around the lived present. The dynamics of the body’s capabilities—​its “I can”—​shape the dynamics of time by responding to environmental solicitations in ways that are expressive of the body’s kinesthetic knowledge, which impart sense to the world and which give it structure by making it intelligible. In effect, what I have described thus far is a fusion of time and meaning at the level of bodily animation. Indeed, as Sheets-​Johnstone (2009b) has remarked, time, life, and animation are interwoven in the fabric of our existence. In its current form, the description does not yet explain how enacted time is co-​constituted by our capabilities. In fact, I might as well still posit time as a formal category within which bodily actions unfold, imposed externally instead of emerging from within the affordances system that includes the body and its milieu. At best, one might be able to assert that perception is inherently temporal because actions are not instantaneous—​movement necessarily takes time. But time here is a mere measurement of the body’s displacement, ticked off by the steady hand of a timer. Instead, continuing with the idea that the body secretes time as it engages in its perceptual capabilities, there needs to be some explicit connection between what is being secreted and how this process unfolds. In other words, one needs to show—​as I will below—​that perception is inherently temporal because movement necessarily makes time. As the body moves through its environment, it continually picks up affordances, and this activity, in turn, makes other affordances recede into the background. They do not disappear from attention altogether, but merely slip away, nestling somewhere in the distance of the spatiotemporal horizon of the “I can.” They remain part of the tacit knowledge that the embodied subject draws on when enacting his or her kinesthetic knowledge. They serve as the ground against which solicitations emerge as figures. Our ability to encounter these figure-​ground structures in our surroundings is ensured precisely by the temporality of our perception. Recall that for Merleau-​Ponty our bodies have an ambiguous status. That is, they exist for us both as something we are (as subjects) and as something we have (as objects). They are both the vehicles through which perception

162  Enacting MusicAL Time is enacted as well as assemblages of parts that extend into the world to be perceived by others. The body is thus at once unified and fragmented, self and other, touching the world and touched by it. This last image is especially important to Merleau-​Ponty because it illustrates how the body’s ambiguity inheres at the very core of its existence. Famously, Merleau-​Ponty (1968) showed how a right hand that is touched by the left as it grasps an object becomes a site in which neither the self nor the other is exhaustively expressed: “[E]‌ither my right hand really passes over to the rank of touched, but then its hold on the world is interrupted; or it retains its hold on the world but then I do not really touch it—​my right hand touching, I palpate with my left hand only its outer covering” (148). Since the perceiver cannot be aware of both modes at once, but must effect a shift in perspective in order to grasp one or the other, there is thus a possibility of the self and the other overlapping and appropriating one another. (Perhaps this explains why touch is one of the most heavily legislated forms of communication, capable of instantaneously and decisively expressing things that language can only awkwardly insinuate.10) The back-​and-​forth shift between feeling-​other and feeling-​other-​feeling-​ self occurs right at the point of our contact with the external world, creating a gap between body as subject and body as object. It is a scene of ambiguity—​ an ambiguity that actively constitutes temporality as a particular form of the subject-​object/​object-​subject shift. Our point of contact with the world is determined by our embodied situation, which endows us with certain predispositions to respond to the world’s affordances and turn them into invitations. In trying to maintain what Merleau-​Ponty calls “maximum grip” on the world—​a kind of synergy that is most advantageous to our continued existence by seeking to minimize missteps and mishaps—​we anticipate the best possible outcome of our response in relation to our prior bodily experience. Not only that, but we must do so in a way that is flexible, allowing for on-​the-​fly adjustments in response to the changes in our perceptual array. However, the body can never fully achieve this grip because it is not identical with the world. While the body unites the world and the self through action, it always remains for us as both part of the world and the self. As I “palpate” things in my environment—​as I sink into my chair, or grip the neck of my violin, or jog on the sidewalk—​I do not become those things (the chair, or the 10 For an excellent historical and cultural overview of the function and meaning of touch, see the collection of essays in Classen (2005).

Flesh  163 violin, or the sidewalk). Rather, I am “enveloped” by these and other things in my environment in a way that allows me to remain connected to them without losing my sense of self. My anticipation of certain events is balanced by the brute force with which these events befall me in a way that is beyond my control, such that my “maximum grip” must also be balanced by a maximum letting-​go. Because the perceiving body grapples both with its own conditions as well as the contingencies imposed by the external world, it becomes a locus of what Merleau-​Ponty envisions as a network of temporal consciousness. Drawing on Husserl’s familiar tripartite model, he posits that this locus is fastened by retentions (as “no longer” presentations of a temporally extended present), and by protentions (as the “not yet” equivalent of retentions). Not to be mistaken for memory and expectation, retentions and protentions are constitutive of present perception: they are its fringes, which “run off ” into the past and “get ahead” into the future. Here is how Merleau-​Ponty describes it in Phenomenology of Perception: Husserl calls the intentionalities that anchor me to my surroundings “protentions” and “retentions.” These do not emanate from a central I, but somehow form my perceptual field itself, which drags along behind itself its horizon of retentions and eats into the future through its protentions. I do not pass through a series of nows whose images I would preserve and that, placed end to end, would form a line. For every moment that arrives, the previous moment suffers a modification: I still hold it in hand, it is still there, and yet it already sinks back, it descends beneath the line of presents. In order to keep hold of it, I must reach across a thin layer of time. It is still clearly the same one, and I have the power of meeting up with it such as it just was, I am not cut off from it; but then again it would not be past if nothing had changed, it begins to appear perspectivally against or to project itself upon my present, whereas just a moment ago it in fact was my present. When a third moment takes place, the second one suffers a new modification; having been a retention, it now becomes the retention of a retention, and the layer of time between it and myself becomes thicker. (2012, 439)

Modifying Husserl’s diagram (see Figure  1.2), Merleau-​ Ponty (2012) illustrates how the differentiation of one moment from another (A, B, and C) projects A as A′ and later as A′′. He also argues that, in order to recognize A′ as a retention of A, and A′′ as a retention of A′, there must be “a synthesis

164  Enacting MusicAL Time of transition” that links all of them (442). Thus, the system of retentions, as part of a network, collects into itself what had previously been a system of protentions, like a wake trailing the “leading edge” of perceptual acts. “When we pass from B to C, there is, as it were, a bursting, or a disintegration of B into B′, of A′ into A′′, and C itself which, while it was on the way, announced its coming by a continuous emission of [adumbrations], has no sooner come into existence than it already begins to lose its substance” (442). The past and the future for Merleau-​Ponty are “mutual(ly) harmonizing and overlapping [ . . . ] through the present” (443). His use of the musical term is rather fortuitous, since harmonization refers to the addition of voices to a single melodic line in order to create thicker, timbrally abundant sonorities. Even more precisely, harmonization describes the process of realizing the harmonic implications of a melody—​implications that have as much to do with what makes a particular chord “fit” (e.g., our notions of sensory consonance and dissonance) as with the rules governing harmonic successions. This process does not change the pitches of the melody, but instead orients them within the governing network of pitch relations, resolving and creating functional ambiguities, even changing the implied melodic directionality. This can be seen, for example, in the differences between J. S. Bach’s three settings of the first phrase of the tune “Ach Gott, vom Himmel sieh darein,” illustrated in Example 4.1.11 Even the smallest changes in explicating the harmonic potential of the same melody can have a substantial effect on the pacing, continuity, and direction of a musical phrase. Hence, if we use music-​ theoretical knowledge of harmonization to elucidate Merleau-​Ponty’s ideas about time and temporality, we come to understand each present to be thick and full—​replete with both the possibilities of the future and realizations of past possibilities. There is no empty instant that exists independently of context: each present is thoroughly and inextricably imbued with it. Whatever the body’s task at hand might be, it is the nexus of intermingled protentions and retentions. Granting that our temporal experience has this protentional/​retentional structure, Merleau-​Ponty’s provocative claim is that both the past and the future appear in the present as its implicit dimensions (as, say, the back of my computer screen appears in my perception as an implicit dimension 11 The earliest known attribution is Erfurt, 1524, although the tune was already in existence by then. The text of BWV 2 was written by Martin Luther; that of BWV 77 and 153 by David Denicke. Bach wrote BWV 2 for the second Sunday after Trinity, BWV 77 for the thirteenth, and BWV 153 for the Sunday after New Year.

Flesh  165 Example 4.1  J. S. Bach, three harmonizations of “Ach Gott von Himmel sieh darein.” Note that BWV 77 and BWV 153 have been transposed to g-​minor to emphasize the similarities and differences between the three excerpts.

of its front). Let us consider the spatial analogy first. All tactile and visual experiences have both explicit and implicit aspects. Explicit aspects are those that are immediately given to the sensory apparatus, that is, patterns of energy—​light, pressure, molecules, and so on—​that come in direct contact with sensory cells. Thus, with my computer, what is given immediately to my vision in the form of light is the surface of the screen. But my perception involves more than mere pickup of patterns of energy. I do not perceive the screen as a flat surface; I perceive it as a three-​dimensional object, because I also perceive what is not explicit. I also perceive the sides and the back of my computer as aspects that are implicit in the pattern of light energy, such that—​although not present—​they are a part of my optical array. If I were to walk around the computer, or to turn it this way or that, those implicit parts would soon become explicit. More than that, they would become explicit in ways that are “lawful”—​that is, in ways that follow certain “rules” constituted as my enacted knowledge about how things look and behave in the physical

166  Enacting MusicAL Time realm. If I were to move to the right, for example, the pattern of energy would shift in a manner that I can predict, because the nature of this change would have already been implicitly given to me as part of my perceptual act. Since perception is movement, I perceive things as manifesting some potential for action.12 Of course, this does not mean that I can see through solid objects or that I  have some extrasensory ability to project my consciousness into other realms. Rather, the perceptual act involves a bodily comprehension of the basic physical and kinesthetic dynamics of what it is like to engage with things and other beings in my environment. I already said that each present is not an isolated instant, but within it, in the form of retentions and protentions, exists all of my past and all of my future. Elaborating on the spatial analogy, Merleau-​Ponty claims that time also has parts that are implicit and explicit. What is explicit is the present experience, the immediate coincidence of an embodied consciousness and the world that envelops it. What remains implicit in this experience are the events that have already happened, as well as those that have not happened yet. Every present is thus simultaneously a non-​presence of the past and of the future, which is why events do not simply accumulate in our awareness, piling up and eventually crushing our consciousness (think of Walter Benjamin’s Angel of History) under a deluge of information that refuses to withdraw, but instead remain separated from each other. Meanwhile, events that constitute our experience do not merely succeed one another. Our lives are not snapshots that follow in a sequence, but a continuous unfolding: a becoming. There is a continuity of our existence supported precisely by the unity of the body. Time, writes Merleau-​Ponty in a passage that we already encountered, “is the power that holds [events] together by separating them from each other” (2012, 446). The body as a work of art—​as a synthesis of self and world—​gives coherence to our lives through “style.” In this continuous becoming, the three dimensions of time are “inseparable: to be in the present is to have always been and to be forever” (446). Hearing Clémence recall the melody of Jaufré’s/​Pilgrim’s song in the second act of Kaija Saariaho’s opera L’Amour de loin (2000; seen here in Example 4.2)—​does not entail first hearing the C♯, and then the B, and then D, and so on. Instead, hearing this 12 Bergson (1911) writes that memory “marks out upon matter the design of its eventual actions even before they are actual”; it “lights up the zone of potentialities that surround the act. It fills in the interval between what is done and what might be done” (179). See Hulse (2008) for applications of Bergson’s ideas to music analysis. Here, following Merleau-​Ponty, I am not interested in memory as such, but rather with the protention/​retention structure of an embodied consciousness.

Flesh  167 Example 4.2  Kaija Saariaho, L’Amour de loin Act 2, scene 2, mm. 536–​545, reduction. The altos are vocalizing on “ah” throughout.

theme as a melody means that the “and then” is already implicated in the experience of the previous tone, just as the “first” is already implicated in the second, third, fourth, and on through the nth tone. Accounts that treat time as a succession of instants posit that moments undergo absolute disintegration once they have passed. That is, moments are not merely irrecoverably gone, but are gone absolutely, vanished without a trace.13 Their individuality, their unique character and position that made them present to the subject disappears, allowing someone like Alice (of Wonderland fame) to declare to the Gryphon and the Mock Turtle that “it’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.” Yet time maintains the individuality of each moment, such that no moment disappears in a way that altogether erases its possibility of having-​been. Except in cases of severe trauma or brain lesions, we maintain a continuity through time, a continuity that lets Alice realize that she, and not someone else, was “a different person” yesterday. Certainly, some moments maintain a more powerful identity and have a stronger effect on the state of the world 13 The distinction I am making here is between moments that have passed but continue to play a constitutive role in the present, and moments that have passed such that they have no function in the present, not even as a record of an event having happened.

168  Enacting MusicAL Time than others, but they do so by virtue of factors other than those intrinsic to time, for example the affective grip with which we are seized at the moment of their occurrence. The only “disintegration” of lived time occurs along the dimension of retentions, in the transition from retention to retention-​of-​ retention, and from there to retention-​of-​retention-​of-​retention, and so on. Merleau-​Ponty refers precisely to this aspect of time when he writes that “we hold time in its entirety” (2012, 448). Style—​the coherence of our animate bodies in relationship with a dynamic world—​makes this hold possible because it manifests a bodily coherence and unity that keeps events together. The past is never completely, absolutely lost because instants of time, rather than merely following in a sequence, “differentiate themselves from each other” (2012, 442). In other words, it is their content, and not some brute succession, that distinguishes one instant from another. Consider, for example, two distinct moments, t = 1 and t = 2, in which 1 comes chronologically earlier than 2 (say, the C♯–​B gesture in m. 536 of L’Amour, and D in the same measure, respectively). In the objective view that I discussed in Chapter 1, it is the nature of time that, from the perspective of a subject, t = 1 disappears and t = 2 materialized. By contrast, according to Merleau-​Ponty, 2 follows 1 by virtue of the two having qualitatively different contents. Thus, whatever happens at t = 1 remains active even when it no longer “is,” insofar as its content supplies the ground for the emergence of 2’s content. The contents of t = 2 do not magically appear out of thin air, conjured by some universal force that lies beyond our understanding, but instead t = 2 actualizes the implicit potential of t = 1. In the L’Amour example, this potential of the C♯–​B gesture is shaped by several factors: Clémence is singing a melody and melodies tend to begin with an ascent, Saariaho is drawing on and reimagining the performance style of twelfth-​century troubadours, and, of course, the listener had just heard the same melody sung by the Pilgrim a few minutes earlier. The D then emerges as an actualization of these potentials, and it is this change in the contents that generates the passage of time. D does not succeed the C♯–​B gesture like another pearl on a string, but instead the two events are at once fused and qualitatively different form each other. Meanwhile, what prevents time from becoming splintered and allows it to remain a unity is the fact that 1 and 2 always occur in some context that persists from one moment to the next—​they occur in the context of a body that unifies these events with its style. Thus, the past is not a succession of motionless images snapped at some point by the mind’s eye, but rather my lived past exists in the present in the form of retentions—​precisely those retentions that make up my style

Flesh  169 and that could, theoretically, be traced back to some original present in my infancy. Similarly, my future is not “built exclusively of conjectures and fantasies,” meaning that it is not merely a mental construct, a projection onto the screen of my consciousness. Even though the “not yet” has no immediate impact on my sensory apparatus—​it is not given directly to perception—​I have a particular motor-​intentional disposition toward the world through “lines that trace out in advance at least the style of what is about to arrive” (Merleau-​Ponty 2012, 439). The “not yet” may be unknown to me as a definite occurrence, but it is nevertheless an aspect of my perception in the sense of my body’s kinesthetic knowledge of interacting with a familiar world. Just as the invisible part of the computer in front of me conditions my perception, my style ensures that the future already suffuses my present. Komarine Romdenh-​Romluc (2010) offers an effective summary of the emergence of lived time: “through one’s activity, the future—​what is presented implicitly as yet to come—​becomes present and the present becomes past—​ what is presented implicitly as having been” (249). The absence that is inherently a part of every present gives time a thickness or depth. By interacting with the world—​by expressing our “I can-​ness” in our acts of perception—​ we convert what is potential (implicit possibilities of experience) into what is actual (explicit perceptions). In turn, explicit perceptions are converted into implicit ones, into the background that gives explicit perceptions their context.

The Flesh of Time The body secretes time as it explicates the implicit futurity and pastness of each present. Time itself is enacted by a subjectivity that is incessantly active—​animate—​and through this activity transforms what is potential into what is actual. For Merleau-​Ponty, this process occurs within a particular “infrastructure” of the subject’s relation to the world. It is within and through this infrastructure that the body secretes time by actualizing the potentiality of each moment. Indeed, the fact that we are intertwined with the world in this infrastructure is the necessary condition for the secretion of time, a claim that I turn to elaborate now. Physical objects show up in our perception as having three dimensions, which means that, in addition to parts that are explicitly present, they show up as also having parts that are “not here”—​parts that are not simply absent,

170  Enacting MusicAL Time but are implicitly present. More than a mere assumption based on an enrichment of partial information with our mental representations, the parts that are “not here” are very much an aspect of our perceptual acts.14 Our perception of the “not here” is conditioned by the fact that we relate to objects in our vicinity in a certain way. Specifically, we relate to them as affording and ultimately soliciting certain actions. For example, I perceive the back of the computer screen because the screen affords actions that are only possible because it has a back. The “not here” is part of the screen’s aggregate of affordances. What is “here” affords actions that not only implicate the “not here” in some abstract sense, but that would not even exist if the “not here” were not there (for example, if I were dealing with a flat image of a computer screen). According to Merleau-​Ponty, what I perceive is not given to me as a fully constituted object, but rather shows up as “a differentiation, an ephemeral modulation” within my perceptual field (1968, 132). Staying with the above example, the computer screen emerges as a kind of perturbation in my relationship with my environment. The screen’s implicit aspects condition those that are explicitly present for me insofar as my perceptual act can only unfold with my body “against” a world filled with other entities—​“against” a plenum. Without this “against-​ness,” my body cannot differentiate itself from the world, thus making any and all of my perceptual acts impossible. The body cannot exist independently of the object that it perceives (it can never be the “thing itself ”), while at the same time it can only perceive the object as a differentiation from itself. It is fruitful to think of this in terms of affordances: certain aspects of the world “come forth” and acquire value by soliciting us to enact our kinesthetic knowledge. When we look at an object or an entity in our environment, we always see it in a specific context, affording certain actions by virtue of existing as part of a vast and complex network of 14 Taking the presupposition that the human brain functions like a computer, the “poverty of stimulus” hypothesis—​first formulated by Chomsky in order to explain how children acquire linguistic skills, and now a staple of cognitivist approaches—​posits that perceptual information must be enriched by mental representations in order to be useful to the organism. In this view, we perceive only the front of the computer screen as a flat surface, and our brains construct the rest of the object on the basis of having identified what it sees as a computer screen. From the perspective of embodied and enactive cognition, this view is problematic because it overlooks the richness of information available to the organism in the form of affordances. An embodied/​enactive view says nothing about the question of whether we perceive the back of the screen, but instead deals with the fact that the screen’s back structures the object in such a way as to afford certain actions that would be unavailable to the organism had it not been there. There is no need for the brain to computationally deduce the existence of the screen’s back, because the back is built into the spatial organization of the screen as a three-​dimensional object. This effect falls out of the main premises of ecological perception, in which organisms pick up biologically relevant properties of objects, without first having to identify the objects themselves. See more in Golonka and Wilson (2016) and Gärdenfors (2014).

Flesh  171 relations. It is this context, as I showed in Chapter 2, that conditions certain affordances to become solicitations. The structure of the world, then, is characterized by two features, which will soon become relevant to the enactment of lived time: (1) it includes us as perceiving agents that partly constitute this world—​that is, we are not just passive observers looking on from the outside, but we instead actively constitute “things” as we perceive them, and (2) our perception is fundamentally grounded in the ability to turn potentials into actuals—​the “I can” is oriented toward the future. Hence, the very structure of the world is built on potentiality and possibility. Merleau-​Ponty captures this idea with the term “flesh,” a concept that appears in his final text, The Visible and the Invisible (1968). Left incomplete as a result of his untimely death, the three existing chapters and a collection of notes reveal a sophisticated, if opaque, non-​Cartesian “indirect ontology” that altogether erases the distinction between subject and object, between self and other, between identity and non-​identity. What remains after this erasure is a radical structure that is both subject and object, both divergent and identical. Not to be confused with the more common notion of flesh as a part of the biological body, for Merleau-​Ponty the term refers to the prototypical structure of the relationship we have toward the world as characteristic of our lived bodies. He writes that flesh is “reversibility: the finger of the glove that is turned inside out . . . It suffices that from one side I see the wrong side of the glove that is applied to the right side, that I touch one through the other” (1968, 263). Flesh thus describes precisely the relation that I have been developing all along: the relation in which our bodies make the world sensible to us while at the same time “thrusting” us into the world, the relation in which our bodies are at once a subjectivity and something seen (felt, heard, tasted) from the “other” side as objects among other objects. Flesh is a fundamental “intertwining” of Being with the world—​the infrastructure that I pointed to previously. When used to describe the nature of our relationality, it is an expression of how difference is inscribed within sameness (Vasseleu 1998). As Merleau-​Ponty puts it, our body is thrust into the world in such a way that it is surrounded by things that it “lines and even envelops” (1968, 123). Since perception is an interaction between the body and the environment, flesh is its irreducible precondition. The simultaneous enveloping and being enveloped that constitutes the body’s relation to the world is precisely what creates the differentiation necessary for perception. Merleau-​Ponty (1968) calls this écart, which has been

172  Enacting MusicAL Time variously translated as fissure, divergence, or deflection. It is this divergence between the sense of touching and the sense of being touched—​between body as subject and body as object—​that makes possible the existence of a “contact surface” between ourselves and the world. The slippage between self and not-​self creates the conditions for differentiating between our own bodies and those of others, between our bodies and things, and even between feeling our own bodies as ours and as “others.” Preventing us from dissolving into the fabric of the world that we inhabit—​or, rather, allowing us to incorporate ourselves through disentanglement from the background that so tenaciously envelops us—​the divergence is the site of our awareness of the fundamental reversibility and an intertwining, both of which characterize our existence in that very world.15 Returning to an example from earlier in this chapter, in more concrete terms, it is the non-​coincidence between my body shaping the office chair just as it is shaped by it. The concepts of flesh, intertwining, and écart are admittedly dense, not least because Merleau-​Ponty left us with only a collection of inchoate ideas.16 More importantly, Western philosophy simply lacks the terms for dealing with an ontology that seeks to eliminate the foundational distinction between subject and object, between res extensa and res cogitans—​indeed, one that seeks to outright eliminate a constituting consciousness (Merleau-​ Ponty 1968, 147).17 Our language reveals only a small portion of our reality, preventing us from directly articulating the fundamental relation that we have with the world, especially when already knotty terms like “time” and “temporality” need to be untangled with reference to the body and its kinesthetic knowledge. It might be productive, therefore, to ground the discussion in previously encountered nomenclature and, following the lead of Bryan Bannon (2011), consider flesh as the form of this relation. Bannon argues that the notion of flesh that has its basis in perception—​that is, one that grounds the relationality of organisms and their environments in acts that create meaning and assign value to the world—​suffers from several related problems. First, as Luce Irigaray (1993) has shown, this perspective erases the crucial difference between entities in the world by converting this difference into sameness: the other becomes transmuted as an aspect of the self. 15 As argued by Dermot Moran (2013), Merleau-​Ponty’s late ontology extends some of the ideas already evident in Husserl’s work, in particular the notion of “intertwining” (entrelacement). 16 These ideas exist as “Working Notes” in Merleau-​Ponty (1968). 17 The concern with the inability of available language to capture the idea of flesh as the fundamental mode of existence was at the forefront of Merleau-​Ponty’s thinking.

Flesh  173 Such a view is evident in approaches that regard the process of coming to understand the world as essentially one of bodily empathy, in which perceivers imagine what it would be like to be some other entity, or to perform that entity’s actions.18 Second, flesh based in perception privileges the observer who posits agency in things and beings other than itself, thus reinstating the subjectivity that Merleau-​Ponty sought to expunge. This position might best be described as egocentric, in which everything that one perceives is taken to be constituted by a subject that stands in a position of an outsider, rather than an agent that actively creates the conditions of perception. Finally, to think of flesh as emerging from perceptual acts carries the danger of anthropomorphizing non-​human animals and inanimate objects. The problem here might be obvious, but it bears stating outright in the context of musical time, because it leads to claims that music itself has the capacity to move, or to move listeners, or to induce movement, or any number of similar statements.19 To describe flesh without succumbing to these problems, one needs to satisfy two conditions. The first is to maintain both the dynamism and the autonomy of all things, including ourselves and other entities in our environment. Difference has to remain as difference without dissolving into identity. Secondly, whatever common denominator connects the human body with other sensible beings, it must originate outside of the observer. That is, it has to have an existence that is not dependent on the observer’s perceptual skills. As a possible solution, Bannon proposes thinking about flesh as affectivity, or the general tendency of organisms to remain open to their environment—​to affect and to be affected. Since everything exists in the context of a world inhabited by things and other beings, a thing—​any thing, including any body—​is “the nexus of flesh relations that constitute it as an individual” (Bannon 2011, 346). Flesh is thus a structure that makes possible continual interactions between bodies and things that produces significance. It is a background against which the practical concern with one’s existence crystallizes in the form of solicitations. The meaning of flesh is not made available to reflection, and it does not lend itself to conceptual concretion, but can only be construed as “moments which have a cohesion without the necessity of any formal unity or concept” (Merleau-​Ponty 1968, 152). Flesh as form provides the terms of the relation between bodies and things, in turn helping us to conceive of it as a necessary 18 In the case of music, see Cox (2017). 19 For a cogent critique of these notions, and for exposing their metaphorical foundations, see Cox (2017).

174  Enacting MusicAL Time condition of time. As noted previously, in order for a form to become manifest, there needs to be a latency between the subject and the object such that the subject is differentiated from the object. Just as the subject cannot feel itself without feeling itself against something, the subject cannot be a temporal subject without “being temporal” against something, even if that something just is the subject taken from the “other” side (that is, when the subject effects a change of perspective and feels itself as the “other”). In other words, the temporality of the subject emerges as a relation between itself and the other. Time, like space, envelops the world through our relationship with our environment, specifically with the affordances that the environment furnishes for our actions. Time becomes woven into the very fabric of the world as we constitute the latter with our actions. Thus, when the body secretes time, it does so by virtue of its movement in a particular space, surrounded by particular objects and beings, and by virtue of the specific kinesthetic dynamics that constitute its style. This temporal relationality between the body and its situation is guaranteed by the “essential incompleteness to the world’s unfolding” insofar as neither the body nor the world are ever fully constituted (Evans and Leonard 2000, 9). The body tries to achieve “maximum grip” on the world—​that precarious balance between maximum clarity and maximum richness of what it perceives. But this is not a balance in a sense of stability; rather, it is precisely an inherent instability in our relation to the world. The balancing act is each time realized against a new “horizon” or presence. The écart that constitutes our “contact surface” with the mutable world is thus also constitutive of the present, since this present is our moment of calibration—​of coordination—​with the world. In the present the subject of experience diverges from the world and becomes constituted as a subject. In other words, the present is precisely the moment in which the body experiences a shift between being a subject (touching, seeing, hearing, etc.) and being an object (being touched, seen, heard, etc.). This divergence is therefore fundamentally temporal, because the “self ”—​the sense of bodily “own-​ness”—​is never synchronized with the world. As much as the body is synchronized with itself, there is always a temporal gap between this body and whatever is external to it (whatever is on the “other” side of touching/​ seeing/​hearing/​etc.). At the contact surface, the present and the past diverge insofar as the action that brings the body in touch with the world at once creates a differentiation of the present into the past, and of the future into the present. For example, I argued in Chapter 3 that when I tap my finger

Flesh  175 along with the beat of a song, the sound and the feel of the tap mark it as a crystallization in my proprioceptive field, such that my tapping body infuses the entirety of the event with the temporality constituted by my own network of retentions and protentions. As soon as the tap is tapped, its spatio-​ auditory articulation slips into anteriority, while my finger gears up for what is to come next, never quite simultaneous with the acoustical signal to which it responds. The contact surface is thus the site of branching out of one’s past, and at the same time the site of possibilities, which include one’s access to this past. Time, life, and existence are never completely finished, never fully constituted, because each present is an opening into the future and an articulation of what is “no longer.” The present therefore is not an empty vessel that becomes filled with experience. Rather, it is an enactment that makes écart manifest. Time is the form of this enactment, the form of the relations that beings and things create with one another. More precisely, it is a form in which action is open to futurity, and in which the past becomes sedimented as having-​been. It is a relation of openness to what is going to happen next, and one of maintaining a history—​ both of which are described by the structure of protentions and retentions. Since I suggested earlier that flesh is similar to affordances, time can be construed as a form of an affordance that furnishes us with opportunities for turning what is implicit and potential in a given situation into what is explicit and actual. Time, therefore, is what Merleau-​Ponty (2012, 440) describes as a “network of intentionalities,” or a distributed system in which all beings and things have their own temporal forms, and they relate to other beings and things in their own temporal ways. Time, as such, is not in things, and things are not in time, but rather time is distributed among them. The tangled web of distributed time materializes when one considers the full implications of Merleau-​Ponty’s claim that the body secretes time. Just as scent is not a property of the body but a quality—​a form—​of an interaction between patterns of molecules and one’s perceptual system, so too is time not an aspect of the world but a form of the embodied subject’s perception-​ driven interaction with the world. And this, in turn, is what I mean when I say that time is enacted: since the form of a perceptual act emerges together with its contents, time cannot be posited as something prior to the unfolding of the perceptual act. Within the enveloping wholeness of flesh, time issues forth from a situation in which the subject is able to act within its affordance-​ laden system with skill and in accordance with its biological, social, and cultural norms. The subject’s actions affirm the functionality of the system by

176  Enacting MusicAL Time converting implicit potential into explicit actualization. In turn, the enactment itself is the manifestation of time. * * * The tactile and visible world of Merleau-​Ponty’s ontology of the flesh exerts felt resistance on the sense-​making body, and it is not without reason that the philosopher privileges visual art in explicating the source of lived temporality. After all, the reversibility of the contact surface between the touching self and the touched non-​self is only possible because the hand is both touching and being touched by something tangible. There is a palpable effort and tension that registers the object of touching—​an activation of nerves in the fingertips, a differentiation in a specific place on the skin. As Merleau-​ Ponty puts it, the object that is touched becomes imprinted onto the map of the “kinship” between the body and the world (1968). In more recent terms, one might say that the act of touching triggers and modifies specific patterns of neural activity scattered across the vast distributed networks that make up our brains (Johnson 2007). These are precisely the patterns that constitute our body schema, which, as I argued earlier, incorporates our bodies at the level of subconsciousness, such that we need not explicitly control every aspect of our movements. The object of touching thus becomes “known” to the body as intimately as the body knows itself; it fuses with the body and becomes a constitutive element of its kinesthetic capabilities.20 It is this imprint onto the body schema that creates the conditions necessary for time to become a form of the relation between the touched and the touching, insofar as the act of touching is an opening onto some possibility becoming an actuality. In other words, the touched object can, as it were, “exert” an absence that motivates the body to make sense of its situation by manifesting its capacity for skillful action (“I can”). I showed this effect earlier in the case of the computer screen. By turning the screen around—​by making explicit what was implicit-​yet-​absent in the initial perception—​my body converts the possibility of there being a back of the screen into an actuality. Physical objects are thus present to us as both immanent (reflecting our own manner 20 The claim that objects external to the biological body of an organism are construed as constitutive of, and not merely supplemental to, cognition is still controversial in cognitive studies. An example of such an object would be a cane used by a blind person to feel around her most immediate environment. More radically, a notepad that holds one’s thoughts would also fulfill the role of constituting memory and thought. For more on this view, see Clark (2008).

Flesh  177 of perceiving them) and transcendent (presenting an inexhaustible array of possible relations we can have toward them) (Husserl 1964). I see the computer screen as both a surface that displays the words that I type, and as a three-​dimensional object that—​should I be so inclined—​I can pick up and turn around. It is this possibility that makes my contact with the screen both spatial and temporal: the back of the screen is both “not here” and “not yet.” More broadly, our relation to the tangible world allows us to establish boundaries between our own bodies and the bodies of other entities. As Gail Weiss writes, “écart marks the fissures and gaps that allow us to separate bodies from what they were, what they are not now, and what they may or may not become” (2000, 212). Such a boundary is not only spatial, but also temporal: since I cannot simultaneously be both the subject and the object, the differentiation between my self and some non-​self creates time through a non-​coincidence. The pre-​personal, pre-​reflective recognition that my body is not the body of someone else allows me to diverge from the other in a way that creates not just a spatial, but also a temporal distance. In my primordial desire to traverse that distance, the possibility—​indeed, the promise—​of “becoming other” creates time without ever becoming an actuality. But the promise runs aground as soon as we reenter the auditory realm. Hasty, for example, notes that music has the power to engender an experience of time “in which the past can exist simultaneously with the present moment as connections with what has occurred before are stored in the resounding present” (1981, 63). While it is tempting to take these remarks for granted, it remains to be shown how or why that should be the case. In fact, music poses a problem for an enacted ontology of time because it does not offer a tangible boundary between the self and the non-​self. This lack of physicality brings music too close to us. To echo Merleau-​Ponty (1993), it makes music inappropriate for disclosing the world beyond the most basic dynamics of our lives. There is no contact surface at which the divergence can occur, and consequently no opportunity for time to emerge. Lacking a solid substance, music negates the essential difference between us and itself, confirming Irigaray’s (1993) fears that being too tightly woven into the fabric of the world “imprisons” us.21 Gérard Grisey puts it even more poignantly: “If and when it takes place, music—​and with it the artificial time that gives it life—​envelops us like a kind of amniotic liquid. With nothing to muffle our ears, we remain 21 Octavio Paz’s poem Piedra de sol [“Sun Stone”], with its cyclical return of war, violence, and destruction, depicts time in a similar manner. One of the poem’s main themes is the inseparability of human beings from one another, reflecting Merleau-​Ponty’s idea of flesh.

178  Enacting MusicAL Time open and receptive. Violent once more, it induces ecstasy or repulsion, or in the worst case indifference” (1987, 274). Thus, even while Merleau-​Ponty’s ontology of the flesh is celebrated among philosophers for incorporating tactility into the world of the visible, it cannot fully articulate our relation to the world of sounds. While music envelops the listener, unless she is also the performer, that listener does not line music with her own presence. As I showed earlier, the balance between enveloping and being enveloped—​the reversibility of self and other—​is what creates écart. Yet this divergence cannot emerge because there are no constraints coming from music that physically limit my actions as a listener. Certainly, there are constraints imposed by sheer biomechanics, by my personal motivations and skills, or by extra-​personal aspects like customs, social expectations, and cultural conventions. But in all of these what is lacking is any real fulfillment, a becoming-​actual in music that is necessarily and causally connected with my moving body.22 In order to avoid “imprisonment” and the anxiety-​inducing danger of losing one’s self in the all-​enveloping sound, there must be a looseness at the site of reversibility, a wobble, which allows time to emerge. When the slack between self and world is erased—​for example, when one enters into a state of trance—​time as such ceases to exist.23 Woven so tightly as to merge irreducibly with its milieu, the self has no sense of the essential absence that constitutes the present, that very absence that makes possibility possible. Thus, rather than being transubstantiated into sameness, difference needs to be incorporated into musical flesh as difference, as the non-​self. Since flesh is the fundamental condition of our existence, the process (activity) of making sense of the world starts with differentiation.24 In the following section, I will argue that it is precisely this differentiation of self from non-​self that is required in order to experience—​and therefore enact—​musical time. 22 In her essay “Inhabited Time,” Jessica Wiskus (2006) confronts the same problem, and likewise draws on Merleau-​Ponty to theorize the temporal experience of music. While there are many points of overlap between us (which will be explored further in Chapter 6), Wiskus and I differ in how we consider the act of listening. For her, listening to music cannot be done at a distance, because “the listener is filled with musical sound” (179). Hence, “there is no reflection of music, there is only habitation” (180), which she defines as an experience of something from the external realm as an internal sensation (181). For Wiskus, there is a reciprocity between the listener and music, wherein each inhabits the other. While she takes this inhabitance on principle, I see it as a problem that demands explication: how to think existence within while simultaneously creating écart as a necessary condition of this existence. 23 On music and trance, see Becker (2004). 24 This view stands in contrast to the one espoused, for example, by Cox (2017), for whom we understand music in terms of our own capabilities of making the same or similar movements and sounds to those that we perceive. For a critique of this notion, see my review of Cox’s monograph (forthcoming).

Flesh  179

Temporal Objects and the Flesh of Music One common way in which we can create the necessary distance, or differentiation, between a listener and musical sounds is by turning music into something resembling a tangible object that can be manipulated in ways analogous to things extended in space. A sonority that has been identified as a unit of some kind, and given a designation that places it within a particular category—​for example, a “D-​major triad”—​can be moved around, flipped upside-​down, turned inside-​out, festooned with ornaments, stripped down to its rudiments, and so on. It also acquires a certain presence in relation to other sonorities—​a relation that itself can become a tangible unit in the form of an interval. In this case, time may be construed as the form of the relation between a listener and musical objects because the former can now effect a becoming-​actual, much like the example in which I was able to explicate the presence of the back of my computer screen by picking it up and turning it around. Specifically, once the musical object is constituted, the listener can “hold” it—​say, in memory—​and keep it there, either intact or with some manipulations, until such time as another object can be “picked up” and made to “interact” with it. This perspective, however, much as it allows us to repeatedly refer to the same category of sound in different contexts, relinquishes temporality as an intrinsic feature of music by treating it as a fully constituted thing, with successive stages “coming into view.”25 Time becomes a relational property, arising from a static sonic landscape “moving” around a stationary listener.26 Thus, future musical events are “not yet” because they are “not yet here,” where the “here” designates the position of the listener. But even while not “here,” the assumption is that these events already exist somewhere, ready to adhere to some passing instant that will move them into the listener’s perceptual frame. It is precisely this critique that Maryam Moshaver pointedly directs at David Lewin’s essay “Music Theory, Phenomenology, and Modes of Perception” (Moshaver 2012; Lewin 1986). In particular, Moshaver illustrates that by placing the famous “Morgengruss” chord at the intersection of several different timelines, Lewin never abandons the Cartesian notion of time as a

25 See Kane (2014, 21) on repeated reference. Kane argues that this process of constitution is a result of creating a distance between the sound’s source and its effect. 26 Cox (2017) shows how different conceptions of time result in different ways of conceptualizing musical motion.

180  Enacting MusicAL Time one-​dimensional, linear series of separate time-​points that exist independently of their contents. His operations freeze time that inheres in the musical process, shattering the phenomenological unity of Schubert’s song and chopping it into detachable parts. The listening consciousness meanwhile moves along multiple timelines—​each perceptual act generating its own—​but remains outside of the temporality of “Morgengruss” because its job is to reveal something already constituted.27 A significant problem with this strategy is that it does not account for the imprint that each present moment leaves on the past, such that no past event can be extracted without changing its nature. It assumes that while the listener holds the musical object, the essential aspects of this object remain unaltered by its “journey” through time. Yet Merleau-​Ponty (1968) has argued that, as a matter of principle, we do not have access to a “pure past” that does not bear the traces of this access. In fact, absent such traces we would not have access to the past at all. Even if we were to “pick up” an object from the past, this object would necessarily and constitutively exhibit signs of the present in which it was picked up, such that it might no longer resemble the form which prompted us to pick it up in the first place (e.g., it might turn out to be a false memory). A past event can remain in the past so long as we do not try to make it past, that is, so long as we do not try to fix it and situate it relative to our ever-​changing present, do not try to breach the “strange distance” that solidifies around it as it becomes something that is “no longer.”28 To do so would be to extract the event in the form of a temporally bound memory and bring it into the present, which would forever change the contents of this memory. Because Lewin does not account for how the listening consciousness irrecoverably alters the very nature of what it hears, his analysis ultimately falls short of a convincing phenomenology of musical time. I single out Lewin’s account because it has had far-​reaching consequences for the field of music theory, but the objectifying impulse is pandemic. At issue here, as Moshaver points out, is a misunderstanding of Husserl’s “temporal object” and how it applies to music. Specifically, Husserl used the idea of a temporal object as a means of stabilizing the flux of consciousness by grounding it in things that exist “in themselves” (Clarke 2011). He thus 27 Lewin’s consciousness—​which is embodied in his “parser”—​is necessarily outside of the time of “Morgengruss,” because if it were a part of the temporality of the song it would not be able to “parse” anything. Instead, it would be as phenomenologically unified as the song itself. 28 “Strange distance” is a phrase found in Merleau-​Ponty (1968, 124).

Flesh  181 distinguished between two kinds of temporal objects: transcendent, which are objects-​to-​be-​perceived, and immanent, which are objects-​as-​perceived. The former designation describes how temporal objects simply are, irrespective of an observer, while the latter refers to objects as they show up within the perceiver’s current situation. On the one hand, transcendent temporal objects all share the properties of duration and unity. On the other hand, they can also be characterized by their non-​temporal parts, such as their composition or “matter.” Time, therefore, is not an exhaustive property of Husserl’s temporal objects, making his category equally applicable to melodies as to tables, houses, rocks, and so on. However, this move is far too catholic if we follow Hasty’s injunction to take musical time seriously, because, by allowing the notion of a temporal object to spill into the physical world, Husserl effectively subjects his melody to the same grounding move as the one we saw earlier, and, in an effort to stabilize it for the purpose of phenomenological description, voids it of temporality. Musical processes do not, and cannot, have non-​temporal dimensions.29 All perceptual and acoustical aspects of sound—​pitch, timbre, loudness, and others—​are necessarily temporal. Meanwhile, what are often described as “high-​ level” aspects—​ including musical concepts, hierarchies, and formal models—​cannot constitute temporal objects according to Husserl’s definition; like all ideas, values, and judgments they simply exist without parts that arise, unfold, and run off.30 The fundamental point here is that we cannot extricate time from music and still have music as a sounding phenomenon:  without any transcendent parts, time does, indeed, exhaust music as a temporal object.31 It would appear, then, that music is a different sort of temporal object than that envisioned by Husserl, and his example of a melody (recall Chapter 1) is fraught with inconsistencies and outright contradictions in the face of real-​ world experience. Whereas in the case of physical objects time functions as a descriptor of the relations between them or their spatial extensions, in music it is a constitutive dimension. As I showed in Chapter 1 in the case of Lachenmann’s processes, music unfolds together with the time it takes for an embodied consciousness to experience it. If music is to be construed as 29 Unless, as Michael Gallope (2011) suggests, we try to imagine a pure sequence of sounds, which, he rightly claims, is impossible. 30 For this reason, ideas, judgments, and values are not temporal objects. See more in Embree and Moran (2004, 61). 31 On the impossibility of transcendent musical objects see Gallope (2011).

182  Enacting MusicAL Time a temporal object, the latter must be modified to accommodate the unique ways in which time in music is enacted. As a temporal object, music, to paraphrase Jessica Wiskus (2006), is not something that stands outside of time, to be appreciated from a critical distance—​the purview of the phenomenological ek-​stasis—​but something that “inhabits” time. It turns out that this distinction (to which I will return in Chapter 6) is critical to keeping time an intrinsic property of music while simultaneously allowing it to secrete from the listeners’ bodily interactions with acoustical signals. A musical temporal object comes into being, changes over the course of its duration, all the while maintaining a certain unity, and eventually ceases to exist altogether. Its temporality is not merely interwoven with its existence, as if the two could potentially be unbraided, but is its existence, is its meaning. As this object unfolds, it offers certain affordances that are ephemeral, unique to the moment in which they arise. The “not yet-​ness” of musical sounds does not mean that they are “not yet here,” but that they are “not yet, period.” We can never feel secure that the potential implicit in any musical present will ever—​or, indeed, can ever—​become actualized. In light of the foregoing, the act of turning-​explicit must be initiated by the listener from within his or her own experience. It must be self-​generated, or self-​affected, something that I will examine more closely in Chapter 5. The écart that is constitutive of flesh must be of the body’s own doing, such that the body must diverge from itself. Its own temporality must be thrown off course in a way that jolts it out of its subjectivity and begins to feel itself as a body in motion, begins to enact its kinesthetic knowledge.32 Recall that for Merleau-​Ponty the reversibility of our relation to the world means “that the things have us, and that it is not we who have the things” (1968, 194). In other words, since we are elements of the system that constitutes music, we need to differentiate ourselves—​our selves—​from this system, which we cannot do except on our own accord. Karlheinz Stockhausen (1958) noted that “If we realise, at the end of a piece of music—​quite irrespective of how long it lasted [ . . . ]—​that we have ‘lost all sense of time,’ then we have in fact been experiencing time most strongly” (65). This quotation effectively describes the experiential consequences of the argument I propose. That is, in order to enact the temporality of music,

32 My perspective contrasts with Wiskus (2006), who considers music as capable of “shock(ing) us out of our contemplation . . . so that we may be immersed within the very depth of the structure itself ” (191). I regard listening as the exact opposite: a jolt out of immersion in order to engender écart.

Flesh  183 the body must “sacrifice” itself while trusting that its style will maintain its own unity—​that it will not become splintered and lose itself in the temporal vortex. It must do so because, as I noted earlier, the unity of the musical temporal object needs to remain intact, which cannot happen if it turns into a quasi-​physical object, that is, if it becomes the “other” side of écart. This sacrifice is precisely what Homer’s Odysseus sought to avoid when, upon hearing the Sirens’ song, he ordered his men to tie him to the mast of his ship. James Currie (2009) writes that with this act the Greek hero allowed himself to be “negated” by the music, but not enough to be completely cut off from his own world. The Sirens’ temptation was thus “neutralized,” and a song that would have otherwise been mortally dangerous became “a mere object of contemplation—​(became) art” (187). Yet, we might ask, what price in terms of experience did he pay by keeping such a prudish distance through which he could contemplate the Sirens’ song? Had the intrepid king allowed himself to be physically drawn in by the sounds, what exquisite bliss would have awaited him just before he perished on the treacherous rocks? Of course, by proposing that the body “allow” itself to be given over to the music I am not arguing for a kind of pure sensual listening unsullied by analytical thought. If anything, my position throughout this book is that the body is already doing analytical work on its own terms. Instead, what I am arguing for is a kind of listening in which we (analysts) trust our bodies to do the analytical work, and abandon them voluntarily to the music. As I have proposed elsewhere, the resultant analysis would draw on our bodies’ intimate link with musical sounds in order to look for moments of structural importance, or sonic aspects that somehow stand out from the background and inaugurate the form of our perceptual acts (Kozak 2015). Or, as Marion Guck (2006) suggests, it would consist in investigating how music participates in creating a particular kind of physical or emotional experience, which would entail first and foremost identifying and describing this experience. Or, this time following George Fisher and Judy Lochhead (2002), it might involve attending to the kinesthetic forms that unfold as one plays through a piece. All of these and other corporeal engagements with music’s affordances would then serve as analytical gateways, as kinesthetic knowledge of “how music goes.” All too often the Western experience of art music is infused with the idea that inert contemplation is the most secure mode for our epistemic investment. The image of intensely focused listening—​eyes closed, head propped on the hand, the body sunken into a comfortable chair—​is deeply ingrained

184  Enacting MusicAL Time in our culture as a marker of engaging with “serious” music. The posture, of course, is itself a form of embodiment, sanctioned as a cultural norm and cultivated from childhood, but its enactment robs our direct experience of this music as a temporal art. To guard against it, we could allow our pre-​reflective experience to serve as music analysis. Letting Rokeby’s “Measure” stand in as a model for precisely this kind of experience offers a way in. * * * Neural entrainment induced by the sound of ticking clocks typically does not translate into overt synchronized movements. Clocks usually sit in the background of our lives, rhetorically silent despite their familiar noise, marking one anonymous instant after another. They measure lifeless time, time without the dimensions of past, present, and future. But Rokeby’s clock in “Measure” is not a typical clock. For one thing, its sound is suspicious from the moment one enters the installation space. Like a funhouse mirror, it compels a “second look,” or better, a second movement. The participating body barely manages to entrain to the sounds before it is thrown off its steady trajectory. “Clocks slay time,” says Quentin Compson, recalling his father’s perspicacious words in Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury, adding that “only when the clock stops does time come to life.” When the clock stops, time acquires depth, quality, animation, sense; when measurement stops, time becomes. Rokeby’s clock, as much as it compels the participant to move and explore the spatio-​sonic world, is itself impelled out of its steady state as soon as this exploration is underway. It ceases to function as a clock when it comes in contact with the entrained body of the participant. Ticking stops literally when the sound begins to change, and figuratively when the timekeeping function of the clock is transplanted into the moving body. Rather than a mere mea­ suring device, the clock, coupled with an entrained body, becomes part of a system from which lived time emerges, secreted by the moving body. No longer simply marking off empty instants, in the presence of an entrained body, each tick acquires a dimension by joining the network of retentions and protentions that is constituted by this particular body, the one that is currently in motion. The body does not simply embody the timekeeping function of the clock, turning into a surrogate of objective time; instead, it gives life to the time that the clock merely ticked off—​it effectively creates time. Time in “Measure” comes to life when the clock stops and the body begins to turn possibilities into actualities. It is this body that shoots into view

Flesh  185 when it is pulled out of its first-​person mode of being as soon as temporality becomes an issue with which it needs to reckon. Such foregrounding of temporality is spurred by a disturbance, caused by the body, in the regular ticking of the clock. Instead of a mechanical reaction, the body initiates—​perhaps even unwittingly—​an interplay, a lively exchange between movement and sound, an exchange that is open-​ended and displays all the characteristics of emergent behavior: unpredictability, local instability, and lack of repeatability. The body’s shift from first to third person is precisely the shift that occurs in the gap between subjectivity and objecthood—​between perceiving and perceived—​which inaugurates the divergence (écart) between itself and the sonic world. This site of slippage between self and other is constituted by the jolt that the body experiences when it comes to reckon with the clock’s steady ticking. And, as I showed earlier in this chapter, it is in this gap that the body secretes time as the flesh of its interaction with Rokeby’s installation. “Measure” quite explicitly walks the participant through the process of objectified time turning into lived time. Ironically, once lived time emerges it is no longer measurable. The dynamics of the interaction between the participant and the clock unfold according to their own local laws, their own conditions of multistability (see Chapter 3), as the protentional leading edge of experience opens the body up to something still-​indeterminate yet about-​to-​manifest. Time recedes from perception, no longer foregrounded as an aspect of the world soliciting actions and it is replaced by a different kind of flesh: sound. It is this new flesh that eventually ends up structuring the participant’s experience. Unrestricted by any physical or temporal limits other than his or her own anatomy, the participant is free to explore the full spectrum of couplings between actions and sounds, resulting in an ephemeral, pliable structure that builds from within itself. The form of the interaction emerges along with its content. Of course, a skeptic might point out that “Measure” is not a typical piece of music, and it is not entirely clear what reasons one might offer—​other than it being an example of sound art—​to justify classifying it as such without making the category “music” licentiously permissive. After all, it is an installation in which the role of the participant is very much participatory. That is to say that the role of the listener is active to the point where he or she becomes a quasi-​performer—​not quite producing the sounds, but also not completely removed from the process of their creation. Even while present-​ day composers continue to dramatize the situated, spatial characteristics of musical engagement, the entrenched view is that interactions with music

186  Enacting MusicAL Time typically unfold quite differently. Inasmuch as listeners participate in the emergence of musical structure to some extent—​for example, by attending to periodicities that lead to the perception of meter—​it seems that, on the face of it, it would not be utterly egregious to envision these listeners as having little to do with the process of making music. Thus, readers would be justified in their apprehension about how the ontology presented in this chapter translates into more typical musical situations—​which is to say situations where the listener is not overtly responsible for generating and modifying the acoustical signal. The challenge is to implicate the body in structural musical changes without invoking rigid criteria that circumscribe “musical” sounds within a very narrow category reflective of certain narrowly conceived cognitive abilities. Chapter 5 takes up this challenge by looking more closely at the mechanisms that allow the body to enact time, and by considering how these mechanisms participate in the formation of musical meanings in a piece that explores the very depths of temporality.

5 Affectivity Eternity was as nothing compared to the monstrous infinitude of time within infinite space and the heavenly bodies inhabiting it. What to make of the thing? It was beyond imagining and yet impressed itself on the mind with absolute ontological necessity. —​Witkiewicz  (2012)

Musical sounds have the capacity to elicit from listeners what are sometimes quite specific actions, and these actions tend to follow the morphology of sounds—​their duration and dynamical unfolding. Among other things, long durations can engender attempts at standstill, a state in which change is attenuated and the contours of one’s body are sustained. But standstill is never just an absence of movement; it is replete with immense tension. Using motion-​capture technology to investigate this phenomenon, Alexander Refsum Jensenius (2015) has shown that one can never achieve absolute stillness, even in cases of deep sleep or paralysis. There are always micro-​movements that result from the body’s physiological functioning: blood pulses through the arteries; lungs inflate and deflate with each breath; the central nervous system, buzzing with activity, continually adjusts itself to the body’s positions. Achieving standstill is thus a deliberate action, one that requires physical effort and intentionality. Phenomenologically, standstill is about something in the sense of being directed at something exterior to the body. Standstill projects outward toward the space that the body occupies. While the majority of work on the relationship between the human body and musical sounds involves the study of large-​scale gestures visible to the naked eye, standstill offers an opportunity to explore the very moment in which action emerges. This precision makes it a productive resource for theorizing the enactment of lived time in musical situations, particularly in situations where standstill is combined with extremely long sounds. As Karlheinz Stockhausen wrote concerning the experience of his monumental Enacting Musical Time: The Bodily Experience of New Music. Mariusz Kozak, Oxford University Press (2020). © Oxford University Press. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190080204.001.0001

188  Enacting MusicAL Time Stimmung (1968; for six vocalists and six microphones), “one listens to the inner self of the sound, the inner self of the harmonic spectrum, the inner self of a vowel, the inner self” (quoted in Wörner 1977, 66; emphasis in original). Such sounds reveal their interiority, bringing into relief and imprinting on the listener’s attention those very features of their spectrum that usually remain outside the scope of perception. These sounds magnify for us every nuance and fluctuation of energy, every perturbation and slippage of harmonics as they compete for priority in our perception, producing a panoply of beats, large and small, all the way from our inner ear to the auditory cortex. And just as extremely long durations allow us to attend to the sound’s “inner workings,” so too a body that strains to maintain standstill as it orients itself to these sounds opens a window through which it may be possible to witness the enactment of lived time. One of the most compelling musical attempts at representing standstill is Louis Andriessen’s De Tijd (1979–​81), an enormous work scored for a female chorus, percussion ensemble, and orchestra. Later in this chapter I will show how the composer’s abstemious use of a handful of building materials, each associated with specific bodily spatio-​temporal orientations, can be read as encouraging the enactment of a crisis of time. But the possibility of this enactment emerges only once the listener achieves a particular affective state—​namely, anxiety. To see why this is so, I will first expound on the idea (already discussed at some length in the previous chapters) that the Merleau-​ Pontian “secretion” of time is driven by the auto-​affective disposition of the embodied subject. Before turning to music analysis, I will look more closely at the nature of affectivity, its general dynamics and how they are instantiated in movement (or standstill, understood as one of the options of engagement with the environment), and finally how the inchoate quiver of the body that signals an affective orientation of the subject toward his or her environment makes time an ontological reality.

Auto-​Affection Although I argued in Chapter 4 that there are considerable differences in how our visual and auditory worlds are constituted by flesh, an oculocentric analogy can nevertheless serve as a productive foil for further discussion. In particular, the perceptual effect of a sound that reveals its flutters and wobbles can be compared to watching a video shot with a high-​speed camera,

Affectivity  189 a phenomenon that has been explored aesthetically in the work of Bill Viola, and theoretically by Mark Hansen (Hansen 2004b). Unlike slow-​motion techniques, where an image is first recorded at a regular speed of 24 frames per second before being played back at a substantially slower frame rate, high-​speed recordings nowadays can capture up to hundreds of thousands of high-​resolution images every second. This process results in recordings that are saturated with movements that occur in the range of milliseconds over distances of millimeters. Such micro-​movements are typically regarded as happening unintentionally and without conscious control, producing, for example, various facial micro-​expressions that allow interlocutors to gain insight into each other’s affective, and even cognitive, states (Jensenius 2015). Under normal perceptual conditions these movements are invisible to the naked eye. We sense them, but are unaware of their existence, similar to our lack of awareness of all the individual micro-​perturbations of sound that result in our impression of timbre. High-​speed video recording exaggerates these micro-​movements, emphasizing them to the point where the viewer’s initial perception of stasis actually reveals itself as constant movement. When the camera is pointed at humans portraying intense emotions, such as in Viola’s work, this saturation of our visual field allows viewers to see transitions between affects “by opening the imperceptible in-​between of emotional states to some kind of embodied yet intentional apprehension” (Hansen 2004b). When we observe those seemingly uncontrollable twitches, they enter our awareness, making it possible to experience bodily affinity with those portrayed in the video and to form a level of understanding constituted by our corporeal empathy. The consequences of this opening are far-​ reaching, because it ultimately results in the expansion of the viewer’s present moment. By bringing to consciousness all the different flickers and wiggles and throbs of the body, high-​speed recording enlarges “the threshold of the now” and intensifies “the [viewer’s] body’s subject-​constituting experience of its own vitality” (Hansen 2004b, 589).1

1 For Hansen (2004b), digital technology plays a crucial role in allowing this reconfiguration to happen. He writes: “technology allows for a closer relationship to ourselves, for a more intimate experience of the very vitality that forms the core of our being, our constitutive incompleteness, our mortal finitude” (589). In this view, technology helps us realize that we are incomplete, which is similar to the extended-​mind view. However, as the duo of performance artists Eiko and Koma have revealed in their performances of extended standstill and incredibly slow movements that occur just at the threshold of intentionality, the same effect can be achieved with pure, naked, deliberately and wholly un-​technologized bodies.

190  Enacting MusicAL Time What Hansen means by “vitality” concerns the capabilities of the viewers’ bodies, which become amplified as the present moment expands with the aid of high-​speed video. It should be noted that the expansion of the present in this case does not mean a change in one’s own sense of the rate of temporal flow. There are, of course, instances in which one’s subjective experience of time may be described as “dilated” or “contracted”—​and music is quite efficient at creating this effect. However, these phenomena will not concern us here, because, by comparing deviations against the standard of an objectively measured time, accounts of temporal dilation or contraction inevitably sustain the orthodoxy that time is a measuring device that exists independently of content.2 Instead, the enlargement of vitality—​which might also be construed as an expansion of the body schema—​pertains directly to the enactment of lived time, and its relevance can be seen in the experience of standstill. In particular, micro-​movements that occur during standstill are not entirely uncontrollable and unintentional, and, with training, can be harnessed and extended beyond their minimal scale (Jensenius 2015). Given a focused awareness of one’s own body, there is a moment when one becomes so attuned to every flicker of the muscles that what might have begun as an involuntary spasm can turn into an initiation of an intentional, directed gesture. According to Hansen, viewing such bodily micro-​movement on high-​ speed video facilitates the perception of intentionality by intensifying and enlarging the window of one’s possibility for action. By foregrounding what is typically too fast and too small to be visible, the viewer’s bodily experience is technologically intensified and magnified, resulting in an expansion of the body’s “capacity [ . . . ] to experience itself as ‘more than itself ’ and thus to deploy its sensorimotor power to create the unpredictable, the experimental, the new” (Hansen 2004a, 6). This enlargement in turn allows the viewer to embody not just time consciousness, but even “the being of time itself ” (Hansen 2004b, 589). In other words, within the process of expanding the body’s potential for creativity—​within this very moment when a spasm becomes gesture—​time becomes an ontological reality. To put it in terms familiar from the previous chapters, this is the moment in which the body simultaneously constitutes and reaches across écart, thus enacting its agency

2 Because of the highly subjective nature of this experience, research into the causes of altered temporal states is not only divided, but often contradictory. Flaherty (2010) points out, however, that the “anomalous” experiences of time seem to be much more prevalent than the “normative” ones.

Affectivity  191 and imbuing the world with a temporality (“secreting” time) that consists of the body’s own sets of protentions and retentions. To examine this process in more detail, it is useful to note at the outset that all animate creatures, from unicellular protozoa to humans, possess an elemental bodily capacity described by Giovanna Colombetti as “a lack of indifference, and rather a sensibility or interest for one’s existence” (Colombetti 2013, 1; emphases in original). It is one of the few truly universal conditions of animate life, a remarkable investment in the maintenance of metabolic processes, in the preservation of viability, and in the continuity of genetic vitality. This basic capacity results from the convergence of two fundamental aspects that constitute animals. The first is the link between cells that are receptive to external stimuli—​sensory cells—​and cells that are responsible for producing action. Forming a partially closed circuit (recall the perception-​action cycle from Chapter 2), this link gives animate creatures the essential capacity to self-​organize. Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela called it autopoiesis and marked it as a distinguishing feature of living—​as opposed to artificial—​ “cognitive” systems (Maturana and Varela 1980). In its most sophisticated form, the cellular link comprises a nervous system that consolidates limbs, organs, glands, and muscles into a unified and coherent whole, a unit capable of creating and re-​creating its own conditions of being—​a body. The second aspect fundamental to life is embeddedness, or the fact that organisms are situated within a particular environment. The immediate environment is what furnishes animals with affordances that enable them to fulfill their goals—​it is what affects the animal in ways that call for some kind of action. Constituted as such, the organism exercises the capacity to preserve its own existence by drawing on a basic motivation to approach or to avoid, to express interest or aversion, to move toward (philia) or away (phobia) from something. In doing so, the organism’s body extends beyond itself in order to generate something new, to create a situation that until then had existed only as a mere possibility, to clear out the space of all affordances and act on a single solicitation that materializes only at that moment. Both Hansen and Colombetti refer to this process as affectivity, but we can also think of it as part of Merleau-​Ponty’s flesh. In all cases, it is a fundamental proclivity to both meaningfully touch and be touched (affected) by the world. Affectivity is manifested as self-​movement, as a tendency, as an external display of internally generated physical displacement (Zahavi 2004). In contrast to inanimate objects, which exist in a causal relation to the world, animate life is characterized by a capability to initiate, sustain, and modify

192  Enacting MusicAL Time its own movements. It is the “auto” in autopoiesis, which in earlier chapters I  captured with the term “response.” As self-​movement, affectivity is thus auto-​affection, or the capacity for animate life to affect itself from within the biological boundaries of the organism, through the connections between sensory and motor cells. Animate life, in other words, is capable of endogenously designing and deploying its own dynamics as it reckons with the affordances it encounters. I should stress that at this point in the discussion I am not yet interested in affect itself—​I will have more to say about it in Chapter 6. Conversations around this topic have infiltrated the core of music-​theoretical discourse over the last few years, but there is little consensus regarding the exact nature of affects, their distinction from emotions and feelings (if there is one), their relationship to subjectivity, and the role of music—​especially modernist music—​in articulating, evoking, or even inhibiting the affective experience of listeners (Leipert 2019).3 Music is seen as the preeminent medium for the study of affect because, as Pablo Vila (2017) describes it, “music mobilizes bodies through affective transmission,” bringing to the fold issues of corporeal materiality and amplifying the ephemeral nature of sound (xii). However, much of this work paints the picture with a very broad brush, skeptical as it is of naturalist claims and interested primarily in attaching affect to some ideological program—​such as biopolitics, neoliberalism, nationalism, and so on (Leipert 2019). These projects remove from consideration the “affecting objects,” which results in what may be characterized as (ultimately futile) efforts of putting into words that which exceeds linguistic explication (Grant 2018).4 By contrast, scientific work on music’s power to evoke emotions is prone to diminishing the effects that these emotions have on reconfiguring the listener’s subjective engagement with the musical object. That is, by having to necessarily draw on simplified scenarios and distill musical complexity to its most operationalizable form, empirical approaches to musical affect are ill-​equipped for dealing with emotions as something more than a mere motivator of behavior—​as aesthetic objects or processes in their own right.5 My concern here is thus closer to that of Charles Altieri 3 Recent work on the function of affect in music can be found in Thompson and Biddle (2013), Cochrane, Fantini, and Scherer (2013), and Tomlinson (2016). 4 One can also put it more crudely as “effing the ineffable” (McClary 2012, 252). 5 See, for example, essays in Juslin and Sloboda (2010). By thinking of affect itself as an aesthetic object I do not mean the more common “aesthetic emotions” perspective, found, for example, in Juslin (2013). Zbikowski (2017) offers an excellent historical take on the psychological and cognitive study of music and emotions, and some critiques and extensions to this approach.

Affectivity  193 (2003), who sees the project of (in his case, literary) theory less in terms of naming specific affects or describing their forms—​also something that I will take up in Chapter  6—​than in terms of identifying the conditions under which we evaluate the role of affects in our lives, specifically their role in orienting our sense-​making bodies toward the world. In other words, the function of affectivity in the context of this chapter obviates the question of one’s “emotional experience” in response to music, and instead focuses on the musical circumstances—​as they are taken up by the body’s potential for opening up onto its environment—​under which the body’s relation to the acoustical signal can be modified and turned into an aesthetic experience of musical time. As the source of the body’s capacity to move itself, auto-​affection is what constitutes lived time by serving as the means by which the organism makes explicit those implications that are inherent in its situation. Indeed, as Maxine Sheets-​Johnstone notes, life, time, affectivity, and movement “are not just intimately linked, but intermeshed, interwoven with one another such that any one is not present without the other” (Sheets-​Johnstone 2009b, 382). To delve into the emergence of the “being of time itself ” is thus to examine the mechanics of enaction as they co-​arise in the maintenance of animate life. The ontological reality of time is inseparable from the deployment of self-​movement, which means that to get a better glimpse of its constitution it is necessary to consider the very moment in which the body differentiates itself from the all-​encompassing flesh.

Enacting Lived Time Our capacity to respond to the world’s affordances is essentially a valuative process, that is, a process that creates the conditions for perception through the assignation of value to different aspects of the environment.6 This assignation is expressed through movement, and the most basic form of movement, which Varela and Natalie Depraz (2005) call “tendency,” is toward or away from an affordance—​philia and phobia, respectively. It is a movement that opens us up onto an external world and lets us “line”—​to use 6 This formulation means that our affectivity is what enables us to have an experience to begin with, rather than affect serving as an evaluation of an initial experience. Moreover, evaluation and appraisal in this view are pre-​reflexive, pre-​noetic processes, and thus cognitive in an embodied, enactive sense.

194  Enacting MusicAL Time Merleau-​Ponty’s evocative term—​this world with our flesh, simultaneously making us a part of it, and it a part of us (1968, 123). Things either attract us or they repel us, and it is our action in response to this attraction or repellence that makes it possible for us to have a perceptual experience. Perception is thus “contaminated” with affectivity (Hansen 2004b, 602). Our basic affective tendency, in turn, manifests a certain disposition: for example, whether movement was deployed for the purpose of gathering food, avoiding a predator, or expressing affiliation with a conspecific (Varela and Depraz 2005). Dispositions establish the background against which our lives unfold, and include movements that are seeking and exploratory; movements that are motivated by rage or fear; movements that are playful and joyful; nurturing movements; movements intended to foster attachment and social bonding; movements that are caused by sadness or separation distress.7 Our tendencies, suffused with such dispositions, constitute responses to the positive or negative values inherent in affordances. When we move, our field of attention shifts, and through these shifts things become salient for us, in the sense of standing out from their environment and beckoning us to act—​affordances become solicitations. Because we exhibit tendencies to move in particular ways, elements of our environment acquire salience as an affective relation generated by our own movements. The “making salient” of things through the initial tendency is a form of auto-​affection, in that it emerges from the animate self. That is to say that the affective relationship between ourselves and the world is the outgrowth of what is first and foremost a self-​extension into the world. There is nothing more primordial and fundamental to life, as Varela and Depraz (2005) argue, than the need to be affected, for without an initial affectivity, even the simplest perceptual acts would fail to materialize. For me to be able to perceive anything—​that is, to make manifest my capabilities in constituting my environment as the world I actively and wholly inhabit—​I need to already be affected by that world. Affectivity is thus a primordial, pre-​perceptual relation between myself and the environment. In this view, the world does not so much provide “stimuli” on which organisms act, but rather opportunities for action arise from within the interwoven system comprising organisms in their specific milieu. The world continually furnishes events that solicit our responses. Initially, these events show up as mere fluctuations in the background of our 7 Dispositions are modulated by a number of neurotransmitters—​ including glutamate, monoamines, and steroids—​and can be localized to specific brain regions (Lövheim 2012).

Affectivity  195 awareness, as inchoate quivers that lack determinate meaning but, because of our inherent openness to the world, already pull us toward some action. In the process of making these quivers salient through tendency and manifested dispositions, our relationship with the world acquires a value (positive or negative) that Varela and Depraz (2005) call “valence.” Valence creates a space of affective polarities: like/​dislike, attraction/​rejection, pleasure/​displeasure, and so on. Within this space, valence is experienced by the body in the form of kinetic shapes and temporal profiles. That is, the value that the world holds for the body is expressed at the level of feel, of kinesthetic knowledge, and of a kind of unfolding specific to the body’s situation. We know how affective polarities feel and what direct effects they have on our bodies. We understand at an inexplicable—​yet no less epistemic—​level their morphology, the processes by which they acquire spatio-​temporal dimensions as a function of our own movements (or their deliberate lack). However, as much as it feels familiar, this experience is necessarily indeterminate, because the body has to remain open to events that have not yet happened. It must be expectant—​ ready to respond immediately to the changing nature of the world. The body can never be completely fixed in its activity, because, as Gallagher and Varela write, “the content of protention is not always completely determinate and may approach the most general sense of ‘something (without specification) has to happen’ ” (2003, 115). In turn, this openness, this drive to create something new and unpredictable, necessarily makes our bodily experience vulnerable. I would go so far as to argue that this vulnerability is a constitutive part of experience, insofar as it bears upon the particular affective quality of lived time. Lived time, in other words, is at bottom suffused with a kind of fragility that makes every perceptual act an affirmation of life itself. This fragility of time offers an alternative perspective on expectation to that of David Huron’s, and the difference is especially salient in the context of contemporary non-​tonal music. For Huron, expectation allows an organism to predict some future event and anticipate its outcome. In this view, expectation evokes emotions, which for Huron are processes that “encourage organisms to pursue behaviors that are normally adaptive, and to avoid behaviors that are normally maladaptive” (2006, 4). In brief, there is an event E that you think is going to happen. You have certain expectations about E, so you prepare yourself for its occurrence. E happens, and you evaluate whether your expectations were correct. If E happens as expected, then your predictions were validated and the emotions evoked by E have a positive valence; if E was unexpected, the emotions are valenced negatively. For Huron,

196  Enacting MusicAL Time modernist music is characterized by a “contrarian” aesthetic, which is predicated on a “resolute, persistent, and often stubborn” thwarting of listeners’ expectations (333). For him, this accounts for the general confounding effect that contemporary art music has on listeners. Those who happen to enjoy this repertoire, Huron avers, have come to “expect the unexpected” by having “adapted to the contrarian aesthetic” and having “internalized the same contrarian principle as a basis for auditory expectation” (333). Huron’s claim rehearses the well-​known trope that the idiosyncratic logic of modernist music makes it impossible to form expectations about the melodic, harmonic, or rhythmic trajectory of a single piece without having heard it multiple times and carefully analyzed its structure. Responding to this line of argument we could point out that, since the twentieth century, melody, harmony, and rhythm have been divested of their capacity as the sole carriers of musical meaning, and other sonic parameters have (at least partly) assumed this function. Thus, to listen for melodic or harmonic completion in the works of, for example, Kaija Saariaho, Chaya Czernowin, or Eliza Brown is to focus on aspects of the musical process that are secondary to the mode of expression explored by these composers. Moreover, Huron’s claims obfuscate what Leipert (2019) has described as “the affective diversity and richness of musical modernism” (312). While Milton Babbitt’s postulate that modernist music “defines its materials from within” may be taken as such, the absence of a broader intertextual principle guiding the development of materials does not necessarily make one’s experience of them unpredictable. That is, when I listen to a piece like Olga Neuwirth’s Clinamen/​Nodus (1999), I may not have a sense of the inevitability of specific events, but neither do I feel bitterly deceived by what I hear. What matters in this case is a characterization of what I am listening to in terms more precise than merely noting the differences with other kinds of music (e.g., common-​practice Western art music). Let us linger for a bit on this example. Clinamen/​Nodus opens with a swirling, turbulent sound mass produced by the entire ensemble—​ the Bartókian strings, percussion, and celesta, plus two Bavarian zithers and a Hawaiian guitar. Emanating from the mass are various gongs, glissandi, and cymbal crashes. Then, hesitantly, a crystalline D4 materializes, as if all the noise were carved away and what was left was a precious glistening gem. And glisten it does, reflecting and refracting the aura of pitches a quarter-​ tone apart (first below, then above) that amplify—​rather than threatening to distort—​its purity. Within the first minute Neuwirth establishes the sonic space of the piece, in which D4 functions as a reference point, not in

Affectivity  197 the sense of pitch space—​there is no pitch centricity here—​but rather as a sonority whose qualities are continually emphasized precisely by the more noise-​like elements that are happening around it. This D4 affectively anchors the listener, as if to encourage an interrogation of its purity. The sonorous integrity of this pitch is always in danger of disappearing in the flurry of the other materials, which mix percussive noise with string glissandi in more rhythmically driven passages, only to finally abandon discrete pitches altogether and unleash a battery of thumps, clangs, and roars. But even then D4 emerges unscathed, reaching a point of exquisite luminosity when—​ starting around m. 172—​the slow ostinato in the amplified guitar is joined by string harmonics and the tinkling sounds of the percussion and celesta (see Example 5.1). This continual reemergence suggests that the noisy episodes may be interpreted less like interruptions and more like refractions of the central pitch—​perhaps rhythmic and timbral variations on the concept of D4. Indeed, there are but few instances in which we do not hear D4 somewhere in the ensemble. The purity of the luminous D4 is a compositional state in the sense explicated by David Metzer (2009), who has argued that musical modernism—​ which he understands in terms of departures from the harmonic, melodic, and rhythmic language of the nineteenth-​century—​unfolds along what he calls “lines of inquiry.” These are “investigations into points of interest” that are accomplished through the musical works themselves, and include “aesthetic ideals, compositional materials, and facets of expression” (6). Disputing innovation as the driving force of modernism, and focusing instead on continuities along each line of inquiry, Metzer identifies four aesthetic ideals explored by modernist composers: purity, silence, the fragment, and flux. These ideals—​which exist independently of any specific piece or compositional technique, and instead belong to a broader aesthetic milieu—​ provide composers with sounds, behaviors, and structural patterns that are shaped in order to become manifestations of the ideal, engaging that ideal “so as to delve into its unique associations and properties” (8). We can thus think of ideals as abstracts that become materialized in sound through a process that Metzer calls “transubstantiation”—​for example, the ideal of silence can be manifested with a literal absence of sound, but also with sonic processes that address or evoke the different ways in which silence can be culturally and personally significant. Listening to Clinamen/​Nodus in terms of the ideal of purity—​rather than linearly tracking pitch or rhythmic development—​opens up a whole new

198  Enacting MusicAL Time field of meanings that both draw on and contribute to the affective richness of the piece. Not confined to a prescribed set of musical materials and procedures, purity offers an immense, seemingly inexhaustible range of possibilities for interrogating notions of musical refinement, distillation, Example 5.1  Olga Neuwirth, Clinamen/​Nodus, mm. 167–​174. Copyright © 1999 by G. Ricordi & Co. Bühnen-​und Musikverlag GmbH—​Berlin, Germany. All Rights Reserved. International Copyright Secured. Reproduced by kind permission of Hal Leonard Europe S.r.l.—​Italy.

Affectivity  199 Example 5.1 Continued

absorption, or centrifugation. Among other things, listening to and for purity allows the listener to attend to the vulnerability of the sonic expression and the resultant intensity of that encounter (an intensity that Leipert [2019] interprets as affect). Note in particular how the D4 teeters on the brink of inundation but is never completely drowned out. It does

200  Enacting MusicAL Time not struggle; it simply persists, and it is this persistence that functions as the affective anchor that I  mentioned earlier. Vulnerability here comes from the danger of overcommitting oneself to the co-​constitution of a musical process that might end as abruptly as it emerged—​that is, to helping co-​constitute a musical expression that might be unexpectedly hindered. But this kind of vulnerability need not result in a negatively valenced emotional response. In fact, to invoke the positive/​negative binary is to flatten out the variegated topography of the listener’s musical experience, or—​as articulated by Altieri—​to “trivialize the lives that become possible if we concern ourselves with the intricacies of affective states” (2003, 25). Altieri further cautions us on this point by arguing that theory should resist the impulse to seek a source that can act as a stabilizing force for the “emotional turmoil” caused by some surprising event. For him, this function is fulfilled by rationality—​or cognitive appraisal—​when it becomes fruitlessly implicated in the project of identifying various affects without “enjoying them or extending them into related possibilities of intensity” (2003, 16). But we can adopt a similar perspective in the present context, where it is possible to locate the same desire in the drive to naturalize the emotional power of music by appealing to the biology and psychology of the listener. Without refuting Huron’s evidence that there is a correlation between a physiological response and an emotional experience, the danger here is that emotions eventually turn into something that happens to the subject—​ a subject that essentially remains in possession of its corporeal form but without inhabiting it (a subject that has, but is not, a body)—​rather than emerging from within the system consisting of the subject’s active, auto-​ affected exploration of its surroundings. Pushing against this drive is the model which I drew on the basis of Varela and Depraz, where valence more properly describes the feeling of an auto-​ affective bodily engagement with the environment. Instead of materializing as the outcome of prediction—​negative if prediction was incorrect, positive if it was correct—​feeling coalesces around movement itself. In this view, expectation is not the source of affect, though it still functions as preparation for the future. Rather, expectation is already entangled with affect as it is guided by the dimensions of movement—​its tendency, disposition, and valence. In simplest terms, as the dynamics of the interaction between an organism and its environment undergo change, the affective polarities involved in these dynamics shape the very nature of expectation. This process makes it possible to enjoy modernist music without having to suppress a biologically determined

Affectivity  201 drive and learn to “expect the unexpected,” but rather by attending to the aesthetic potential of expectation itself: to expect expectation, as it were. To reiterate, all perception is grounded in the movement capabilities of organisms, and this movement is the result of auto-​affection. In it, an inchoate spasm becomes a full-​fledged expressive gesture.8 This becoming-​ gesture is characterized by three dimensions:  (1) tendency, which is its direction, (2) disposition, which is its purpose, and (3) valence, which is its feel. Movement turns implicit aspects of the environment into explicit ones, thus making time an ontological reality. But because the world is not static, tendency, disposition, and valence are never fixed. The organism remains open to the contingency of the world, meaning that movement is always ultimately indeterminate. Expectation is an openness to contingency that allows movement to change course if necessary. It is finally this openness to unpredictability that gives rise to lived time, and Merleau-​Ponty’s use of the term “dehiscence” is helpful in articulating its nature (2012, 450). Borrowed from botany, dehiscence refers to a split in the structure of a plant that reveals its interiority—​for example, when a mature seed pod spontaneously ruptures and releases its contents (Hickey and King 2001). For Merleau-​Ponty, it is precisely this kind of splitting, this breach in the skin, that characterizes the relationship between the present moment and the future. The present contains within it an opening that makes it receptive to contingency and unpredictability. This contingency is necessary in order to experience the world, because it allows the organism to turn possibilities into actualities. Without it, an organism would remain locked within itself—​in a state of pure self-​coincidence—​with no change or a sense of direction to bring about the process of life. To reanimate the poetic image I developed in Chapter 4, the organism must have a way of interpolating its temporal “aura” with that of the world. It is through this interpolation that the world and the organism are able to mutually shape one another, bringing about lived time as the form of this process. As Annabelle Dufourcq (2014) colorfully suggests, time emerges when, in its exposure to otherness, affectivity creates a “tiny gap” between self and alterity. This gap is essentially a brief asynchrony that generates the conditions of possibility for actualizing 8 In his most recent book, Marc Leman (2016) explores from a pragmatic perspective what he calls the “expressive moment,” which he considers a “building block for establishing interactions” between humans (5). Unfortunately, his definition of “expression” is unhelpfully circular: “Expression is quality of human movement that is meant to provide an expressive response, so that an expressive interaction can be established between sender and receiver” (42).

202  Enacting MusicAL Time whatever potential imbues the present. However, this asynchrony is also what creates an inherent asymmetry in the structure of lived time. Note in particular that protention is not an expectation of something predictable, but what Varela (1999) describes as “an openness that is capable of self-​ movement, indeterminate but about to manifest” (296). This indeterminacy requires the subject to draw on its own affectivity in the process of turning potentialities into actualizations. There is nothing concerning the future explicitly given to primal impression—​the actual contents of an embodied consciousness—​and so the only option the subject has for making-​actual what is implicit in the primal impression is to use its own primordial drive to create something new and unpredictable. The bodily experience of this creative act in turn generates an asymmetrical rhythm that constitutes our sense of time’s flow, in which the scale of temporal experience is always weighted toward the “not yet.” Protentions are not an equal-​but-​opposite counterforce to retentions, but rather are constituted by an altogether different affective dimension. Specifically, whereas retentions are characterized by a letting-​go of the already-​concretized contents of the primal impression, protentions involve a grasping—​or an attempt to grasp—​something that is indeterminate, incipient, yet to be.9 The upshot of this discussion is that we move in order to change our perspective on the various entities that we encounter in our environment. This change allows us to have perceptual experiences, and through this process, the structure of our interaction attains a certain dimensionality. On the one hand, this interaction acquires spatiality, such that our movements essentially constitute the space in which they unfold by configuring that space based on the particulars of our situation. On the other hand, the interaction also exhibits the tripartite Husserlian form of temporality, with the emergence of protentions that may eventually lead to expectations. In practical terms, this emergence of dimensionality means that things and entities we encounter have a kind of presence for us just beyond our grasp of them, and we actualize this presence—​we make it present—​by moving in a certain way. We saw this effect already in Chapter 4, where I described the perception of a computer screen as implying a three-​dimensional object even when only a two-​dimensional surface is given to the sensory system. We also saw the same principle at work in constituting temporal objects, whereby a shift in 9 This view is supported by recent neuroscientific theories that perception plays an essentially predictive role. See, in particular, Clark (2015).

Affectivity  203 perspective actualizes the potential inherent in the present impression. It bears repeating in the context of affectivity that the present moment implicitly refers to contents that are co-​present but are not yet explicitly given to consciousness. It is by actively constituting the temporal object that these implicit parts become the contents of consciousness, while at the same time explicit parts acquire an implicit depth as we continue to become better attuned to the structure of the object’s affordances. This depth is both spatial and temporal. The temporal depth consists of the density of retentions and protentions that accompany each perceptual act. What propels this entire process forward—​that is, what constitutes the very source of lived time—​is our affective drive:  our bodily response, which, through tendency, movement, and disposition constitutes the value of this object. Lived time is enacted by the process of making-​present the potential implicit in the world that we encounter. Our bodily experience of the affective polarities that are configured by our valence (the affective value of the feel of movement, such as like/​dislike, pleasure/​displeasure, etc.) creates lived time when the form of those polarities (that is, how they give support to the body’s postures and the quality of its movements) engender the body to draw on its own affectivity (openness to the world external to its biological boundaries) to actualize something new and unpredictable. In other words, the source of lived time is the affective space that opens up (dehisces) onto the future and serves as a link between the object of our perception and temporal flow (the asymmetry between the “now” and the “not yet”). To rephrase my claim from Chapter 1 in terms developed here: lived time at the most fundamental level is interwoven with meaning because it emerges from the very process in which we create this meaning. Returning to my earlier analogy of high-​speed video, Hansen claims that digital visual technology lays bare the process of temporal constitution that I  described previously—​that it lets “the being of time itself ” become embodied—​because it underscores the ambiguity in the shifts from one emotion to another. It does so by slowing down the act of making-​actual and magnifying the affective profusion of the present. Music also has the capacity to intensify and enlarge the window of motor possibilities, but with a crucial difference. Specifically, vision creates a sense of intimacy, giving rise to a familiar feeling of being enveloped by the world and leading us to privilege visual representations over other forms. Media technology such as high-​ speed digital recordings thus present to the viewer a space with contents that, to a large extent, are already constituted independently of the viewer. Digital

204  Enacting MusicAL Time technology is able to mediate affective behavior and perception, making visible those aspects of expression that evade our perceptual capabilities. In turn, the expansion of the present that the viewer experiences is “out there” in the world—​something to be witnessed and understood through a kind of bodily empathy.10 Music, by contrast, necessitates that the listener enact a temporality because there is nothing on display, no “capture” of affective behavior, no recognition of images whose meaning is already semiotically encoded. At best, one encounters dynamical patterns, and these patterns bring out certain forms of embodiment, certain actions on the part of the listener. But those actions are not mere reflections of the acoustical signal; instead, they are rational responses, which, as part of the temporal affordance system, co-​evolve with the signal. As I  have shown on several occasions, music elicits movements that have their own logical organization. Grounded in the qualitative kinesthetic dynamics of animate bodies, it is not linked with the temporal logic of the visual world. As a result, it allows for the possibility of experiencing time in ways that take listeners beyond aspects of speed and duration, and into the unnamable—​though still empirical—​depths that characterize those listeners’ pre-​linguistic, pre-​reflective existence. Just as high-​speed video brings out the micro-​movements that constitute the expression of affect, thereby enlarging the viewers’ windows of bodily capabilities and expanding the lived present to the point of magnifying the emergence of lived time, so too the standstill, engendered by extremely slow durations, reveals every twitch, every wobble, every quiver of the body as potential for action. Each quiver is the possibility of enacting the lived present by explicating what is implicit. It draws the body’s attention to the dehiscence of the present. Like the long, gradually unfolding sounds of Stockhausen’s Stimmung, standstill thus offers an opportunity to feel the “inner self ” of the body as it opens up and enacts the future. It does so because the quiver straddles the categorical boundary between a purely physiological artifact of the nervous system and a motor-​intentional engagement with the world. In other words: it is pure possibility. As I mentioned in the opening paragraphs of this chapter, few pieces call attention to this possibility more profoundly than Andriessen’s De Tijd. This

10 Hansen (2004b), drawing on the literature concerning the role of sensorimotor contingencies of perception, characterizes vision as “haptic.” That is, sense-​making is an activity of the whole body, with touch and self-​movement replacing ocular perception as something abstract. In turn, we might say that what Viola’s installations present are not so much images as opportunities for bodily engagement with their contents. Like other processes, including music, these contents are not fully determined.

Affectivity  205 forty-​five-​minute sonic colossus features some of the slowest unfolding sonorities in the Western repertory, some lasting as long as thirteen seconds. Although this observation alone might provide an impetus for a musical analysis, a purely chronometric designation belies the timbral and harmonic richness of these extreme intervals, the hauntingly extended chords pulsating and undulating beneath the vitreous surface in ways that evade capture using tools meant to extricate them from temporal flow. Within sonorous stillness listeners become witness to the wobbles and quivers that signal the potential for sound to become, to unfold, to emerge as a temporal object, only to recede into a thickening fog of retentions and eventually become past.

Louis Andriessen’s De Tijd According to Robert Adlington’s (2001) comprehensive analysis, De Tijd can be interpreted as a meditation on the dialectic between time and eternity. Both the piece’s title (which means “time” in Dutch) and its genesis can be traced to Andriessen’s own euphoric experience of the eternal moment, purportedly achieved through a sensation that time had ceased to exist. Adlington identifies stable associations between specific musical elements and the temporal concepts that they are meant to signify.11 According to him, the sustained chords that open the piece and remain one of its primary building materials—​described by the composer as “terrifying blue columns,” and shown in reduced form in Example 5.2—​symbolize timelessness through both their pitch structure and an incredibly slow Example 5.2  Louis Andriessen, De Tijd, mm. 1–​6, reduction.

11 Another important analysis of the piece can be found in Everett (2012).

206  Enacting MusicAL Time Example 5.3  Louis Andriessen, De Tijd. Opening chords as superimposed dominants. Adapted from Adlington (2001).

tempo. As Adlington points out, these sonorities can be construed as two superimposed dominant-​seventh chords with roots a perfect fifth apart (see Example 5.3). As such, they inhibit forward momentum, or the directional “flow” of time, because the intended resolution of the dominant seventh is already built into them. These harmonically saturated chords permeate the entire piece, acting as a sonic glue that binds the different sections into a musical whole. However, their narrative function is differentiated through their blending with other materials. For example, the first section (mm. 1–​86), consisting of voices and strings, connotes the idea of relative temporal stillness by combining static harmonies with a glacial pace, uniform timbre, hushed dynamics, and diffuse attacks. The resulting sound is rich in overtones, but retains a consistent spectral envelope throughout the sustained portion of each chord. To further enhance the dispersal of energy at the chords’ onsets, a hocket between the two female choirs—​a centuries-​ old technique that splits a single melodic line among several voices—​blurs syllabic articulations, in effect voiding the text of any semantic meaning and rendering it largely unintelligible. The text functions essentially as an element of texture and timbre, its role consigned to the quality of the sounds themselves—​to the spectral features of those eerily extended syllables. There is thus something uncanny about the vocal part, in that the overlap between entrances obscures the sounds of the singers’ breaths, creating a tone that is at once familiar and utterly strange, impossible in its expressiveness.

Affectivity  207 In contrast to the “blue columns,” Adlington proposes that the mechanical passage of time is represented primarily by the percussion ensemble. This ensemble—​which intrudes on the serenity of the strings + voices sonorities with a jangling sound reminiscent of the gamelan—​articulates the second of the two main musical materials used by Andriessen. Here, durations are shorter and the quick decay of sound suppresses a sense of harmony, akin to the sounds of the cogs, gears, and wheels of a clock. Example 5.4a illustrates these sounds in the context of mm. 91–​96, where they alone constitute the second main section of the piece (mm. 87–​96). Note in particular how they are set rhythmically in a characteristic short-​long iambic pattern, once again in a hocket, this time between the two percussion groups (which I marked “Percussion A” and “Percussion B” in the example).12 This pattern not only expands and contracts from one formal section to another, but it also travels among the instruments, creating a sense of rhythmic cohesion. Percussive sounds also appear in what Adlington calls the “pulse” level, which is characterized by regular durations several orders of magnitude shorter than those in the “blue columns.” Shown in Example 5.4b, these pulses begin in m. 97 (third section) and continue throughout De Tijd, emphasizing formal divisions with changes in pulse lengths. Even though several pulses of different durations occur simultaneously, in both cases of iambic and pulse patterns the rhythmic regularity and the more human scale of durations seem for Adlington to correlate with the notion of time marching forward. Their rapid decay further emphasizes this correlation, rendering the sounds “contentless”—​empty instants anonymously succeeding each other. It is certainly tempting to think that really long sounds evoke eternity. Lacking articulations of change that might engender a perception of rhythm, such extreme durations seem to annihilate any sense of time’s passage. Without some kind of rhythm, time is no longer measurable, and so it might appear to have ceased to exist altogether. Musical sounds are rendered timeless; musical eternity is unmeasured, unordered, and undirected. With his “blue columns” Andriessen thus taps into a well-​established lexicon of specific compositional techniques associated with timelessness. Some of these techniques include non-​teleological harmonic progressions, such as those that do not lead to cadences. Others consist in slowly moving harmonies (also often non-​cadential) and closed harmonic cycles that “do not go anywhere,” 12 Everett (2012, 105) shows how the iambic pattern is formed by the hocket, as well as occasional irregularities in the number of beats (2 + 2 instead of the expected 1 + 2).

Example 5.4(a)  Louis Andriessen, De Tijd, iambic “gamelan” hocket in mm. 91–​96. © 1994 By Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Limited. Used With Permission. All Rights Reserved.

Example 5.4(b)  Louis Andriessen, De Tijd, mm. 97–​102; strings, voices, and woodwinds not shown. © 1994 By Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Limited. Used With Permission. All Rights Reserved.

210  Enacting MusicAL Time which may be interpreted as representing stasis, or a lack of change in the relation between musical objects. Others still relinquish any “logical” development of materials, which may connote a more general absence of temporality (Lehman 2018).13 In these and similar examples we find mappings of certain aspects associated with time onto musical concepts, such as cadence, harmonic progression, and tempo.14 While the examples above originate in tonal technologies (familiar especially from analyses of common-​practice repertoire, but, as Lehman [2018] has shown, extending into such genres as film music), contemporary composers also regularly draw on these ideas, often juxtaposing them with more recent harmonic, rhythmic, and formal languages. For example, in the fifth movement of his Quatuor pour la fin de temps (1941), titled “Louange à l’Éternité de Jésus,” Olivier Messiaen attempts to evoke timelessness with “infinitely slow, ecstatic”15 chords in the piano, which articulates a really long progression of mostly diatonic—​albeit tonally nonfunctional—​harmonies. In effect, his focus on the level of pulse, rather than meter, “insists that all moments are the same, that the past, the present, and the future are identifiable” (Griffiths 1985).16 The incredibly slow pace is meant to lengthen durations to the point of erasing what Paul Griffiths calls the “causal links” between pulses, in turn arresting the forward momentum of time. On the “macro” side of the temporal spectrum lie the formal procedures of Henryk Górecki, in particular the immense canons found in his Symphony No. 3, Symphony of Sorrowful Songs, Op. 36 (1976). The first movement—​using the text from a fifteenth-​century lament in which Mary addresses Jesus dying on the cross—​is especially replete with imagery of the eternal. According to Maja Trochimczyk, “the enormous scope of the design, the persistent repetitiveness and austere restraint of the music—​arising from silence and darkness, then receding again, after the brief and sorrowful apparition—​point beyond the realm of temporality” (Trochimczyk 2003). Slow pulse, intensely 13 Frisch (2016) illustrates how composers have used some of these techniques over the past three hundred years. An interesting case in his essay is Gustav Mahler’s Nietzsche-​inspired Das Lied von der Erde, wherein the evocation of nature’s “eternal return” is closer to the Aristotelian eternity-​ as-​everlastingness (or sempiternity) than to timelessness. For more on Mahler and Nietzsche, see Hefling (2000); for the role of eternity in Mahler’s works, see Floros (2003). 14 Other studies that explore musical representations of eternity include Petersen (2002), Fillerup (2013), and Begbie (2000). Although not necessarily under the banner of eternity, Jonathan Kramer’s (1988) concept of “vertical time” fulfills the role of timelessness in music. 15 As indicated in the score. 16 For a detailed discussion of Messiaen’s compositional techniques used to convey timelessness, see also Luchese (2010). A broader discussion of temporality in Messiaen’s music can be found in Taylor (2010) and Koozin (1993).

Affectivity  211 quiet dynamics, and an ascetic, minimalist harmonic vocabulary once again appear as signifying an abandonment of time, now gathered into frameworks aptly described by Trochimczyk as “monumental.”17 Finally, in one the most prodigious examples of Arvo Pärt’s tintinnabuli technique, his St. John Passion (1989), the severely limited pitch content is meant to elicit a sense of timelessness when combined with unceasingly regular rhythms in the voices. Such rhythms contravene natural speech patterns, not only making these patterns immutably stark, but also imparting upon them a potently “non-​ human,” emotionally distant quality, which could very well suggest some otherworldly temporal realm. Yet to construe of timelessness in such terms is to overlook how the listening experience itself shapes musical interpretation, and to graft the attributes of time onto music prior to its sounding materiality. Specifically, these are attributes of measurability, linear ordering, and an irreversible momentum toward the future. In effect, even when considered from an experiential perspective, “time” remains what might be called “a pre-​existing condition,” a socially constructed schema that constrains listeners’ own engagement with a musical work. This perspective obscures the possibility of time actually emerging from such engagements, of its enactment as a form of bodily agency and kinesthetic knowledge. What listeners experience within these constraints is a “time” that is assimilated under linear structuring and retrieval of ordered events from the past. One unfortunate repercussion of this understanding of time is that it privileges common-​practice tonal structures as templates against which deviations are evaluated for meaning. From this perspective, which might be called “tonal exceptionalism,” the Western tonal system is seen as a paradigm for inducing specific expectations in listeners, causally linking harmonic structures with temporal experiences. Aberrant tonal and rhythmic processes open up “hermeneutic windows,” which take the culturally sanctioned model of absolute time as an unshakable benchmark of temporality.18 Perhaps the most prominent example of this conception grows out of the very asymmetry of the diatonic system, in which the unequal division of the octave privileges the relation of a perfect fifth. This relation is most readily 17 For representations of eternity in Górecki’s music, see also Harley (1998). 18 “Hermeneutic window” is a term coined by L. Kramer (1993). It refers to the process of making the text—​in this case, music—​which is initially regarded as “potentially secretive,” “yield to understanding” (6). The metaphor of coercion is especially striking here, establishing an antagonistic relationship between the analyst and the musical object.

212  Enacting MusicAL Time concretized in the form of an authentic cadence, whose regular occurrence at predictable moments is said to represent the arrow of time moving forward.19 Such an association of teleology and harmonic functions is precisely what allows Adlington to link the self-​resolving “blue columns” to timelessness. Yet positions like these (often silently and covertly, but sometimes explicitly) run the risk of reinforcing the problematic notions of Western tonality’s natural and universal impact on human cognition, its appeal to higher levels of understanding and cerebral pleasure, and its ability to stimulate intellectual effort. They also turn alternative tonal systems into “others”—​into the polar opposites of Western concepts of time (see my discussion of Jonathan Kramer’s “vertical time” in Chapter 6).20 Finally, they rigidify temporal experience by consigning it to narrow categories—​for example, fast/​slow, time-​full/​time-​less, static/​moving—​rather than allowing interactions with musical events to determine the thickness and depth of this experience. To be sure, Adlington ultimately argues that the narrative which characterizes time and timelessness as two forces locked in a struggle “presumes the music’s presentation of an ordered sequence of events that traces, in successive stages, a journey from timelessness to time” (23). As an alternative, he suggests a reading of the piece in which sonic materials that resist linearization “offer the listener an experience of timelessness” (23). In particular, he points to features of De Tijd that seem to work against certain commonly held beliefs about time—​namely, its linear ordering and the retrievability of the past. These features include “harmonic languages that preserve traits of functional tonality but deploy them so as to prevent the emergence of a single teleological sequence; repetitive materials combined in such a way that they become unpredictable; forms that eschew reprise and sharp contrast” (2001, 34). For example, the superimposed dominant-​ seventh chords from the opening of the piece form a number of possible simultaneous tonal progressions without unequivocally actualizing any one of them, while common tones between them provide a sense of continuity. This unfulfilled harmonic multivalence leads to a saturation of listeners’ attention, but without a sense that individual moments are necessarily disconnected from one another, suggesting perhaps that there is a process—​albeit one that remains obscure to the listener—​underlying the unfolding of sonorities.

19 See, for example, Berger (2007). 20 I should stress that Adlington’s account is quite sensitive to these risks, and manages to avoid them by remaining neutral with respect to the value of either the timefull or the timeless listening strategy.

Affectivity  213 Moreover, De Tijd “undermines its own ability to inscribe its structure in the mind of the listener” (32). Since difference—​or what in Chapter 3 I called “articulation”—​is required for the listener to distinguish the past from the present, and to allow events that have already occurred to recede from consciousness and become past, the lack of contrasts or interruptions over very long stretches of time—​emphasized by the vocal hocket and the seemingly ad hoc continuity between sonorities—​create a sense that the piece occupies an extended present. The music fails to dissolve into the past even as it continues to unfold. Altogether these compositional techniques allow listeners to “[overcome] our habitual reduction of changing experience to the conditions of time” (25), and to ultimately experience timelessness. However, Adlington’s theoretical framework contains a conceptual slippage that ultimately renders the analysis ineffective in accomplishing its goals. The slippage rests on an all-​too-​easily overlooked reframing of eternity as timelessness. In turn, this rhetorical sleight of hand allows Adlington to draw on his idealist notion of time—​understood as a purely cultural construct for dealing with change, and characterized by measurability and retrievability—​to argue that whatever does not adhere to this construct must, by definition, be “timeless.” According to Adlington, this experience of the piece appears to be concordant with the text of De Tijd—​a well-​known meditation on eternity by the fourth-​century Christian theologian Augustine of Hippo (2009). Unfortunately, Adlington’s seemingly benign and effortless slippage from eternity to timelessness comes at a cost: whatever experience of timelessness we might hope for is always set against a narrative in which the two main musical materials—​the gamelan-​like percussion and the “blue columns”—​ are put in opposition with one another. While such an analysis may be true initially—​ with the sharp, high-​ frequency percussion acutely disturbing the softness of the ethereal chords—​ultimately, as I  will discuss in detail, Andriessen orchestrates a melding of the materials in the final section of the piece. Even more importantly to my argument, despite Adlington’s intentions to move away from culturally sanctioned models of time, “timeless” experience itself remains firmly predicated on such models, because any sense of timelessness is understood as a lack of linear unfolding and retrievability. In other words, by pointing to certain aspects of music that he describes as “non-​linear” or “non-​retrievable,” Adlington’s approach highlights the very features that it purports to jettison. This inadvertent emphasis is evident, for example, in his use of Roman numerals to illustrate the different harmonic

214  Enacting MusicAL Time pathways suggested by the opening sonorities. Here, a technology that is specifically linked with common-​practice tonality, and hence very strongly associated with linear time, is used to demonstrate how De Tijd forecloses any sense of sequential development. In effect, if there are timeless aspects of the piece that are available to experience, they only work as negative “others” of those that firmly reinforce a sense of time. The equivalence between eternity and timelessness is more than just terminological glissade—​it is also a deeply conceptual one. As I  will show, the two terms do not have interchangeable meanings in the context of Andriessen’s work, and what Adlington draws upon is precisely the opposite of what Augustine expressed in his Confessions. Whereas the musicologist considers time and timelessness as “two ends of a continuum rather than a wholly unbreachable opposition” (16), the bishop of Hippo is adamant that eternity is not timeless—​that it is incomparable with time. In what follows, I examine Augustine’s text in combination with Andriessen’s music to suggest an alternative interpretation of De Tijd. My own reading does not necessarily promise an experience of eternity (a phenomenologically impossible task in any case), but instead implicates affectivity, through bodily stillness, in the enactment of a particular kind of lived time.

Eternity in Augustine’s Confessions According to Augustine, to conceive of eternity as either a lack or a negation of time would be to violate the more elemental premise that eternity is infinite, unbounded, and, as the axis of divine existence, that it constitutes the wellspring of creation. First, a lack of time would logically imply that eternity stands outside of time, hence outside of itself. Augustine writes, addressing his creator: “it is not in time that you precede times, otherwise you would not precede all time” (2009, XI, xiii). What he means is that if eternity were equivalent to timelessness, there would also have to exist some other realm that would subsume both eternity and time, thus encompassing divinity. On Augustine’s view, this is inconceivable, because there can be nothing beyond God. Second, if eternity were to negate time in the sense of freezing or annihilating temporal relations such as before/​after or past/​future, then time would signal eternity’s logical limit:  eternity would end where (and when) time began. This, too, is impossible, not only because eternity is by its

Affectivity  215 very definition limitless, but also because Augustine’s God transcends all of creation. In an attempt to overcome these inconsistencies, Augustine posits eternity as both logically and causally preceding all time. For him, eternity is the sublime “ever-​present” (semper praesentis) that contains all of time at once. However, Paul Helm reminds us that we are not dealing with “containment” in the sense of substance. Instead, time here must be considered in the Aristotelian sense of “a relation between changes in things” (Helm 2014).21 What follows is that Augustine uses the word “eternity” to signify “the time of all possible times” (Schuback 2009). With this reference, Augustine posits a categorical distinction between time as an act of creation and time as chro­ nological measurement. Time in the singular refers to the realm of God’s existence, to the “life of life” (vita vitae), which grounds our earthly temporality. By contrast, the multiplicity of times corresponds to our own being as creatures whose lives unfold in successive stages, as creatures who undergo change, as creatures whose existence is contingent. Eternity here does not negate time, but rather supports it and constitutes its very source. Consequently, rather than representing endpoints on a continuum of time-​fullness, for Augustine, eternity and time are categorically and conceptually separate. Whereas our mundane, successive time is a form of measuring movement—​that is, it is a relation between things undergoing change—​eternity, in which there is no change, is neither measurable in itself nor capable of serving as a form of measurement. Where time has its foundation in eternity, and eternity contains all of time, the two are, for Augustine, expressly incommensurate (incomparabilem). Perhaps nowhere does he articulate this position more clearly than in Chapter 11 from Book XI of his Confessions, with a fragment that serves as the text to Andriessen’s De Tijd: If only their minds could be seized and held steady, they would be still for a while and, for that short moment, they would glimpse the splendor of eternity which is forever still. They would contrast it with time, which is never still and see that it is not comparable. They would see that time derives its length only from a great number of movements constantly following one another into the past, because they cannot all continue at once. But in eternity nothing moves into the past: all is present. Time, on the other hand, 21 A  discussion of how the concept of eternity developed in the Middle Ages can be found in McGinnis (2013).

216  Enacting MusicAL Time is never all present at once. The past is always driven on by the future, the future always follows on the heels of the past, and both the past and the future have their beginning and their end in the eternal present. If only men’s minds could be seized and held still! They would see how eternity, in which there is neither past nor future, determines both past and future time. Could mine be the hand strong enough to seize the minds of men? Could any words of mine have power to achieve so great a task?22

Suggesting an unthinkable temporal density in which everything is simultaneously present, Augustine’s reflections hint at the possibility of eternity existing in each moment of time. He even provides us with guidelines for how to catch its glimpse: one need only to achieve a stillness of the heart profound enough to halt the movement of the future into the present, and of the present into the past. Yet, as is the case with much of his writing in Confessions, there is a palpable streak of agitation undergirding what is otherwise a painstaking deconstruction of faith, humanity, and divinity. In the above fragment in particular, there is a sense of what I call “chronal anxiety,” by which I mean Augustine’s expression of doubt concerning his own abilities to help others experience eternity. Note in particular how he bemoans mankind’s inability to overcome change and movement—​an overcoming that, for Augustine, is necessary in order to discover the radiant glory of eternity in the ensuing stillness. Underlying this anxiety is a sense of bodily affinity, a kind of corporeal readiness that conjoins time with human life. It is evident in the way in which eternity shows up as a stillness from which time emerges. Stillness in this context is not simply “out there,” ready to be discovered “just so” in the interstices between moments of time, in the windows sliced into its continuous flow. Indeed, for Augustine the moment could not be sliced through at all, because for him “the present occupies no space” (XI, xv). Rather, it is a stillness that can only be reached through the inactivity of one’s own body: through overcoming the natural motion of consciousness in order to fix it for a moment and to “grasp the splendor of a constant eternity” [rapiat 22 “.  .  .  quis tenebit illud [et figet illud], ut paululum stet, et paululum rapiat splendorem semper stantis aeternitatis, et comparet cum temporibus numquam stantibus, [et videat esse incomparabilem:] et videad longum tempus nixi ex multis praetereuntibus motibus, qui simul extendi non possunt, longum non fieri; non autem praeterire quicquam in aeterno, sed totum esse praesens: et videat omne praeteritum ac futurum ab eo, quod semper est praesens, creari et excurrere? Quis tenebit cor hominis, ut stet et videat, quomodo stans dictet futura et praeterita tempora nec futura nec praeterita aeternitas? Numquid manus mea valet hoc aut manus oris mei per loquellas agit tam grandem rem?” (Augustine 2009 XI, xi).

Affectivity  217 splendorem semper stantis aeternitas]. This stillness is only made possible through one’s willingness to engage in extraordinary effort, and Augustine, as an early Church leader, finds himself implicated in helping his skeptics achieve this state, wondering in the process whether his hand and his words (which he evocatively describes as “the hand of my mouth” [manus oris mei]) are capable of this monumental task.23 For Augustine, it appears that such an achievement is impossible on one’s own; it requires someone else’s physical assistance, thus linking two human bodies in a joint task of intercorporeal harmony. The source of Augustine’s anxiety lies in his very responsibility to faith. We might say that his desire for others to envision eternity is superficially propelled by a promise of gaining a deeper understanding of time itself. This understanding can be achieved through comparison: whereas eternity is ever-​ presence, time is a succession of moments; while eternity is constant, time is always transient; in eternity, future and past have no meaning, but in time they constitute relations that are dependent on one another. Thus, on the one hand, Augustine’s anxiety concerns the control of the vagaries of one’s actions as they fall out of these relations and successions. On the other hand, however, this anxiety goes much deeper, and it both subsumes and transcends the above binary oppositions. Indeed, at stake here is not just an understanding of time for its own sake, but the very understanding of God and his creation. Time for Augustine did not exist before God created it, and thus it is used as a tool, a resource for getting at the realm of the divine (XI, xxx). In order to understand God, one has to overcome the pull of time, the passage of the future into the present, and the present into the past. To prevail against it, one must attain a certain corporeal state: to be so still that one’s body itself becomes the force that subjugates time’s passage. This state of affairs creates a paradox, because to reach eternity (and thus view God’s splendor), one needs to drown out the temporality of one’s existence and arrive at the very opposite of temporal flow: temporal stillness. Because temporal flow is constituted by life, one must, in effect, arrive at death. For the author of Confessions, time exists only “in the sense that it tends towards nonexistence” (XI, xiv). And so the paradox gets fleshed out in the most cruel of ways: only in and through our own death can we see the value and meaning of life.

23 See Confessions XI, x, wherein Augustine mockingly imitates those who question God’s eternal being by asking what he was doing before he made heaven and earth. It is those skeptics to whom Augustine refers in Chapter XI.

218  Enacting MusicAL Time This conclusion resonates with my earlier comment that lived time is fundamentally fragile, because to perceive the world for all its possibilities, and to crystallize any one of them into an actuality, is to simultaneously affirm the precious flow of life itself. This fragility is reflected in the Augustinian impossibility of glimpsing eternity without giving up the very materiality of the process of living, the vitality expressed in skillful actions that—​to once again borrow from Merleau-​Ponty—​“palpate” the world. In light of this brief exegetical interlude, I  would like to suggest a different analysis of De Tijd from the one offered by Adlington. If we consider eternity and time not as contrasting but as complementary to each other (with eternity being time-​full and constituting time), then rather than directly correlating the two with Andriessen’s “blue columns” and the percussive sounds, respectively, we can think of the musical materials as together contributing to the “chronal anxiety” that comes with the inability to grasp eternity in the moments of time. In other words, what the musical materials in the piece afford is not the experience of the conflict between time and eternity themselves, but instead the enactment of this anxiety as an aspect of lived time.

Temporal and Affective Dynamics of Movement I argued earlier that the emergence of lived time is radically entangled with the body’s capacity to endogenously affect the creation of novelty and unpredictability in the world. Consequently, musical time is an aspect of experience that must be enacted. It must take the body as its vector so that implications inherent in every present can be made explicit through skillful, intentional movement. In the context of De Tijd, the temporal dialectic lends itself to a reexamination from a bodily perspective, especially how the composer’s shaping of musical materials creates a very complex structure that exceeds the dichotomy of time and timelessness. Instead of hearing sonic objects as encoded representations of time (where long durations signify eternity while the shorter rhythms of the percussion refer to temporal passage) or as resisting linear flow (evidenced by the multiplicity of possible harmonic sequences implicit in every “blue column” sonority), the following analysis will proceed by examining the different bodily orientations afforded by the primary musical materials. I will ultimately argue that the piece creates the conditions of possibility for the enactment of time, simultaneously pulling the listening subject in different directions, resulting in a sensation that might closely resemble Augustine’s chronal anxiety.

Affectivity  219 The facticity of our situated, embodied subjectivity constrains the range of available interpretations of musical time as an enacted phenomenon. We are simply too bound up with our materiality—​both intrinsic to our biological bodies and in their extensions outside of ourselves—​to have phenomenological access to the kind of idealized timelessness that Adlington’s narrative suggests. To be sure, Adlington is quite aware of this problem, noting that even despite our best intentions we are prone to draw on our cultural notions of time in moments of temporal uncertainty. In light of this, rather than a tension between two incomparable temporal planes, the anxiety evident in Augustine’s reflections may be reframed in terms of affectivity. In particular, we can think of chronal anxiety as a pull between different self-​affective orientations, manifested in the tension between different kinds of movement—​between a full-​blown action and standstill (which, recall, is replete with pre-​conscious yet phenomenologically intentional micro-​movements). These two modes of embodiment together form the key experiential dimension of De Tijd. By emphasizing the distinction between them, Andriessen goes beyond mere representations of musical time. In particular, he manages to manipulate the bodily-​affective states of listeners in order to engender an experience of being stretched between disparate temporal orientations. De Tijd thus not only embodies a physical challenge to sedimented cultural practices and expressions of time, but also creates an opportunity for listeners to enact Augustine’s anxiety. Through a juxtaposition of musical materials that elicit drastically different enactive and affective states—​the sustained “blue columns” and the short percussive sounds—​the piece bifurcates the body, forcing it out of its habitual engagement with the world (not unlike Rokeby’s “Measure,” discussed in Chapter 4). In turn, it establishes a sonic environment for listeners to explore how their bodies’ sensorimotor capacities to generate something new and unpredictable—​their affectivities—​construct new forms of experience. In effect, Andriessen’s music can serve as a technology that expands the present in particular ways in order to facilitate listeners’ enactment of time. To explore how exactly De Tijd facilitates the enactment of chronal anxiety, and how this process is predicated on the experience of incommensurate temporal orientations, we need to take a closer look at the two categories of temporal behavior I discussed in Chapter 3: synchronization and coordination. As might be expected, each mode has a different affective dynamic, and—​as manifestation of kinesthetic knowledge—​leads to a different temporal orientation of the subject. Thus, a synchronized mode is necessarily anticipatory, because actions, while taking place in the present, are directed toward

220  Enacting MusicAL Time the future. The affordance for movement is “not yet” (in a literal sense of not having sounded), but it is perceived as “now” in the sense of priming the body to move so that the kinesthetic threshold will coincide with the pulse. This situation is similar to the one we encountered in Chapter 4, wherein the perceived goal of the action was in the future and some distance away, but it was substituted as the motivation for this action, as something present “here” and “now.” In synchronized movement, there is a deliberate, determined trajectory away from the current affordance and toward the next one. Since this trajectory is subjected to timing constraints, synchronized movements are thus subordinate to time. This subordination has a peculiar structure, which is manifested in a phenomenon called mean negative asynchrony, where bodily movements ever-​so-​slightly anticipate the arrival of the auditory event (Repp and Su 2013). (Recall from Chapter 3 that to respond to the acoustical signal is to imbue it with lived time, to enfold it within a network of protentions and retentions unique to the currently unfolding situation.) The synchronizing body pulls the musical event that is “not yet” into the sphere of the “now,” but, in an effort to protect itself against being vulnerable to an unpredictable future, it effectively shuts off contingency. Since the structure of time must dehisce from the present into the future, in doing so the body stops time from moving forward—​the musical source of synchronization becomes atemporal. Or, as the composer Gérard Grisey (1987) expressed it, “periodicity [ . . . ] allows a pause in the music’s unfolding and the suspension of time” (247). Movement imbues music with lived time by creating the divergence (écart) between body as subject and body as object. Synchronized movements create regular articulations in the Merleau-​Pontian flesh, and these articulations become the source of anticipation. By contrast, coordinated movements cannot anticipate the world with the same kind of precision, but the body can still anticipate itself—​it can turn its own potentials into actuals. Thus, rather than pulling events that are “not yet” into the sphere of the present, the body allows the present to dehisce into the future. In short, it auto-​affects the passage of time. Here, the organization of bodily states emerges loosely from a goal that is not specified in time, but is instead guided by the achievement of other measures of success, including physical, affective, and linguistic ones. Time thus becomes the flesh of this achievement insofar as it remains intact in the musical process. We can describe this mode of calibration as “omphalic.” Derived from the Greek word ὀμφαλός (meaning “navel”24),

24 The etimology of the term comes from the Oxford English Dictionary.

Affectivity  221 the term designates a central orientation, and I use it here to refer both to the concentration of bodily attention in the present moment (the center, as it were, of our temporality) and to the physical convergence of bodily activity around the torso (the center of body’s gravity). Omphalic calibration allows listeners to use a variety of idiosyncratic and contextual musical cues as means of bodily integration. The context in this case concerns not only what is happening in the music, but also the physical framework of the body itself—​what the body is capable of performing, or what it feels itself to be capable of, given the current distribution of potential energy inherent in the configuration of its limbs. The reader might have noticed a paradox in my description of the two modes of temporal calibration, whereby anticipation seems to close off contingency, while the omphalic mode, although focused on the present, actually opens up onto the future. The difference between expectation and memory on the one hand, and protentions and retentions on the other, will help untangle the issue. Despite referring to contents in the future or in the past, both expectation and memory are constituted in the present. When I remember an event—​for example, my son’s birth—​I recall its contents right now. My wife’s face, doctors and nurses running around, the furniture and medical equipment in the hospital room, these are all given to my consciousness as its explicit content. The act of remembrance, therefore, is itself structured around the primal impression, and has its own retentions and protentions. Memory must maintain a temporal coherence in order for us to be able to experience it. “Every memory,” writes Judith Wambacq (2011), “bears the traces of our search for it,” which means that it is impossible to recall the past as it “really was” (244). Expectation works similarly, directed instead toward an unknown future. Here, the projected possibility also has its own temporal fringes, together with a primal impression that is immediately given to consciousness. If, while listening to the opening theme of Beethoven’s “Eroica” Symphony (shown in Example 5.5), I expect the arrival of the uncouth C♯ while attending to the initial arpeggiation of the E♭ major triad, my projection is not a durationless instant—​it has a temporal breadth, an extension. Unlike memory and expectation, protentions and retentions are not explicitly available to consciousness, but instead constitute its very structure. As Husserl and his commentators—​including Merleau-​Ponty—​often describe it, the primal impression is a horizon, with protention and retention as its implicit parts. Put simply: protentions and retentions are not the future and the past of the present impression, respectively, but arise together with

222  Enacting MusicAL Time Example 5.5  Ludwig van Beethoven, Symphony No. 3, “Eroica,” opening.

it. An anticipatory mode of temporal calibration thus pulls the future, together with its structure of retention, primal impression, and protention, into the current primary impression (with a memory describing the same process in the opposite direction). In consequence, this future is not one toward which the present moment is necessarily open, but one constituted both in and as the present. We can think of it as nested in the primal impression itself. By contrast, the present of an omphalic orientation does open onto a future through its own horizon of protentions, but it does so without anticipating a concrete event. It simply contains this opening—​this dehiscence—​ as a necessary element of its structure. Thus, when I hear the first E♭ of the “Eroica” melody, the fundamental structure of my perception already has the following G as its implicit part, even if it is not specified in these exact terms (that is, even if it is simply some “as-​yet indeterminate” sound). The two modes of temporal calibration correlate with the primary materials used by Andriessen in De Tijd. The short, regular percussive strokes occur within a window that engenders entrainment on the part of the listeners, thus providing an acoustical stream that lends itself to synchronized activity. This effect results in anticipatory dynamics that pull each successive rhythmic pattern into the sphere of the “now.” By contrast, the sustained “blue columns” last too long for the listener to be able to synchronize with them. Thus, the only way in which one can calibrate one’s actions in this context is through coordination, attending bodily to how the present moment opens up into an unknown, but

Affectivity  223 not altogether indeterminate, future. The interaction of these two modes creates the sense of chronal anxiety in De Tijd.

Enacting Chronal Anxiety Let me expound on this interaction. The form of De Tijd consists of almost block-​like changes in texture, orchestration, dynamics, and tempo, each functioning as a juncture that delineates contiguous sections. With each delineation the two primary sonic materials are kept distinct from each other, unfolding in different isochronous layers. This can be seen in Example 5.6, which shows how the isochronous layers travel around the orchestra from one section to the next, as well as how the durations of each isochronous layer change over the course of the entire piece.25 Not only are the temporal junctures strongly articulated, but the isochronous layers themselves never reach any kind of synthesis. Rather, Andriessen treats them as sonically independent but rhythmically permeable strands, each unfolding according to its own temporal prescription at any given moment. This independence creates vibrant relationships that emerge from intra-​layer interactions, with structural divisions effecting durational transformations of each layer. The most dramatic of such transformations concerns the overall quickening of the pulse in the vocal layer, from 13 seconds in the beginning to just under 5 seconds in mm. 184–​204 (section F)—​a more than doubling of the pace.26 Other, more localized rhythmic interactions are also evident. For example, in mm. 97–​124 (section C) we hear two regular patterns that unfold simultaneously: voices and flutes with the gongs, and strings and xylophone with the log drum. Each pattern combines both sustained and percussive elements, but in a way that preserves their independence. Example 5.7 shows this combination realized in the score. Note in particular how Andriessen maintains rhythmic tension by “misaligning” the attacks within each pattern, thus drawing our focus away from the relationship between layers and toward each layer taken individually. Although written in a 2:1 ratio (7 and 3.5 quarter-​notes for the voices/​flutes/​gongs, and 6 and 3 quarter-​notes for 25 I follow Adlington (2001) in identifying formal divisions. However, whereas his formal diagram indicates tempo changes, mine emphasizes the changing durations. 26 While the eight-​quarter-​note pulse from the opening returns in m. 205 and stays until the end, the actual tempo in the latter part is faster.

224  Enacting MusicAL Time Example 5.6  A formal overview of De Tijd, tracing durations of each isochronous layer over the course of the piece’s six sections (A–​F; structural divisions consistent with Adlington 2001). An “isochronous layer” is a succession of sounds in the same timbral family that remains constant throughout a particular section, and which features regular attacks. “Duration” refers to the length of time between successive attacks or changes of pitch in a given isochronous layer. Black rectangles represent sustained sounds; white rectangles represent percussive sounds. The length of rectangles is proportional to duration. “Iambic” layers are composed of alternating short and long durations.

the strings/​xylophone/​log drum), the placement of attacks obscures the temporal link between sounds with different timbres. On the one hand, the identities of the different layers are not altogether immutable. Indeed, the interchangeability of timbres and durations, as well as harmonic saturation with complex sonorities, are important elements of Andriessen’s aesthetics: no matter how systematically laid out in their abstract form, all materials are subject to artistic reorganizing through creative

Example 5.7  Louis Andriessen, De Tijd, mm. 97–​102. © 1994 By Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Limited. Used With Permission. All Rights Reserved.

226  Enacting MusicAL Time license. This elasticity is likely due to the long genesis of the De Tijd—​first published in 1980 but conceived of as early as 1972—​and an array of sometimes-​contradictory motivations on the composer’s part (Adlington 2001). On the other hand, however, one constant that runs throughout the different sections of the piece is that the voices always appear together with some sustaining family of instruments: strings or woodwinds. For the listener, this relationship creates the possibility of attending to a single layer, thus engendering a sense of coherence that extends over an entire section of the piece. In fact, we might even be tempted to say that such attending generates a very large-​scale “hypermeter” articulated by pauses between consecutive sections. Attention here, of course, is understood to be based on an enactive, bodily engagement with the music, where different actions correspond to different musical elements. A  continuation of an action would, in this case, unify each large section into a single utterance. Thus, even at the corporeal level there is a clear separation between actions that are continuous and undifferentiated—​associated with the sustained “blue columns”—​and those that are short, discontinuous, and dissolving into standstill—​responding to the percussive strokes. The affective coherence that binds together a single section of the piece recalls the “sonic glue” of the harmonically refulgent chords, which I  described earlier. By maintaining their association with one or another sonic object, listeners’ bodies unite disparate sounds into a coherent whole. Indeed, those bodies are extremely efficient in creating such unification, bounded not only by the sounds’ features, but also by their own physical and biological constraints. The progress of De Tijd can therefore be sensed, but not necessarily cognized: we simply cannot attend to the individual shortening or lengthening of whatever isochronous layer we follow throughout the entire piece because the monumental timescale prevents us from recalling past events without drastically altering their content. For example, the fact that the sustained chords in mm. 184–​204 are more than twice as fast as the opening can only be apprehended after the body has felt the achievement of a new state, not during its unfolding. Echoing Hansen, and based on our discussion of the role of affectivity in constituting lived time, we can thus say that the feeling of De Tijd brings us face to face with temporality itself. The gestural dissociation between isochronous layers breaks down at what I consider to be the point of highest anxiety in the piece, which is brought about by the tension between very different states of embodiment. This high

Affectivity  227 point takes place in the final section of De Tijd (mm. 205–​44; section G in Example 5.5), in the isochronous layer that features voices together with percussion and one of the two harps. (The other harp combines with the remaining percussion to constitute a different isochronous layer.) Here, we are presented with a conspicuous melding of sustained and percussive sounds into a single musical entity. Strings and woodwinds, which until now had steadfastly supported the sustaining voices, are engaged in a completely different temporal stream:  an iambic pattern that repeats about every twenty seconds. Meanwhile, the two percussion sections are so close in time, and yet so spread out in terms of durations, that coordinating with one or another becomes physically impossible. The moment thus splits the gesturing body, which cannot maintain two types of movement at once. There is consequently a bifurcation of attention, between forward-​driven, anticipatory movements and temporal process on the one hand, and present-​centered, omphalic movements and temporal process on the other. This bifurcation is a result of a simultaneous opening (by the sustained voices) and closing (by the percussion attacks) of the present. The sustained voices enlarge the window of the protentional possibility of self-​movement by engendering an omphalic temporal orientation, while the percussive attacks shut it down and relegate actions to memory—​to the reflexive, to the cognitive. The impossibility of the two modes existing simultaneously results from what we saw in Chapter 4 as the impossibility of a body being a subject and an object at the same time, producing here a divergence (écart), which violently imposes itself onto the listener. The violence of the act forces the listening body to choose one temporal stream over another, leading to unease and disorientation. In light of the foregoing discussion, this moment can be heard as exasperating in its relentless and ruthless severity. It forms a culmination of a mind-​ numbing persistence that characterizes De Tijd as a whole, in which there is no audible process, only a succession of what sounds like near-​repetition of really long durations. Gradually turning up the tempo from one section to the next, Andriessen presents the same basic materials with but the tiniest of alterations, minuscule increases of intensity that lull the body until it can no longer reach back through the fog of retentions to a time “before”—​before movement, before sonority, before time itself. The juxtaposition of sustained and percussive sounds needles and picks at our lucidity because the two

228  Enacting MusicAL Time elements simultaneously point in different temporal directions within the same expanded present. The breathless pauses between sections only serve to emphasize the nearly psychotic repetition of the “almost the same, but not quite,” without offering an opportunity to move past the long durations, the muddled text, the shifting iambic rhythm, the futility of trying to at once remember the “no longer” and be open to the “not yet.” Instead of development, the same moment contains both anticipatory and omphalic trajectories, which mutually exclude one another. Consequently, De Tijd ends up embodying precisely the kind of anxiety that Augustine wrote about: an anxiety of wanting to be immersed in stillness, but being disappointingly unable to do so. In my analysis, Andriessen offers listeners two alternative experiences of time that, incompatible as they are with one another, together coalesce into an embodiment of anxiety. By deploying specific musical materials the composer creates affordances for specific kinds of actions, thereby modulating listeners’ affective states and giving rise to different temporalities. Through the juxtaposition of different forms of embodiment, what emerges in this account is a complex picture of temporal flexibility at the corporeal level. In turn, time becomes enacted and emergent in our actions, rather than remaining a hegemonic construct imposed by musical symbols or social and cultural conventions. This “lived” aspect of time is precisely what links musical practices with our existence writ large. Specifically, in the course of our lives, we acquire kinesthetic knowledge about the temporality of the world, and thus become familiar with that particular rhythmicity that our bodies manifest as our embodied consciousness tries to predict its environment. There is a style in our embodied states that concerns the potentials for actions that we encounter in the world’s affordances. Music, as a kind of technology that requires us to enact a temporality, has the capacity to augment and distend this style, to force us to draw on our kinesthetic knowledge to deal with rhythms that may be strange and unfamiliar. As an artistic activity, music both exploits and pushes against the boundaries of human behavior, creating opportunities for unique, meaningful experiences of time whenever we listen to it. An analysis that describes the conditions of possibility for their emergence without trying to cement their character gives shape and depth—​ that is, gives body—​to lived time.

6 Verticality Time is a reality compressed into an instant and suspended between two voids. —​Bachelard ([1932] 2013)

In the previous chapters I took a detailed look at the point of emergence of time—​its enactment by a moving body. There, I deconstructed the self-​affective moment, not merely to observe its constitutive elements, but also to isolate a wrinkle that music introduces into the temporal horizon: the fact that it only exists in time and thus requires the body to diverge from itself, to confront its own salience, in order to affect the passage from potentiality into actualization. In this final chapter I  take a broader, macro-​temporal view by exploring how the body participates in creating musical form. Recall that approaches based on absolute time present an omniscient perspective of someone surveying the temporal landscape from above, having access to every moment at once. Such a perspective overlooks the role that affectively charged perturbations arising in response to music’s affordances play in the process of structuring the listener’s musical experience. The resulting form is static in the sense of only allowing shifts between functions that themselves are immutable. By contrast, the position I advance here treats form as something malleable, dynamic, actively responding to context. Rather than considering it an objective feature of a musical work, the enactive model imagines musical form as emerging from the dyadic interaction between embodied, situated listeners and the musical process that they themselves constitute while they respond to the acoustical signal. Although dealing with an entirely different repertoire, my position in many respects extends some of the ideas recently developed by Janet Schmalfeldt in her monograph In the Process of Becoming (2011). Drawing especially on the work of Carl Dahlhaus, Theodor Adorno, and Friedrich Hegel, Schmalfeldt examines several pieces from the nineteenth-​century canon—​including Enacting Musical Time: The Bodily Experience of New Music. Mariusz Kozak, Oxford University Press (2020). © Oxford University Press. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190080204.001.0001

230  Enacting MusicAL Time works by Franz Schubert, Clara and Robert Schumann, Felix Mendelssohn, and, of course, Beethoven—​to argue that the form of these works just is the process of their becoming. Musical materials, according to Schmalfeldt, can potentially be revaluated by a listener who attends to the music “both forward and backward,” aware of the “interplay between conventions and transformations” that are typical of the piece in question. For example, what might at first sound like an introduction can, over the course of its unfolding, begin to project characteristics of a main theme. In Schmalfeldt’s own words, “the formal function initially suggested by a musical idea, phrase, or section invites retrospective reinterpretation within the larger formal context” (9). Crucially, such a function is not crystallized by a “final analytic verdict” (12), but rather it is the process of its becoming. Schmalfeldt focuses on what she calls the “Beethoven-​Hegelian tradition,” but the value of considering form as a process of becoming is not limited to common-​practice music. Although, admittedly, it is this repertory that continues to generate the overwhelming majority of concepts used in discussions of form, the central premise—​that the large-​scale patterns that organize musical “content” are not fixed prior to the act of listening—​is easily integrated into discourse surrounding much more recent art music.1 This possibility of integration is especially true in cases where these patterns of organization appear to undermine—​or even outright subvert—​the habitual ways in which listeners respond to musical materials.2 I  already showed instances of this challenge in the previous chapters. These included Rokeby’s “Measure,” which implicated the participant in co-​creating forms that were at once predetermined by the algorithm and free to develop according to the unique dynamics of the interaction, and Andriessen’s De Tijd, where musical materials that engender drastically different bodily responses resulted in a sense of a temporal bifurcation and an enactment of what I called “chronal anxiety.” What unites these and countless other examples is a commitment

1 Studies of form in recent music include Howland (2010), Wennerstrom (1975), Lochhead (2015), Dubiel (1990, 1991, 1992), Wolff (2008), Adorno “Form in the New Music” and the symposium by the same name held at Darmstadt in 1965 (which also included presentations by Pierre Boulez, Carl Dahlhaus, and György Ligeti, among others), François (1991), Hanninen (2004), Klein (1999), J. Kramer (1978), Lake (1990), and Tenney (1971, 1964/​1988). 2 Consider, for example, works by Morton Feldman, in which the composer sought to “formalize” a “disorientation of [the listener’s] memory” by repeating musical materials in patterns that might initially seem regular, but in fact are not (Kane 2016). The French spectralists, by contrast, were interested in the possibility of harnessing the perceptual abilities of listeners to integrate “time as the very object of form,” and to superimpose and juxtapose several forms that flow “within radically different time-​frames” (Grisey and Fineberg 2000).

Verticality  231 to the idea that it is the listener who is responsible for bringing into existence an organizational schema in the course of their experience of listening to this music.3 But what would happen if we reversed the Schmmalfeldt/​ Dahlhaus locution—​that “form is process”—​and tried to imagine process itself as musical form? In particular, what if form were enacted by a listener affectively engaging with a piece of music? The challenge here is that, unlike the music discussed by Schmalfeldt and other recent scholars of Formenlehre, new music tends to lack the necessary cultural norms with which it might be placed in “dialogue” (Hepokoski and Darcy 2006). As Schmalfeldt argues, if a section of music is to be heard as transforming from one formal function to another, then there must be a set of ground rules against which digressions can be recognized as such. In her view, there must be a “conflict” between two dialectically opposed functions, which becomes synthesized in the process of becoming. Where the rules that support the emergence of such a conflict were readily available in the case of nineteenth-​century music, their presence in more recent repertory is markedly attenuated, to say the least. Indeed, cultural norms at play in the experience of new music might best be seen as growing out of the individual enactment of agency by a listener absorbed in the act of listening. While such enactment works with and against culturally sanctioned patterns of behavior (discussed in Chapter 3), it does so without solidifying into concrete categories. Oftentimes, it takes up formal norms developed through and for common-​practice music, such that any deviation from what would be considered a linear, ordered development of materials is interpreted as a temporal distortion (or a representation of timelessness, as I showed in the case of Adlington’s analysis in Chapter 5). But this need not be the case. What my approach to musical time suggests is that the form of a listener’s encounter with a piece of music is not knowable prior to this listener’s enactment of their kinesthetic knowledge of “how music goes” (see Chapter 4). Such a shift in focus allows for the possibility of form emerging from within the listener-​sound dyad without requiring the analyst to adopt a stance that highlights a conflict between normative and non-​normative patterns of organization. Hence, in thinking of affective engagement with sound I see the enactment of form less like a “dialogue”—​an exchange of opposing viewpoints that (at least in theory) gradually converges 3 On the micro-​scale, such a commitment is also evident in London’s (2012) conception of meter as a behavioral schema that listeners use to organize musical sounds.

232  Enacting MusicAL Time on bilateral understanding—​and more like a perceptually activated mutual co-​constitution of individual agency (supported by all of its biological, social, and cultural infrastructure) on the one hand, and of the musical process on the other. One consequence of approaching form in this way is that the listening body’s affective engagement with the acoustical signal becomes a resource in generating formal functions that are inherently dynamical and malleable. In what follows, I will argue that such an engagement is a formal property of the music, not just something imposed on it from the outside.4 That is, malleable and dynamical form grows out of that listener’s skillful interaction with the acoustical signal, and while it might not be located in the score on the basis of sonic factors alone, it is nevertheless intrinsic to the dynamical system comprising the listener and the music. Through its potential for becoming actualized in a particular way by the listener-​sound dyad, musical form can mutate and glide over several formal functions without ever settling on any one of them. There is thus an element of contingency at work in characterizing these functions, which, as I  will show, further implicates affect in the constitution of musical time. Similar to Schmalfeldt’s focus on first-​time listening, there is no secure verdict that can be delivered with the aid of analytical contemplation, but each and every experience engenders its own unique set of interpretive constraints. Viewing the process of actualizing potentialities through perceptual acts as musical form, and drawing on the body’s capabilities as a resource in constituting it, offers an opportunity to regard musical form in the context of its potential for alterability—​a potential that becomes actualized in the act of listening. Of course, there are many ways in which formal malleability and dynamism show up in music—​in anything from an introduction becoming the main theme in Beethoven’s “Tempest” Sonata (as discussed by Schmalfeldt) to the much more recent open forms of Earle Brown (Welsh 1994). Here I consider yet another possibility, one that has direct bearing on the enactment of musical time. Since musical time is constituted by the kinesthetically knowledgeable body, and this body manifests its knowledge in response to music’s affordances, then by reorienting the body’s engagement 4 This view resonates to some extent with Brian Hulse’s Bergsonian take on musical temporality, which states that “a present event cannot be understood in relation to a past one in the sense that they could be laid side by side and compared. Instead, the past event will be conceived as an active temporal image whose relation to a present event will be supplementary and dynamic, rather than relational or differential” (2008, 20).

Verticality  233 with music the listener is in a position not necessarily to reorient time itself, but at least to bring out a different temporal dimension: its verticality. The moment in which this dimension of time is actively willed by the listener’s embodied consciousness is also a moment in which music releases its potential for a change in form. In music-​theoretical writings, the term “verticality” is typically used to designate a sonic phenomenon that involves several sounds occurring simultaneously. However, I use it here to describe the direction of time itself. I will ground my discussion in the analysis of Toshio Hosokawa’s haunting Vertical Time Study I (1992), a suggestively titled trio for clarinet, cello, and piano, in which the composer plays with silences and articulations to musically represent the very depths of humanity and of the universe. The thrust of my argument is that vertical time is the time that inhabits the gap between Being and Becoming, which I already showed in Chapter 4 in the context of Merleau-​Ponty’s écart. Vertical time, in this sense, supports and is supported by lived time—​it is the depth of lived time. However, it cannot be experienced directly. It can only be felt through its effects on horizontal lived time. To hear these effects the listener has to take up a particular affective position with regard to a musical event. In turn, taking up this affective position can reorient the temporality of the piece. *** Readers for whom the idea of “vertical time” brings to mind Jonathan Kramer’s reflections in The Time of Music (1988) might wonder whether Hosokawa’s trio bears a suitable title. As seen in Example 6.1, the piece opens with a very deliberate gesture: a quick and loud semitonal cluster followed by a long, initially almost inaudible sustained sound during which the clarinet and the cello match each other’s pitch. The gesture fades into silence before the next one emerges, similar in interval content, articulation, and loudness profile. Indeed, this gesture is presented several times, each iteration slightly more complex in terms of pitch structure, rhythm, and dynamic and timbral shading, culminating in a flurry of activity in m. 27. What follows is the longest period of silence thus far, during which the composer instructs the players to remain still “without any actions.” The gradual transformation of the opening gesture gives the piece a kind of sonic mobility. Meanwhile the recurrence of its distinctive features enables the creation of strongly reiterated memories which, as Leonard Meyer (1956) and David Huron (2006) have theorized, can factor into listeners’ expectations by coloring perception

Example 6.1  Toshio Hosokawa, Vertical Time Study I, opening. Copyright © Schott Music Co. Ltd., Tokyo. All rights reserved. Used by permission of European American Music Distributors Company, sole U.S. and Canadian agent for Schott Music Co. Ltd., Tokyo.

Verticality  235 Example 6.1 Continued

with affective significance. The music seems to move from one present to the next, with time marked by periods of silence. Motivic and gestural relationships saturate the musical surface, unfolding within a process that is almost too obviously conventional—​from a quiet beginning, through a loud and intense middle, back to a quiet ending. Everything about the above description of Vertical Time Study I seems to conflict with the characteristics of vertical time enumerated by Kramer (1988), who poses it as a challenge to our Western horizontal concept of time. Derived from Eastern Buddhist philosophy, vertical time marks the utmost limit of what Kramer calls “non-​linear time,” which is a time that emphasizes the state of being, rather than becoming—​time that invites us to attend to permanence, rather than transience.5 Vertical time is a time that lacks such 5 The derivation of non-​linear time from Buddhist philosophy is Kramer’s own. He writes, quoting from Edward T. Hall’s The Dance of Life: The Other Dimensions of Time (1984): “My terms linear and nonlinear correspond roughly to the philosophical distinction between becoming and being. These two concepts have echoed throughout the philosophy of time—​indeed, all philosophy—​for centuries. The idea of becoming is found most prominently in the linear logic that began in ancient

236  Enacting MusicAL Time linear features as articulation, implication, motion, or hierarchy. In vertical time, events are absolutely independent of one another, and, rather than emerging from implications established by earlier events, they materialize out of the large-​scale mechanisms governing the entirety of a musical work. According to Kramer, the most representative cases of linear time in music can be found in tonal progressions. By contrast, music structured according to vertical time—​which he calls “vertical music”—​“denies the past and the future in favor of an extended present” (376), which it does by obstructing listeners’ normative processes of memory and expectation. Its lack of “large-​scale and/​or linear change” (378) makes it both sonically and conceptually static, allowing listeners to “merge with the music” in its “timeless present” (385). Rather than articulating clear beginnings or endings, in vertical music “each sound exists for itself ” (386), bounded simply by an arbitrary start and stop. Vertical music further lacks distinct gestures, forcing us to “listen to an arbitrarily bounded segment of a potential eternal continuum” (386). It is “holistic”; in it, “linear interrelationships between past, present, and future are suspended” (387). Consequently, vertical music as an expression of vertical time abandons absolute time in favor of a timeless existence, as is exemplified by such canonical works as Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Stimmung (1968) and Steve Reich’s Violin Phase (1967). For Kramer, it is the binary “other” of Western time. Kramer is careful to draw a distinction between ordinary time as the time that a piece of music takes, and musical time as “the time the piece presents or evokes” (7). Vertical time is thus really a suggestive listening strategy—​one in which “we determine for ourselves the pacing of our experience” (57). In particular, it is a strategy that asks us to attempt to counteract our (Western) proclivity to listen to music with what Kramer calls “linear values”—​values that project onto music “implications and progressions”—​forsaking expectation and simply focusing on the static non-​temporality of the music. To put it in more concrete terms, Kramer further posits that “listening to a vertical musical composition can be like looking at a piece of sculpture” (57), which is static in itself, but which allows spectators to construct their own experience. This experience does not necessarily require a determination of how the various parts relate to one another and to the whole, but can consist of different “paths” through the sculpture’s form.

Greece and culminated in modern Western philosophy and science. The idea of being, while certainly explored by Western thinkers, has received its strongest statement in the ‘inward-​looking, highly disciplined Buddhist philosophies in which Zen plays a prominent part’ ” (Kramer 1988, 16).

Verticality  237 One problem with this analogy is that the very reason that different paths are even available to the viewer is because the sculpture endures in place. As I  have argued throughout this book, considering music in the same light would take it out of time altogether. But an even greater difficulty with Kramer’s strategy is that it asks listeners to enter into an unthinkably disembodied state—​one akin to Augustine’s immobility (Chapter 5). Kramer’s vertical time can thus only ever remain a Platonic ideal, an eidos, necessarily unattainable in a practical listening situation. And as much as Stockhausen claimed that his Stimmung offered listeners the opportunity to encounter time in a state of suspension (Wörner 1977), the piece’s sounding reality stands as a reminder of the impossibility of such an experience, perhaps even as an obstacle to it. To listen to Stimmung—​to closely attend to its timbral fluctuations as the different overtones come into focus—​would be to succumb to the linear, horizontal time of becoming. By contrast, vertical time seeks to escape the transient materiality of the world, requiring us to disengage from the processes which we encounter and to liberate ourselves from the endless repeatability and self-​identity of time. There is an imperative to retreat, to recoil from the unfolding succession of sounds. Yet it is not only physically, but also logically inconceivable to simultaneously listen to music and withdraw from it. Paradoxically, the only authentic way to listen to vertical music is not to listen at all, but to attend to our own mental representations of what (we think) this music ought to be. The task is so tall that it sets up its own necessity of failure even as it articulates its conditions of success. The screwy logic is not a problem for Kramer, who takes up J. T. Fraser’s dictum that time is not bound by the “law of contradiction” (Fraser 1990, 45). Yet I want to suggest that in Hosokawa’s Vertical Time Study I temporal verticality reveals itself not as an impossibly disembodied ideal, but as enactment; not as eidos, but as praxis. Hence, if we are to heed the piece’s title, we need to find an alternative way of conceptualizing this verticality, a way that does not deny the passage of time and the finitude of matter by seeking to suspend process, but one that embraces all of these, turning them into its constitutive elements. Instead of characterizing vertical time in terms of binary oppositions to Western horizontal time, it must be considered as an independent dimension with its own self-​determining features. Indeed, articulations of just such a temporality can be found in Hosokawa’s own statements, especially when he emphasizes the beauty one finds in what he describes as the “volatility of passing things” (Hosokawa 2015). He

238  Enacting MusicAL Time writes: “That is why [the Japanese] love ‘Sakura,’ the cherry blossom in the spring. These cherries [ . . . ] blossom for four to five days at the most, then the flowers fall. It is precisely this process of falling petals that we find beautiful. Because our own lives do not last forever; they blossom for a short time only to vanish. We feel this is precious thanks to this awareness of fleetingness.” This perspective infuses Hosokawa’s conception of music: “But what is a note? It comes and goes. It is born from silence and sinks back into silence. Our traditional Japanese music is based on the prerequisite of the tone’s evanescence, of its inherent perishability. We hear the individual notes and appreciate at the same time the process of how the notes are born and die: a sound landscape of continual ‘becoming’ that is animated in itself ” (Hosokawa 2015). According to Reinhart Meyer-​Kalkus, the aim of Hosokawa’s music “is a state of enhanced concentration. Its sounds unfold in a horizontal time dimension, but they build up as you listen and recollect, becoming a form, a sound-​space” (2010, 29). Of particular importance here are the twin mechanisms of listening in real time and remembering past events, which together coalesce into musical structure that is not given in advance, but that gradually emerges over the course of listening. Rather than a passive operation, temporal verticality here is an activity—​a forming of a relation between the listener and the acoustical signal that is Vertical Time Study I. It is enacted through the bodily constitution of sonic events as musical things, and their affective re-​orientation as they acquire different values relative to the body’s own temporality. The result is an experiential time that subsumes process and becoming as its inevitable and fundamentally constitutive features in order to illuminate a dimensionality beyond the limits of our linear, horizontal time.

Vertical Time To try to explain the nature and function of this vertical time, it will be helpful to draw once again on Merleau-​Ponty’s (1968) relational ontology of flesh, which I  first explored in Chapter  4. There, I  showed how time emerges from the interaction between the body and its environment, specifically when the body differentiates itself as a subject through the gap (écart) that separates Being from Becoming. I also showed that, according to Merleau-​Ponty, this gap is necessary for an embodied consciousness to have any sort of experience. The shift between the sense of “mine-​ness” and

Verticality  239 “not-​mine-​ness,” a confrontation with selfhood which was exemplified by the two hands touching, provides a point of reflection that creates a perspective on the world. It generates the subjective position while simultaneously constituting objects of perception. The creation of the point of view through the gap involves us being in the world, which is the world of flesh, the world of the intertwining of Being and Becoming that never folds into a singularity. It also involves us being with the world. After all, Being is social, characterized by a fundamental affectivity, an openness necessary for our survival. (Even at the most basic level, DNA replicates by connecting molecules made up of four chemical elements—​carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, and nitrogen—​so it needs something to replicate with and must remain receptive to its external environment.6) The world, in other words, is differentiated for us because it is a world with écart as its ontological foundation. The time that emerges from flesh is a horizontal time, a time that serves as a bridge between Being and Becoming. It reaches across écart, giving us what Jessica Wiskus claims is a “false sense” that our temporality is in a constant flow. The falsehood comes from the illusion that we are merely external participants in our encounters with the world, abdicating our responsibility in its active creation. Being (at least in this view) is here, with us, in us; Becoming is out there. One is separate from the other, even as they mutually constitute each other. The illusion is that whenever I take up a position of a perceiver—​that is, whenever I establish my own point of view on the world—​my Being attaches itself to the worldly Becoming, and as it tries to fulfill the potential of this attachment, the tiny gap that forever remains “secretes” time by providing the necessary asynchrony out of which it can emerge. This idea was already at work in Chapter 4, but in the present context it becomes an obstacle to vertical time because it requires that the illusion be sustained. Flow—​the continual displacement between the two extremes—​is contingent on the ontological separation between Being and Becoming. As Wiskus points out, in this perspective the former can only ever stand beside the latter, hence time can only ever exist as a relation between them, a way of bridging the gap. 6 It might be added that one of the ways in which human being assure their survival is by appropriating the world through language. As Jessica Wiskus points out, “we are lingual beings,” by which she means that the world only becomes available to us through language: “our world belongs to us through language (naming), and we belong to the world through language” (2006, 183). As a process by which we name things, language imbues these things with a determinacy, it crystallizes them so that we can appropriate them as things, or, more incisively, “our being-​in-​the-​world is synonymous with our naming-​of-​the-​world”  (184).

240  Enacting MusicAL Time The problem is that the illusion of flow is inescapable, because the standard Western ontology draws a line between Being and Becoming. There seems to be no other way for us to experience the world because experience requires a point of view, a perspective. After all, the basic requirement of perception is clear: there is a perceiver perceiving a percept. But the gap between Being and Becoming is not an empty, yawning abyss across which they reciprocally gaze at each other. In Merleau-​Ponty’s ontology of flesh, écart materializes through differentiation of Being and Becoming, through an unraveling of a relational structure that remains interwoven until the very moment in which an affordance becomes a solicitation and experience takes place. This interwoven structure already possesses a presence—​admittedly undefinable, but a presence nonetheless—​which fuses subject and object, manifesting an ontological link between something that only later shows up as a dichotomy when we (clumsily) attempt to conceptualize it. Such undefinable presence is what Merleau-​Ponty interchangeably calls “vertical Being” and “wild Being.” The vertical/​wild Being is a “transcendental field”—​it is how Being is before the overlay of culture and the symbolic order imposed by the act of conceptualizing the world. It is Being before it gets caught up in language. “Thus the body stands before the world and the world upright before it,” writes Merleau-​Ponty, “and between them there is a relation that is one of embrace. And between these two vertical beings, there is not a frontier, but a contact surface” (1968, 271). As Being and Becoming embrace—​an intimate act that consolidates the two terms of the dichotomy—​Merleau-​Ponty envisions “vertical or wild Being as that pre-​spiritual milieu without which nothing is thinkable, not even the spirit, and by which we pass into one another, and ourselves into ourselves in order to have our own time” (204). “Our own time” here is vertical time—​time of existence, time conceived not horizontally as duration, but as depth.7 This conception of verticality is thus different from the one described by Kramer, insofar as it does not entail slicing through horizontal time for the sake of arresting process and beholding timelessness. Here, verticality is not the polar opposite of horizontality, but coexists with the horizontal dimension as a reverberation, as a kind of echo of Being as it reaches across the gap toward Becoming (Wiskus 2006). According to Wiskus, vertical time “inhabits” the gap, an idea that is prodigiously evocative. In particular, inhabitance imbues the concept of time with 7 Merleau-​Ponty writes, “what I call the vertical is what Sartre calls existence . . .” (1968, 271). Recall here that duration is not an objectively measured length of time, but rather an intentionality (see Chapter 1).

Verticality  241 a special sort of “within-​ness” and familiarity. Indeed, it is difficult not to relate the phrase “our own time” to the sense of “mine-​ness” that I mentioned earlier. To inhabit someplace is to have knowledge of the place that is not just propositional, but affective. It is a knowledge of how things make me feel, an attachment that is emotional, kinesthetic, bodily. The time of the vertical Being that inhabits the gap is not simply enacted—​it is felt. Undoubtedly, certain aspects of horizontal time can also be felt, particularly its duration and speed. We say that time is dragging or moving too fast, that it feels short or long. Here, the feeling is of being or moving against something, of being or moving relative to an external process that unfolds independently of us. By contrast, vertical time is felt through our affective proximity to it and to the gap it inhabits. It is no longer relational and intentional, but affective and expressive. Being-​in-​the-​world must emerge from within Being itself through its capacity to auto-​affect its conditions of existence. If it is to inhabit the gap between Being and Becoming, vertical time cannot be instituted merely as the subject’s reaction caused by an external impulse, because such a reaction already constitutes a reach across écart and a surrender to the illusion of temporal flow. Rather, vertical time must be responsive in the sense I described in earlier chapters—​it must come from a self-​initiated expressive act that simultaneously incorporates the world (as habit) and renews its commitment to it through its own skillful coping (novelty). Here, vertical time reveals itself as faint, evanescent ripples across our horizon of possibilities, almost undetectable wrinkles, which, like bubbles on the surface of a lake, merely hint at the murky depth below. This view raises important questions about the emergence, constitution, and structure of vertical time. In turn, these questions have implications for how such a time might be articulated in and through music, because it can no longer be “secreted” by the body as it moves in response to music’s temporal affordances. The secretion of time unfolds within a framework circumscribed by culture, by language, by history, by inter-​corporeality, all of which bring the gap into existence in the form of écart. Remember that to secrete time, the body must take ownership of the future-​directed dehiscence that constitutes the present and actualizes its implications. In consequence, the secreted time is horizontal. Yet, since it does not move horizontally, vertical time does not have a future, or any of our familiar dimensions for that matter, because they all require a point of view. Vertical time is a prolongation of Being, but a prolongation that, rather than as duration, must be understood as depth—​it

242  Enacting MusicAL Time





must be understood without recourse to intentionality, to relationality, to laterality. To help us imagine vertical time as reverberation and anchor it—​if only by analogy—​to something more substantial, it might be useful to return to Merleau-​Ponty’s revisions of Husserl’s diagram of time consciousness (recall Figure 1.1). In that diagram, time consciousness moved horizontally, left-​to-​ right, from one primal impression to the next—​A to B to C. Time and time consciousness move in parallel, which seems like a fairly accurate diagnosis of ordinary temporality. What concerns me here, instead, is the possibility of consciousness moving vertically, just as time continues along its horizontal path (illustrated by the arrow in Figure 6.1). That is, consciousness moves along the series of retentions, which, like a wake of a boat, trail the present. Attention is focused on how, as a result of temporal flow, each retention becomes a retention-​of-​a-​retention, and later a retention-​of-​a-​retention-​of-​ a-​retention, and so on. On the graph, we follow the progression from A to A′ to A′′. We turn our awareness toward the process through which an event











Figure 6.1  A schematic rendition of the vertical flow of consciousness.

Verticality  243 that was once a primal impression becomes sedimented, eventually becoming a memory, and how its features change as a result of it being pushed into the past. Whereas verticality in a relational concept of time entails slicing through temporal flow in order to stop process, I will show that an affective model allows transience and contingency—​the beautiful volatility that Hosokawa talks about—​to participate in its emergence. More than that, the latter model makes process and verticality co-​dependent and co-​constitutive, equal parts of a complex dynamical system that is Merleau-​Pontian flesh. Just as vertical reverberations depend on the ontological dehiscence (opening up) of the present and the bodily realization of possibilities—​that is, on the unfolding of the embodied consciousness through the series of primal impressions (A → B → C . . .)—​horizontal flow must have someplace to dissipate its momentum through the series of retentions (A → A′ → A′′ . . .). Otherwise we would not be able to experience an extended present, but rather a series of isolated now-​points, which is precisely what Husserl and his successors refuted (see Chapter 1). Yet the clarity of the diagram belies the difficulty of imagining time running vertically. Any discussion of consciousness being able to examine the transformation of its contents along the trail of retentions must serve as nothing more (and nothing less) than a heuristic. Indeed, it is impossible for us to access vertical time directly, for to gain such access would already require reflection. We would have to give it a presence that it cannot sustain because as soon as it appears to us in any concrete form, it becomes the “other” of our Being, the percept of our perceptual act. “Our thought crawls along in language,” writes Merleau-​Ponty (1964, 43). In this context, his statement can mean that our imagination is necessarily intertwined with culture and its various forms of representation. Even terms like “horizontal” and “vertical” are metaphors, and my reflection concerning their structure already straddles the gap between Being and Becoming. Vertical time—​whatever it is that we designate with this label—​can only be sensed in its effects in horizontal time, the time of our Being and being-​in-​the-​world, the time of “lateral coexistence.” My application of Merleau-​Ponty’s ideas concerning the verticality of time to musical experience draws to some extent on Wiskus’s work. However, her approach is limited to a very specific, historically narrow conception of music, and to a mode of listening that conflates ideas about what this music is with the nature of listening as such. According to her, music is alone

244  Enacting MusicAL Time among the arts in its capacity to reveal vertical time, because it simply is time unfolding. In this view, listening to music involves an immersion in the same temporal flow as the sounds we hear. Where the plastic arts no more than give us hope of imagining a bridge across écart, Wiskus argues that their sonic sister is able to show the possibility of vertical time. It operates outside of language as “metalogos,” a form of communication whose mode of expression consists in poetic “imagined images” (Wiskus 2006, 185). These are units that can be immediately apprehended and understood in their totality. Like the spiral of a shell, images can be layered on top of each other in a manner that Wiskus likens to Schenkerian structural levels. The interaction between these levels “constitutes a weaving of the expressive dimension” of music, making it possible to “travers(e) the vertical structures of time” by piercing through them (188). Spurring this vertical reorientation for Wiskus is dissonance, which she understands as a poetic image that is “almost felt more than heard, as a physical sensation that needs no parsing” (188). As she illustrates using François Couperin’s “Passacaille” from his Suite in C-​Major (c. 1650), this dissonance need not be sensory, but can be contextual, resulting from local interactions between acoustically consonant harmonies. Unlike language, which unfolds linearly, music makes it possible for dissonance to work simultaneously on different levels, each level reconfiguring the meaning of the others due to the horizontal flow of experiential time. The entirety of a musical form “unifies lateral relationships (images as dissonance) by means of a single, composite structure (listening as pre-​figured by the image of the shell); the deformation of the composite structure—​the vertical slicing through horizontal time into the abyss of [écart]—​achieves expressivity” (Wiskus 2006, 191). For Wiskus, musical works resemble organic constructs that, although bearing archetypal temporal trajectories (horizontal time), become differentiated from other works in the same category by the ways in which sensory and contextual dissonances pierce through the deep Schenkerian background. Musical form in this view unfolds from within the piece, analogously to the shell emerging from within the animal that creates it. Wiskus’s thoughts on dissonance as an expression of vertical time in music are provocative, but there are several aspects in this account that I find problematic. They can be boiled down to the author’s aspiration toward a mythical union with music, toward an illusion of unmediated access and a transcendence of the aesthetic object. This illusion is most clearly articulated in the closing paragraph of her essay, in which Wiskus notes that the subject,

Verticality  245 “in the midst of inhabited time does not simply feel or perceive sound within itself, but BECOMES itself also a coincidence of energy and time, every cell in the body a phrase of ordered motion, every thought a precipitation of reverberation” (192; emphasis in original). This fantasy of immediacy makes its way into the naturalization of both the act of listening, and, relatedly, of Schenkerian methodology.8 In particular, Wiskus uses Schenkerian analysis as if it were a direct reflection of the listening experience, which results, for example, in a claim that one might be able to feel the physical sensation of a dissonance at levels deep below the musical surface. This claim is dubious on several grounds: (1) it conflates sensory and contextual dissonance; (2)  it obfuscates the theoretical construction of dissonance and its development over the course of Western music theory (see, for example, Palisca and Moore 2001); and (3) it disregards the historical background of the social and political dimensions of Schenker’s theory itself (Snarrenberg 2005). Consequently, not only does the approach partake of tonal exceptionalism, which I described and critiqued in Chapter 5, but it is also difficult to see how it would work for other kinds of music, particularly non-​tonal music in which the functional distinction between consonance and dissonance is absent. Furthermore, Wiskus seems to consider listening as a passive, “natural” activity, overlooking the fact that it is a skill honed through practice. Her nativist perspective—​evident, for example, in marshaling as support Rilke’s first poem from Sonnets to Orpheus, a poem in which the mythological musician’s song “inhabits” the ears of his sylvan listeners—​gives a false impression that concentration alone can reveal the interplay of structural levels. On the contrary, such listening requires an enactment of a very specialized knowledge that is both propositional (that such structures may be conceived) and kinesthetic (how they interact). Multiple layers of mediation constitute any and all encounters with music, and even the possibility of feeling a physical sensation of dissonance must be evaluated against the body’s role as both a site of culturally constrained normativity and of enacting one’s agency (see Chapter 3). Finally, Wiskus’s account is open to the same objections I directed in Chapter  4 at David Lewin’s “Phenomenology” essay, because it makes every possible moment in the piece simultaneously available to analytical 8 The idea of an unmediated relationship between the listener and the music was explored by van den Toorn (1991), who wrote that “Immediacy, the direct, uncensored form of contact that is subject nonetheless to revision by way of reflection, may not be unique to the aesthetic experience, but it is a necessary condition of that experience all the same” (276). For more recent commentary, see Vivian Luong (2017).

246  Enacting MusicAL Time inspection, as if all the structural levels were always already present. And yet, it is precisely the reverberation as depth that needs to be explained. A shell created by a living organism is a fixed object, and piercing it reveals a static, enduring structure. By contrast, musical levels unfold, dynamically changing as we hear new musical things. Hence, to vertically pierce through music’s shell-​like form is to engage in what Maryam Moshaver describes as “suspended, timeless surveillance” (2012, 205). A  listener immersed in sound cannot have access to this form without breaking away from the vertical gap that music supposedly inhabits—​without, once again, standing to the side of it, on the same plane. Despite my critique, I agree with Wiskus that as a temporal art, music is in a unique position if not to disclose, then at least to intimate the nature of vertical time. Or, put differently, because it takes enacted time as its medium, music is really efficient in suggesting temporal verticality as imagined by the reoriented model of consciousness I presented earlier. However, this effect cannot be ascribed to the poetic image of a dissonance that resonates across different structural levels. The dream of being “a coincidence of energy and time” in which music and listener coalesce into a singularity must be emphatically abandoned, because it is a dangerous dream that absolves us of listening critically. This absolution, in turn, gives music a kind of wholesome quality that obscures its social and political significance—​even its capacity for violence. It contributes to what Jonathan Sterne (2003) calls “the audiovisual litany,” or “sets of paired assumptions about the differences between seeing and hearing” (15). According to Sterne, seeing is linked, among others, with distance, objectivity, spatiality, and the intellect, while hearing is characterized by physical contact, subjectivity, temporality, and affect. The problem articulated by Sterne is not only that the listening experience that underpins it has been repeatedly shot down by scholars of sound studies, but also that the very idea that vision and hearing are polar opposites is historically contingent and socio-​politically motivated. The point of my critique is to demonstrate that vertical time is not something that inheres in sound, whether in the form of dissonance or some other phenomenon, only to be revealed through an act of listening so concentrated that it melds subjectivity with sonic energy. Music is forever destined to unfold in horizontal time because this is the time that is constituted by our perceptual acts. Unlike what we find in Wiskus’s account, to attempt to experience vertical time in music is a very specialized practice—​a skillful commitment to sound—​in which the listener does not conflate Being with

Verticality  247 Becoming, but rather zeroes in on the gap between them as it is manifested in horizontal time. It is a practice in which the listener does not attempt to stop process by annihilating the movement of time into the future, but instead allows the embodied consciousness to become deeply engaged with the flow of time, observing the effects of Becoming on Being itself. That is to say that one does not focus on a musical event’s becoming-​past, for to do that would mean that the event would be always in the present as a memory (i.e., it would never be past). Instead, the listener attends to how the event’s becoming-​past plays out in the present, how this present is supported by a specific event that disappears in the fog of retentions, and how this support is projected into the future. Finally, it is a practice that cannot be generalized to specific auditory phenomena (like a dissonance), but rather one that is predicated on a particular kind of feeling, an affective engagement on the part of a situated, embodied listening agent. It is a feeling of familiarity that results from inhabiting time and making it “our own.”

Eternal Return Vertical time is “our own time” in the sense that, as vertical Beings, we inhabit the gap between subject and object. Inhabitation does not refer to simply being somewhere, but being there in a way that is familiar—​where we feel like we possess the place as much as it possesses us. Possession here can be considered in two ways: as ownership and as supernatural control. In the first sense, we possess a place by appropriating it—​that is, by “exploiting circumstances” to create its form (Deleuze 1983, 42).9 Consider, for example, the process of settling into a house that had been previously occupied by someone else. This process is often characterized by asserting our physical presence as residents, by laying claim, as it were, to the space and its furnishings. We add items and move items around, arranging them within the sphere of possibilities of our bodies. We integrate them with our body schema. At the same time, the schema itself adapts to the environment, helping us become used to, say, the layout of the kitchen, or the location of the couch in the living room. As a result, a kind of kinship develops between ourselves and the places in which we live, evident, for example, in a common expression that we “leave a piece 9 It is beyond the scope of this chapter to discuss possession in terms of mastery. Interested readers will find much material to this effect in Deleuze (1983).

248  Enacting MusicAL Time of ourselves behind” when we move to a new dwelling, or when our presence “can be felt” by others in the arrangement of our things. This possession refers to the second, spiritual sense. To achieve this level of kinship, we have to be somewhere repeatedly or continuously; we have to spend time within it and make it our own. In the case of physical spaces, like our cities, offices, or homes, we make them our own in part by creating mental maps. But these are not maps in the ordinary sense of presenting a bird’s-​eye-​view. Rather, these are maps from within the space itself, maps that are populated as much by physical objects as by affective zones, hotspots of familiarity that become fulfilled only when we are in their proximity.10 To move through a space we inhabit is to be affectively drawn to its layout and its contents. If the gap between Being and Becoming just is vertical time, then in order to inhabit it we must be immersed in it, live in it. But the possibility of becoming familiar with time enough to feel like we are its inhabitants seems precluded by the fact that it continuously flows. How can it be made up of affective hotspots if we are always at that fuzzy edge of the unknown, of the not-​yet? In other words, how can we develop a sense of possessing and being possessed by time when we are unable to appropriate it, unable to give it form by asserting our presence within it? Repeatedly coming up against novelty, we are not given enough time to enjoy our possession of it. Our selves cannot be “felt” as residing “within” time because—​recall from Chapter 4—​we only ever exist within the unfolding present. While it is true that past events may make us feel nostalgic, and we might look forward to certain events with elation, it is not time as such that is marked with an emotional value, but rather things that take time. The process itself seems neutral, perhaps even disappearing altogether, because it is merely a vector for our Being—​a vehicle, a container. Paradoxically, as time in Western thought became an independent dimension (see discussion in Chapter  1), its central role in constituting life—​seen, for example, in the intimate connection between time and bodily movement—​vanished. Life is now said to unfold within time. For us to inhabit time and allow it to manifest its latent verticality—​that is, to develop the necessary proximity and affection to make it our own—​ we must be allowed the possibility of experiencing again and again the very 10 Certeau (1984) compares the view of New York City from the top of the World Trade Center with the same at street level to demonstrate how the two perspectives produce different categories of knowledge. However, whereas for him the players in the latter frame of reference produce an “urban text” that they themselves are unable to read, the notion of inhabitation suggests that insiders generate a narrative that is completely intelligible to them, one based on the affective feel of the place.

Verticality  249 process by which events come into being, endure, and sink into the past. There must be an opportunity for recurrence, allowing us to find ourselves repeatedly in the “same” time. In Chapter  4, I  illustrated such a potential afforded by the body’s unity, its style in the face of a continually changing physical reality. There, style ensured that our experience was of a single present, rather than a series of isolated time-​points, but the time that emerged was a horizontal time of the lateral relations between Being and Becoming. Style, after all, is a lateral relation: it is the manner in which we perceive by reaching across écart. Thus, it can no longer assure unity in the face of vertical time, which itself cannot come from the body but must instead constitute the body’s milieu prior to any cultural differentiation. The “sameness” of vertical time must come from somewhere else—​namely, from the possibility of return. Recall that vertical time constitutes the body’s milieu prior to the cultural differentiation between Being and Becoming—​that is, prior to the establishment of the body’s point of view from which it perceives. Once the two are differentiated from one another, the possibility becomes concrete, but the result is that we are taken out of vertical time and into horizontal existence as cultural Beings. This differentiation then turns into an event in time, hence no longer offering an opportunity to develop affection for time as process. If the emergence of horizontality is to be prevented, any possibility of the return of the “same” must be in place before the differentiation. It must constitute the very form of this differentiation, in the sense of a formal principle that governs all relations between Being and Becoming. Even more radically, I want to suggest that we must know that such a possibility exists, so that we can affirm each event with an appropriate value. We ourselves must will its return, because only then can we truly take possession of it. This affirmation, or willing, is critical, because to merely acknowledge the repeatability of time is to let oneself be carried passively along by its current, and such passivity precludes having an affective disposition. Friedrich Nietzsche reminds us that we must “crave nothing more fervently” than the exact recurrence of every event in our lives, for eternity (2009, section 341). In what follows, his notion of the “eternal return” will help us get a better grasp on the potential for time to become an object of our affective engagement. One of the clearest articulations of the principle of the eternal return can be found in Nietzsche’s The Gay Science, where he writes: This life, as you now live it and have lived it, you must live it once more, and also innumerable times; and there will be nothing new in it, but every

250  Enacting MusicAL Time pain and every joy and every thought and every sigh, and everything unspeakably small and great in your life must come to you again, and all in the same series and sequence. [ . . . ] The eternal hourglass of existence will ever be turned over and over again, and you with it, you speck of dust! (2009, section 341)

Underlying Nietzsche’s imperative are two related assumptions. One is that matter in the universe is finite:  everything that exists will eventually and inevitably cease to exist. In this sense, Nietzsche is objecting to Christian-​ Platonic philosophical and theological aspirations that privilege permanence over change, which is precisely what characterizes Kramer’s notion of vertical time. Such permanence would irrecoverably undermine the perfection of the moment whose return we are willing by denying its “becoming,” by forcing it out of the temporally extended process that it itself constitutes.11 Nietzsche’s second assumption is that, in contrast to matter, time is infinite, stretching into and out of eternity without a beginning or an end. Elizabeth Grosz argues that time for Nietzsche is pure becoming, something irreducible to the being of things. Time, therefore, is independent of matter, but matter is dependent on time. “Matter conserves itself in the universe as a whole,” writes Grosz, “but time has an infinite span, it squanders itself without loss” (2004, 143). In consequence, the universe becomes caught up in a continuous cycle of self-​creation and self-​destruction in which every event, sooner or later, is bound to recur. Such is the basic logic of a system where a finite set is placed within infinity: every possible combination of matter has already occurred, and is guaranteed to keep occurring again, and again, and again.12 For Nietzsche, the cosmological principle of the eternal return is founded on a conception of a horizontal time of lateral relations, exemplified by the crossroads at which Zarathustra, carrying a dwarf-​like figure, finds himself in “The Vision and the Enigma” (Nietzsche 1954). There, the two see a gateway with two roads diverging in opposite directions, each stretching for 11 Becoming is very important to Nietzsche, because it provides a telos for Being. As Elizabeth Grosz argues, this view is based on Nietzsche’s critique of Darwin’s theory of evolution. For Nietzsche, the theory did not go far enough to account for the “excess that functions outside of natural selection, where life does not simply fulfill itself in surviving in its given milieu successfully enough to reproduce, but where it actively seeks to transform itself, where it refuses reproduction and instead seeks transformation” (2004, 11). 12 Of course, what this perspective assumes is that there is no possibility of there being matter-​ less time (in which case, the material universe would go through a single cycle of becoming, and no more). Thus, in a certain sense, the relationship between time and matter for Nietzsche is not as asymmetrical as it might seem. As will become clear later, this observation has no bearing on my argument, but it is noteworthy nonetheless.

Verticality  251 eternity. One road is the past, the other the future. The gateway is marked with an inscription: “The Moment” [Augenblick]. It is here, in this nexus, that Nietzsche articulates his notion of time by drawing on that metaphor of a path, and uses it to argue, through Zarathustra, that since the two roads are eternal, everything that possibly could have happened already has. Taken as such, the notion of eternal return encounters obvious problems stemming from the validity of the above assumptions. For one thing, modern physics posits that the Big Bang constituted the beginning of time itself, making such questions as “What was there before the Big Bang?” incomprehensible—​there simply is no “before” before the Big Bang.13 And even if time were infinite, the timescale of the cyclicality of recurrence is irrelevant to human concerns. However, what is essential to my argument is the eternal return taken as an existential claim, not a metaphysical one. In this view, the eternal return functions as an ethical exercise through which one makes a positive choice by taking possession of everything that has happened in their life. It is an exercise that affirms one’s fate—​both good and bad. As found in Zarathustra: “If, in all that you wish to do, you begin by asking yourself: am I certain that I would wish to do this an infinite number of times? This should be for you the most solid centre of gravity. [ . . . ] My doctrine says, the task is to live your life in such a way that you must wish to live it again—​for you will anyway!” (Nietzsche 1954). One consequence of this exercise is that eternity is not timeless stillness, but continual becoming, a process that goes on without end. As Gilles Deleuze reminds us: the eternal return does not bring back “the same,” but returning constitutes the only Same of that which becomes. Returning is the becoming-​identical of becoming itself. Returning is thus the only identity, but identity as a secondary power; the identity of difference, the identical which belongs to the different, or turns around the different. Such an identity, produced by difference, is determined as “repetition.” Repetition in the eternal return, therefore, consists in conceiving the same on the basis of the different. (1991, 41)

13 That said, Grosz points out that there are certain “quirky” pockets of science that do appear to support some of key aspects of these assumptions, especially the independence of time from space and from matter.

252  Enacting MusicAL Time What Deleuze expresses in his reading of Nietzsche is that the eternal return is founded on pure becoming. Elsewhere he writes: “recurrence itself constitutes being insofar as it affirms becoming and passing,” by which he means that the nature of being is such that it is always “a passage of diversity or multiplicity” (Deleuze 1983, 48). The eternal return is not meant to signify endless, non-​linear repetition aimed at the preservation and perpetuation of identity, but rather a willed recurrence that assures novelty by virtue of a transformation of one’s values (I will come back to this point in the following section). Accordingly, it is the return itself that returns. “Returning is the being of that which becomes. [ . . . ] We misinterpret the expression ‘eternal return’ if we understand it as ‘return of the same.’ It is not being that returns but rather the returning itself that constitutes being insofar as it is affirmed of becoming and of that which passes” (Deleuze 1983, 48). In other words, the eternal return is the pure process of becoming, which constitutes identity between things or events that are, by necessity, different. The identity between two instances of the return—​call it X and X′—​is not to be found in their materiality, but rather in the process of returning, such that repetition just is the achievement of identity in the process of becoming.14 Thus, whereas Elizabeth Margulis (2013) suggests that repetition takes music “out of time,” which in turn creates an opportunity for reflection, to regard repetition as a return of process is to affirm music’s temporality: its contingency, transience, and eventual disintegration. Consider, for example, hearing the opening measures of Franz Schubert’s “Gretchen am Spinnrade,” D.118 (1814), shown here in Example 6.2. An “out of time” perspective would regard each restatement of the piano’s right-​hand ostinato pattern as a return of “the same.” In analysis, we could bracket each group of six sixteenth-​notes as a unit, and label its return using the same symbol to indicate the identity, as I have done in the annotated score with the Greek letter α. If we were to listen to it enough times, the entire pattern would acquire a certain stability, worming itself into our memory and attaining a fixity akin to a physical object (say, the titular spinning wheel).15 However, in our experience, the pitch that begins each statement of the pattern is clearly 14 Another possibility would be to label the instance of the return Y, rather than X′. 15 According to Yonatan Malin (2010), the sixteenth-​note pattern is not meant to represent the sound of the spinning wheel itself, but rather “the figuration [ . . . ] creates a sense of motion like that of its object” (117). By contrast, Charles Rosen (1997) in his analysis of “Gretchen” observes that “it is not the spinning that is objectively imitated by Schubert but Gretchen’s consciousness of it” (218).

Verticality  253 Example 6.2  Franz Schubert, “Gretchen am Spinnrade,” D.118, opening.

not the same sound, even if it is designated by the same symbol. In fact, it is precisely the difference—​the non-​coincidence—​that marks it as a temporal pattern and distinguishes it from objects in space. In particular, it is exactly what distinguishes the α pattern from the titular spinning wheel, which literally traverses the same path each time it makes a revolution. And this distinction gives the α pattern an altogether different meaning than the experience of a physical spinning wheel, because the former is characterized by a subtle yet marked difference in each iteration of the sixteenth-​notes. This difference does not lie in what in Chapter 1 I described as the “objective” features of sound—​the piece would still sound like Schubert’s “Gretchen” if, using a MIDI sequencer, one simply copied and pasted the α pattern exactly as it is—​but rather in how each return is reorganized temporally by the perspective of a situated, embodied listener. As the pattern recedes into the fog of retentions, eventually becoming past, our affective orientation toward it transforms, which also necessarily transforms our affective orientation toward each currently sounding iteration. What returns each time is not the same musical object, but rather the same underlying process that gives rise to these particular sounds. Articulating this fact emphasizes the fundamental contingency of sound as a basis of music’s temporal meaning, a contingency that requires the musical object to disintegrate and forever be lost to experience. For to affirm the return is also to affirm the necessity of perishability and inexistence. To recognize in X′ the return of X is not to wish for X’s permanence, but to imagine

254  Enacting MusicAL Time the conditions of its non-​existence—​indeed, to will its non-​being and, in the same gesture, to will the eternal recurrence of its becoming. This willing, of course, brings us back to Hosokawa, and hints at a listening strategy in which the fleeting, ephemeral nature of sound—​like falling cherry blossoms—​is not something to overcome, but to affirm as a necessity that ensures the sound’s return. As a listening strategy, the lens of eternal return invites us to hear the opening gesture of Vertical Time Study I in a way that, in the brief moments of silence, releases them from memory and allows them to recede into a state of inexistence. Suggesting this surrender to nullity is the structure of the gesture that carries the musical objects, a gesture that can be regarded, perhaps, in terms of a Kurthian force-​wave (Kraftwelle) underlying their appearance and dissolution.16 Differing in pitch content, each restatement of the opening gesture adheres to the same pattern: a short, loud attack, followed by a much longer, quiet sustain, vanishing into silence. At times the process is reversed (see, in particular, mm. 14–​15, in Example 6.1), but the general principle obtains throughout the first 27 measures of the piece. With eternal return as a prism through which to hear these measures, each instance of the gesture becomes a reiteration of the initial one. Not a return in the sense of sounding material, of course, but in the process that regulates how the material unfolds—​the sequence of sharp jabs, soft sustain, silence. Further underscoring this interpretation is the bodily feeling of the opening gesture, specifically how it functions as an aspect of what Hosokawa calls “sound calligraphy.” Similarly to Lachenmann’s musique concrète instrumentale (see Chapter  2), sound calligraphy describes the audible trace of bodily effort, the physical gesture that went into making the sound. It is the auditory equivalent of the invisible—​or, better, of that which is the background condition for the production of the visible but which becomes invisible if we only focus on the object, as illustrated by a comparison with the Japanese technique of calligraphy. In Hosokawa’s words, The Japanese calligrapher draws a line but he does not start on the paper; rather, the beginning starts at some point in the air. And what you see on 16 On Ernst Kurth’s energetics, see Rothfarb (1992). A concise history of energetics in music theory can be found in Rothfarb (2002).

Verticality  255 the white paper is the drawing, but it is only one part of the movement, not the whole experience. I have to say that those hidden air movements are essential to the drawing and without them there would be nothing to see. For me, the music is like that. (2011)

If possible, one should perform this movement for themselves: draw a large semicircle in the air with one hand, and then bring both hands together to produce a clap. Now, in a manner analogous to Vertical Time Study I, perform it again, and again, and again. Each time the sound, the shape, the timing will be slightly different, but what unites these iterations is the feel of the action, its energic form becoming subsumed by your body schema, after a while turning into a technique—​a habit. Of course, the manner in which you trace the silent arc determines the loudness, duration, and timbre of the sound that you eventually end up making, but, from a listener’s perspective, this inaudible part of the gesture is inaccessible. To listen for it is to take up a skillful position toward the sound, a position that requires one to listen through the silence, but to listen through it in a way that does not necessarily anticipate the sound that follows. As Hosokawa maintains, “the musical movement also begins before you hear anything. The notes we hear are much more of an indication of a deeper, inaudible world” (2015). Rather than fulfilling expectations raised during the silent period, the eventual clap reconfigures the preceding silence after the fact, making audible that which never was—​the entirety of the gesture that made the sound. With the return of the return, time has the potential to acquire the familiarity necessary for us to have a sense that we inhabit it. Even as it unfolds in one continuous stroke of becoming, it returns the same qualities, the same patterns of energy that support matter, the same intensities. With each return, the quality or pattern of intensity becomes increasingly familiar and starts to develop into an affective hotspot, an object of our philia or phobia. Time itself begins to acquire value for us, specifically a quality of “mine-​ness” similar to how we feel about places where we live or objects we use every day. We come to possess it, appropriate it, give it form. In the following section, we will reorient this time and make it vertical while keeping this element of familiarity and possession. As I will show, such reorientation involves a reconfiguration of an earlier event by a later one, and what makes this reconfiguration possible is precisely the affective stance that we develop toward time itself.

256  Enacting MusicAL Time

Affect The patterns of energy and intensity that I brought up in the last paragraph correspond with what Deleuze (1983) calls “forces.” Although his interpretation of the eternal return introduces ideas that expand beyond Nietzsche’s own writings, it is nevertheless suggestive in the present context.17 Deleuze frames the eternal return in terms of active and reactive forces. The former are forces that are “plastic, dominant, and subjugating,” forces that “affirm [their] difference, which makes the difference an object of enjoyment and affirmation” (1983, 61). By contrast, a reactive force is “utilitarian,” adaptive, and limiting. It “separates active force from what it can do” and “denies” its propagation to its limit. While couched in existential terms that need not concern us here—​including the connection of the eternal return to “will to power” and nihilism—​emerging from this picture is the idea that the eternal return is the becoming-​active of a reactive force. “Becoming active [ . . . ] presupposes the affinity of action and affirmation; in order to become active it is not sufficient for a force to go to the limit of what it can do, it must make what it can do an object of affirmation” (68). This affirmation forms for Deleuze the basis of the eternal return as an ethical principle—​as a practice of willing something in such a way that one also wills its eternal return. In other words, the exercise of the eternal return entails “inverting” the value of the force, from reactive (negative) to active (positive). It is this affirmation—​ seen as an act of declaring a force to be true and valid—​that brings about the return. Deleuze’s reading of Nietzsche’s eternal return is of consequence for our discussion of the process through which we come to possess some place or time and make it “our own.” That is, we can think of it in terms of a reactive force becoming active, of “taking ownership” of one’s existence as something intimately connected with this place or time. This process of “taking ownership,” as in Deleuze’s account, should not be considered in terms of one force being good and the other bad, because the two forces co-​exist. Rather, we can consider it in terms of “enjoyment and affirmation”—​that is, in terms of the possibility of revaluation. In fact, Nietzsche is explicit that the practice of the eternal return necessitates a revaluation of one’s own values—​ specifically those values that, as I showed earlier, privilege the state of being 17 For a critique of Deleuze’s ideas concerning the relationship between nihilism and affirmation in Nietzsche’s work, see D’Iorio (2011).

Verticality  257 over the process of becoming. On the “means of enduring” the eternal return, Nietzsche is unequivocal: “the revaluation of all values. No longer joy in certainty, but in uncertainty; no longer ‘cause and effect’ but the continually creative; no longer will to preservation but to power; no longer the humble expression ‘everything is merely subjective’ but ‘it is also our work—​let us be proud of it!’ ” (Nietzsche 1967, 1059). In essence, to affirm the eternal return is to actively take up an affective position that requires a transformation of our values. However, before moving forward, I want to briefly address the function of affect in this context. First, following the work of Sianne Ngai (2005) I  am deliberately conflating affect and emotion. Ngai argues that the difference between the two is modal rather than formal. That is, affects and emotions have different intensities, and, rather than entirely different categories, might be best regarded as two poles on a continuum. While affects are less structured and fixed in language than emotions, they are not entirely devoid of organization and meaning.18 In addition, recall from the previous chapter that affect is a bodily disposition of an organism toward its environment, characterized by concern for survival, comfort, and well-​being. It is a crystallization of a general capacity of organisms to both affect and be affected by the environment, an ontological openness and intertwining in the Merleau-​Pontian sense of flesh. Yet, regardless of their fundamental importance in perceptual acts, and despite their universal presence in animate life, Lisa Feldman Barrett (2006) reminds us that affects are not natural in kind, by which she means that they are not discoverable categories existing independently in nature. She argues instead that our emotions are human constructs. Importantly to our discussion, Barrett shows that the different instances of the same emotion are expressed in different ways—​even by different sets of neurons. This diversity suggests two further observations. One is that our basic affectivity incorporates the environment into different levels of our biological being, perhaps even to the point where the body schema itself consists of several interlocking but independent mechanisms, each with its own enclosed hierarchical structure. Such scaffolding of affectivity makes sense, since our investment in survival and well-​being must take into account the forever-​changing nature of the world, and thus must be flexible enough to

18 The dissolution of the difference between affects and emotions is also supported by Ruth Leys (2011), who points out that the dichotomy between pre-​cognizant affect and cognitive emotions is often grounded in dubious interpretations of scientific evidence.

258  Enacting MusicAL Time allow us to make contextual alterations. If on-​the-​fly adjustments are to be effective, they must involve several levels of redundancies, so that different strategies become available to us whenever our current situation changes to our disadvantage. This view would preclude any sort of stable link between musical expression and emotional engagement, arguing instead that the same acoustical signal can be affectively reoriented in different ways depending on the broader framework of the listening situation. The second, perhaps more critical point, is that emotions cannot be simply “detected” or “recognized,” because there is no single bodily configuration that makes them manifest. Rather, emotions must be interpreted within the historical, socio-​cultural, and psycho-​biological context in which they occur. Eugenie Brinkema (2014) echoes this view when she writes that affect is “in a fundamental sense difficult. Not only is it neither immediate nor obvious, but it also requires an investment in the duration of closely interpreting the forms of texts” (252). Even more radically, the reason why affect for Brinkema is able to exert any force at all is because it must be closely read for. That is, the interpretive act is a “passionate” one of infusing the (visual, literary, auditory) text with “specificity and particularity” that cannot be known in advance. Affects are “structures that work through formal means,” in which the aim is not to move “an emotionally involved spectator,” but to imbue form with an intensity that operates structurally through spatial and temporal configurations of materials (43). This intensity discloses itself in our interpretive acts through the ways in which those acts shape our encounters with the world. For example, anxiety is characterized by a continual inability of the self to overcome a traumatic event, hence its form is repetition without transformation—​or what Brinkema describes as “kinetic purposelessness.” These spatial and temporal forms become the source of aesthetic shaping—​ similarly to Dewey’s and Langer’s suggestions that art extends and intensifies the emotional forms of our lives (see Chapters 1 and 2)—​but in a way that takes affect to constitute the piece’s form. As I will argue in the section that follows, it is in this formal sense that affect operates in the process of transforming horizontal time into verticality through the affirmation of the eternal return,19 justifying my earlier allowance that the latter need not be a cosmological principle for it to remain 19 My view of affect is quite different from that espoused by the psychological tradition, found, for example, in Huron (2006), Juslin and Sloboda (2010), or Krumhansl (1997). In all of these, affect constitutes a reaction to the musical signal. By contrast, my perspective is grounded in the work of Giovanna Colombetti (2013), who shows that affect generates the forms of the environment.

Verticality  259 relevant to our discussion. The temporal transformation that follows from the affirmation is never quite divorced from the body that actively participates in bringing it about. Form of any kind, whether concerning affect, music, furniture, tools, or clothes, entails an active structuring of the environment on the basis of those elements that one makes salient and relevant. Form emerges as the organism appropriates and takes ownership of its milieu. It is thus inherently affective, because this structure is guided by the basic philic and phobic relations that characterize the organism-​environment system. Structure is generated when an affectively disposed body spatially and temporally organizes itself in its context, both proximal and distal. Thus, even if we regard it as a purely formal aspect of music, affect is always interpreted through the body of the listener. With this groundwork out of the way, central to Nietzsche’s affirmation of the eternal return is joy, a process that, through the revaluation of one’s position, “requires that the experience at which it is taken be (or be perceived to be) perfect” (Reginster 2006, 224). Joy here is more than simply pleasure felt toward an object one finds delightful or satisfying. Rather, it is an expression of the utter perfection of the moment, perfection that goes beyond mere flawlessness to encompass negative aspects of experience, perfection that subsumes Zarathustra’s “fragments, riddles, and dreadful accidents” (Nietzsche 1954), or precisely those moments that we might be tempted to reactively sweep under the rug and erase from our biography. Perfection entails taking ownership of one’s entire life as is, and joy is an expression that manifests itself in the willing of its eternal return. In Nietzsche’s own words, “joy [ . . . ] wants itself, wants eternity, wants recurrence, wants everything eternally the same” (1954, 434). The “every-​” in the last clause is telling, for it includes not only delight and satisfaction, but also tragedy and suffering. And that is precisely why the affirmation of the eternal return requires a revaluation of one’s affective stance toward one’s life, so as to see perfection in tragedy and suffering and welcome their recurrence. In the act of revaluation, joy transforms the past in a way that makes both suffering and pleasure not a matter of contingency, but of necessity. Recall, in particular, that memory is an act that takes an event from the past and brings it into the present. In turn, it irrecoverably alters the very nature of this event. The past is thus marked with an imprint of the present, or what Merleau-​ Ponty calls “an inexplicable alteration, a strange distance” (1968, 124). This imprint, or distance, itself changes as the present unfolds, not only becoming increasingly distant, but also undergoing a transformation along the series

260  Enacting MusicAL Time of retentions, along the vertical axis in the diagram of time consciousness I presented earlier. In our case, the affirmative statute of joy revalues our relationship with the past: from a passive “it was,” to an active “thus I willed it” (Nietzsche 1954; emphasis added). What was once contingent acquires definition, and as it acquires definition, it crystallizes into something—​a musical thing—​that we ourselves constituted. The affirmation of the eternal return is a joyful act. But since matter is finite, it is only the temporal form of the return that can be affirmed; its exact contents cannot be known in advance. According to Brinkema, the purest form of joy is formal repetition, because it is a content-​less process that allows joy to “respond to the possible with the certain and specific” (2014, 253). In other words, joy necessarily requires a pre-​existing, external formal constraint, so that the perfect moment can take place again—​otherwise we would not be willing a recurrence but rather a series of occurrences. “Only iteration produces the absolutely new,” writes Brinkema, adding that “the new, then, results from form, shape, specificity, and constraint, over and instead of formless amorphousness” (2014, 254). In contrast to repetition driven by self-​replicating processes—​such as those found in minimalist music (see, for example, Margulis 2013)—​the temporal form of joy is thus repetition unfolding within a predetermined structure. Where the former aims to create a sense of an eternal present, joy works precisely through the desire for an infinite number of recurring presents. As Elaine Miller (2012) reminds us, without this desire, time ceases to serve its “dual function of creation and destruction” (109), turning into endless repetition that always looks to the past. Indeed, an eternal present negates time, for by preserving and perpetuating identity (sameness), it fails to address the future. Considered a joyful affirmation, the eternal return is an active process that does not attempt to change the past, but instead intends the future. Nietzsche’s “thus I willed it” is a redemptive act of creating what Miller describes as “a salubrious and cohesive future” out of a past that was filled with fragments and unintentional events (2012, 110). It is this redemptive act that serves as a generative impulse from which form can emerge. In terms of music, we are back at my earlier inversion of Dahlhaus’s expression, from “form as process” to “process as form.” In both cases, an organizational pattern, rather than being imposed a priori, grows out of the act of listening, and as such can be inherently malleable and dynamic. However, in the former phrase, the implication is that whatever does emerge enters into dialogue with the cultural norms or expectations brought in by the listener. These may be more or less clearly

Verticality  261 articulated—​for example, as identifiable formal functions, or, as Schmalfeldt suggests, their becoming—​but the underlying idea is that the function of a gesture, or a phrase, or an entire section is something that the listener can recognize as conforming to or “deforming” a known schema (Hepokoski and Darcy 2006). The latter phrase—​“process as form”—​subtly alters the nature of the listener’s experience by implying that, rather than a recognizable schema, it is the properties of the process itself that constitute the form of the piece, such that there neither is nor can be a form extricable from what becomes in the act of listening. The forward momentum of time, the ontological dehiscence of the present moment into the future, gathers up the piece’s history with the intention of actively willing the future. The listener takes ownerships of this form and of actualizing the possibility of history repeating itself, resulting in a form that is unique and ephemeral even as it is predicated on the principle of recurrence—​that is, a form that is absolutely new. So far in my discussion the eternal return has necessarily been grounded in the horizontal time of lateral relations. This time constitutes an external form that assures the recurrence of pure process (the Deleuzian return of the return), since it is marked by a movement into the future while the past slips back through an increasingly thick fog of retentions. In Nietzsche’s view, the ethical exercise of the eternal return involves a repeated, joyful affirmation of the moment of transformation from “it was” to “thus I willed it,” essentially soliciting one to possess the process itself by becoming an active participant in the unfolding of one’s life. This possession of the process takes care of the emergence of malleable, dynamical forms, but to continue with the story I must depart from Nietzsche, for it is precisely the horizontal formal constraint that is indispensable for the emergence of vertical time as a reverberation along the sequence of retentions. Here is why: the joyful affirmation of the eternal return responds to the possibility of something (anything) taking place with a concrete moment that must necessarily come to an end. When I affirm the past (“it was”) as something that I myself willed, I take whatever “was” as a certain and specific (though fleeting) moment that will return because its return is assured by the very structure of horizontal time. This moment’s becoming—​the process by which it materializes without ever having fully become—​itself becomes the return, never of the “same” but of the possibility of it being different. That is, the certain and specific moment can no longer be seen as it was initially experienced, but only through the fog of retentions that Merleau-​Ponty referred to as an increasingly “strange distance.” The return of “it was,” then, is an exercise in the experience of vertical

262  Enacting MusicAL Time time, the experience of how this distance irrecoverably altered the moment that no longer seems “certain and specific,” but is instead inscribed on my own temporality as a sort of pattern of emotional intensity, an affective shape whose return I joyfully affirm. In other words, by willing to see how the concrete moment moves through a series of retentions and into the future, my joyful affirmation becomes the density, or depth, that gives the present moment its duration. Recall that this effect can be (somewhat crudely) visualized by the orthogonal lines on Merleau-​Ponty’s diagram, where consciousness and temporal experience run away from each other. The point at which these two lines intersect is the moment of affirmation, the temporal zone in which an inchoate quiver I focused on in Chapter 5 becomes transformed into an affective hotspot, into something familiar, inhabited, both possessing and possessed. With the affirmation, the intersection revalues the past by linking and intertwining the two lines, where an event that once was is willed to return. Vertical time and horizontal time thus need each other to affirm the necessity of both. The former constitutes the vertical Being that precedes cultural determinacy; the latter reaches across écart in order to be-​in-​the-​world. Together they form the thick background of our experience—​depth and surface, respectively.

Hosokawa’s Vertical Time Let me pause briefly to summarize the process by which I  arrived at this point. I began this chapter with a proposal that it is possible for musical form to be flexible and malleable. I suggested that we can see this flexibility and malleability in the way in which musical time is constituted by the listener’s affective orientation toward the sonic event, and that an excellent example of this constitution can be found in the emergence of vertical temporality in Toshio Hosokawa’s curiously titled trio, Vertical Time Study I. I also argued that in order for this verticality to emerge, it cannot be simply considered as a binary “other” of Western time, as Kramer does in his monograph, but as an autonomous dimension that consists in the depth of our experience. This perspective is grounded in the notion of the verticality of Being posited by Merleau-​Ponty in his final opus, The Visible and the Invisible, which I then extended through the lenses of Nietzsche’s eternal return and affectivity. In particular, I addressed the problem of the horizontal time of our experience, which is plagued by the “illusion” of flow because, based on the standard

Verticality  263 Western ontology, Being and Becoming are separate entities, and can only ever be experienced as such because we always have a point of view on the world. By contrast, in Merleau-​Ponty’s relational approach, there is a fundamental intertwining in what he calls “vertical Being.” I then argued that, while impossible to experience explicitly, vertical time emerges as a practice when time itself acquires an affective dimension that allows us to “inhabit” it in the sense of taking ownership, or responsibility for it. As modeled by the ethical exercise of Nietzsche’s eternal return, the repetition of time, as opposed to the repetition of events in time, assures that time can acquire the necessary familiarity for us to feel like we have come to possess it. Finally, I speculated that the vertical reorientation of this temporality can take place at the moment of the joyfully affirmed transformation of our experience from “it was” to “thus I willed it,” which is precisely when we take possession of the process of time itself. Consequently, musical form understood as an affective disposition of the listener to the acoustical signal acquires the capacity to become transformed within the very boundaries of our affective engagement with it. No longer is it a matter of form serving as process, but, conversely, of process regarded as the form of the piece. This theoretical edifice places us in an optimal position to revisit vertical time in Hosokawa. Although I initially described the form of Vertical Time Study I as one of mobile development of the opening gesture, a discerning listener might have already objected that such a characterization is not altogether accurate. To that, I would be obliged to admit my deceit. It is true that there is quite a lot of activity in the piece, including, perhaps, a sense of forward momentum, but a closer reading reveals that not much is going on in terms of pitch or harmonic development.20 Sounds seem not so much to transform, but rather build up like strata of sedimentary rock. Instead of weaving the various strands in a continuously unfolding process, formal boundaries release the accumulated energy and start up something new. There is no obvious musical goal that could arise as a consequence of the design of sonic materials. Indeed, Hosokawa’s economy of materials is remarkably austere, consisting of a very limited set of pitch and intervallic resources organized through juxtaposition, rather than linear progression or 20 In his unpublished essay “Of Repetition, Habit, and Involuntary Memory,” Brian Kane (2016) argues that Morton Feldman uses repetition to expose “functional and directional activity” in his music to be an illusion. While I conceive of what Hosokawa is doing as achieving a similar goal, the latter composer does this precisely through opposite means: material that sounds like it is not repeated reveals itself to be a repetition, albeit one of elements other than pitch and rhythm.

264  Enacting MusicAL Time permutation.21 Such economy typifies much of Hosokawa’s oeuvre, in which the composer fuses elements of Japanese and European aesthetics into forms that seem to stand still against the forward movement of time—​not in the sense of timelessness, but by eliciting intense concentration on process. The effect is not unlike the fixed, stylized scenes in Japanese Noh theater, an influence that is often brought up in discussions concerning Hosokawa’s musical style (Robin 2011). Yet, against this stillness there is a compositional logic imposed as a framework of Vertical Time Study I that works by means of unpitched materials. This logic comes from the composer’s manipulation of what is perhaps the least likely element to serve as a source of musical form: silence. Silence in general plays an extraordinarily important role in Hosokawa’s music.22 Expanding on the earlier manual analogy, the composer notes that silence in his music is like the white space of calligraphy: “With my music, this silence, where one cannot hear, is also a part of the movement of sound energy” (quoted in Robin 2011). Hosokawa connects the effect of musical silence with the Japanese concept of ma, the generative space between things, the force that is said to structure space itself, “the silent movement-​intensity between sound and sound” (Hosokawa 2011). Difficult to define, let alone translate, “ma is a dynamic space-​time interval wherein activity and passivity, agents and patients are one and the same, yet different” (Oosterling 2000, 77).23 It is not an interval in the sense of extension in mathematical space,

21 On “permutational” and “developmental” structures in twentieth-​century music, see Tenney (1971). 22 There is a conspicuous absence of research on the topic of silence in Western art music, which is curious given its crucial role in this repertoire. The notable exceptions here are two studies that have come out in the years since the turn of the twenty-​first century. One is David Metzer’s essay “Modern Silence,” in which he examines silence as a “sonic or conceptual ideal to which a work aspires,” a compositional “focal point” which, together with other ideals like purity, complexity, and the fragmentary, composers use to escape the rigor of serialism (2006, 333). Silence, according to Metzer, does not necessarily refer to a lack of sound, but can take on different forms (e.g., auditory, symbolic, or sensory) and qualities (e.g., stillness, hush, fragility). Silence can be sound; it expresses that which is both desirable and troubling. More radically, silence for Metzer throws expression into relief by its very lack of expression, turning whatever expressivity there is into acts of force and violence. As a “limitless realm” of commentary on expression, Metzer’s silence is the mirror image of George Lewis’s noise (see Lewis 2013). By contrast, Margulis (2007) develops a taxonomy of silences based on listeners’ perceptual experiences, which she distinguishes from both silence as inscribed in music notation and acoustic silence. She defines silence as “periods on recordings during which acoustic analysis shows below-​threshold sound activity” (251), and illustrates how the same “acoustically empty” period can elicit a wide variety of impressions based on musical context. These contexts include the delineation of musical boundaries, interruption of established processes, intension to communicate, and even a kind of “meta-​listening” in which silence exposes to the listener his or her own process of listening. 23 On the concept of ma and its relationship to time, see also Rowell (1996a).

Verticality  265 but a “dynamic in-​between” where the movement of movement itself can be sensed as a kind of “resonance” (77). Or, described by Airi Yoshioka: “As in the case of a dancer gathering momentum for a pirouette, ma recognizes the mechanism of tapping into the resources that lie deeply within and letting them blossom in strength and shape” (2008, 179). In many respects, ma is functionally similar to Merleau-​Ponty’s écart: both designate an interstice from which emerge our horizontal relations with Becoming. In both, there is an intertwining of the zones on either side of the boundary. Writing about the wall that surrounds the famous Zen stone garden at the Ryōan-​ji temple in Kyoto, the Japanese philosopher Ryōsuke Ōhashi remarks that its “decisive function does not aim at creating a perspectival effect for the garden, but to separate the natural world outside and the aesthetically shaped inside. It constitutes the ‘in-​between’ (ma) of the two worlds. It is also the ‘in-​between’ of ‘life and death’ (shoji). The wall, that in a spatial sense is just peripheral, gets in a structural sense a central meaning for the stone garden, even better: it constitutes the real center” (Ōhashi 1994, 75). Ma is active; it structures spatiotemporal experience; it links juxtaposed Beings. Considered as ma, or écart, Hosokawa’s use of silence marks it as infinitely expressive of the inaudible mass that, like the clapping gesture earlier, constitutes the source of sound. Consequently, rather than dividing the musical surface—​whether between the gestures in the opening, or between larger sections that delineate the piece’s form—​silence demands that we listen to it, and it alone. Not as a bridge between sounds, or a point at which we reset our attention in anticipation of the acoustical signal to come, but as a reverberation of time; not as a negative auditory space that amplifies the musical objects around it, but as a genuine musical thing (in the Lochheadian sense I described earlier), an articulation of the richness that inhabits the in-​between. As musical things, the silences in Vertical Time Study I are not all the same, and there is a gradual change in how Hosokawa uses them to give the piece its shape. Of course, we begin with silence—​or rather pre-​begin with it, for, despite the loud attack on the first chord, it is difficult to ascertain when exactly the piece starts. Akin to the initial breath in Anna Clyne’s Roulette (which I explored in Chapter 2), the silence here is saturated with significance; it carries the weight of the auditory space that, like the Ryōan-​ji garden wall, functions to separate music from non-​music. It is obviously true that nearly all art music performances begin this way, but I think there is a difference in

266  Enacting MusicAL Time how this pre-​beginning is given the opportunity to emerge as such after the first gesture had already died out. While the gesture itself sounds conventional, as soon as we hear its repetition, it acquires a different meaning, one that encompasses the silence around it as an integral space of transition. No longer is this a case of sound simply starting and stopping—​rather than beginning with silence, I want to suggest that Vertical Time Study I begins in it. That is, the initial sonority can be heard as reaching back, through the gesture that carries it, into the silence that precedes it, becoming a culmination of a process that had already begun before any sound was made. The pre-​beginning sets the tone for the opening section of the piece. The regularity with which the gestures follow one another is deceptive, for the periods of silence between them undergo subtle variations. In particular, the first three gestures are separated by a mere breath mark, just enough time to allow the flutist to inhale and set up for the dramatic change in dynamics. There is no pause between the third and fourth gestures, but already in m.  16 we arrive at an extended period of silence—​Hosokawa indicates between five and seven seconds in duration—​in which the instrumentalists are directed to remain still. This is really the first opportunity that listeners have to focus on the inaudible mass behind the sound, to breathe, to listen to silence as a source of expressivity, as that time in which the vitality that underlies all life displays its fecundity. The gestures continue to present themselves after these seven seconds just as they did before, as if nothing had happened, leading to another silence-​sans-​ movement in m. 27. Unlike the first one, this silence ends up designating a formal boundary, because the following measure already abandons the gesture and begins someplace new. The sequence of silences—​ both long and short, breath-​ full and breathless—​never returns. Indeed, little by little, and with the exception of certain markers that become part of the piece’s framework, the silences disappear, until the last two sections (mm. 89 to the end) are played as if on one, continuous breath. As a musical object, silence thus undergoes a large-​scale transformation, unlike the pitch materials I discussed earlier. Rather than developing the sounds themselves, Hosokawa brings into focus the gestures that go into their making. In a manner similar to Andrew Norman’s “Susanna” (with which I opened this book), what emerges are patterns of intensities that constitute the relationship between the bodies of performers and of listeners: breaths and breathlessness, movement and

Verticality  267 standstill, recurrence without exact repetition. Altogether, it is in these patterns of intensities that we find any activity in Vertical Time Study I. As I remarked earlier, the arrangement of these patterns creates a wholly conventional design, characterized by a familiar narrative arc: quiet, loud, quiet. This design is so obvious—​hackneyed even—​as to draw attention to itself as an artifice, a construct imposed on the piece, a template of mobility foisted on an otherwise static population of harmonic and melodic patterns. As I concluded at the end of the previous section, the design grounded in horizontal time is precisely what is necessary for the emergence of vertical time. The process of silence provides the horizontal dimension against which harmonic and pitch materials in Vertical Time Study I can unfold, allowing us to practice committing to the effects of the vertical dimension of time on its horizontal unfolding. These harmonic and pitch materials remain static in the sense of saturating the musical surface with intervals derived from the opening sonority, but without developing them in any linear fashion. Instead, they are shaped by the silences. More to the point, it is the horizontal unraveling of silence (as the auditory “space” for gestures that make sound) that allows us to joyfully affirm its return and restructure temporality, such that what was once an opening gesture that seemed like it was undergoing developing variation could be reconstituted as a musical thing whose becoming had already recurred, again and again. Not as “the same” in a material sense—​we never hear the gesture exactly as the first time—​but as process. This recurrence of process carries the potential for reconfiguring the form of Vertical Time Study I, such that the opening gesture, rather than a germ from which emerge the musical ideas, becomes an echo, a reverberation, a depth that supports crucial moments in the piece. Among these we can single out the exposed B♭ → A descent in m. 60, first played by the clarinet and repeated soon after by the cello (Example 6.3), the half-​step glissandi at the end of each gesture in mm. 78–​88, and finally, in the closing bar, the sepulchral moan of a memory disappearing in the barely audible, guttural abyss of the piano’s lowest range (Example 6.4). In each case, the constitutive parts of the opening gesture become dilated, offering an opportunity for listeners to affirm the gesture’s return, and, at the same time, to reorient themselves with regard to the affective hotspots that the gesture leaves behind.

Example 6.3  Toshio Hosokawa, Vertical Time Study I, mm. 56–​66. Copyright © Schott Music Co. Ltd., Tokyo. All rights reserved. Used by permission of European American Music Distributors Company, sole U.S. and Canadian agent for Schott Music Co. Ltd., Tokyo.

Verticality  269 Example 6.4  Toshio Hosokawa, Vertical Time Study I, mm. 100–​end. Copyright © Schott Music Co. Ltd., Tokyo. All rights reserved. Used by permission of European American Music Distributors Company, sole U.S. and Canadian agent for Schott Music Co. Ltd., Tokyo.

Malleable Musical Form “From the perceiver’s perspective, the existence of artistic form is often intangible, fleeting, fugitive—​ evolving with new perceptions, new understandings,” writes Stephen McAdams in an article concerned with the role of what he calls “abstract knowledge structures” in the experience of musical forms (1989). The ephemeral nature of musical form is made especially acute in contemporary music, where composers often deliberately attempt to undermine the listeners’ sense of linearity, narrative, succession, even memory itself (Almén and Hatten 2012). At the same time, musical form must be anchored somewhere, whether in patterns of conventions, or in the individually cultivated relationships between listeners and the acoustical signal. Both models lead to the possibility of indeterminate formal functions, of ambiguous and at times elusive slippage between fragments whose role in

270  Enacting MusicAL Time structuring experience might be briefly recognizable before they settle back into the amorphous background of perception. The discussion in the previous sections brought about an intoxicating concoction constituting this background in the case of Hosokawa’s Vertical Time Study I: vertical time, joy, silence, the eternal return. While admittedly heavy on the palette, such a mixture is necessary if the possibility of formal malleability and dynamism is to be grounded in the experiential domain, in the flesh of the listener. Form, once created through our appropriation of the musical circumstances, does not easily yield to transformation. In fact, any modifications to the initial understanding of “how music goes” must be justified by the structure of the entire listener-​sound system. This system, according to the argument that I have presented throughout this book, is at once bodily, affective, sonic, cultural, biological, intercorporeal, and—​above all else—​temporal. In his trenchant analysis of form in twentieth-​century music and in the visual arts, Thomas De Lio writes: The twentieth century has witnessed the emergence of an increased awareness that structure can no longer be viewed simply as a family of relationships discerned among the elements of a single closed gestalt. Rather, a structure is a complex process evolving over a period of time, integrating an elaborate and diverse range of activities that reaches out far beyond the framework of the art object itself. A structure is a continuum of activities beginning with a series of perceptions and proceeding through a network of inter-​related activities. (1981, 528)

Partly in response to compositional practice, and partly influenced by the deconstructive provocations of post-​structuralism, De Lio’s is one of the earliest attempts for a push in music-​theoretical discourse toward a conception of form as something that the listener generates in the act of listening. Form in this sense becomes a performative act, a gradual and reproduced realization of the very possibilities that constitute the bodies of listeners. Appropriating Judith Butler’s claims regarding gender as a “stylized repetition of acts,” it could be said that musical form is “a continual and incessant materializing of [the body’s] possibilities” (1988, 521).24 Working within a 24 This view is in contrast to a more traditional concern with musical form as a property of the acoustical signal, in which the listener is a passive recipient of information. In the latter view—​which Marion Guck criticizes as a limitation based on music theory’s desire “to emulate the kind and degree of rigor evident in theories of the physical sciences”—​relationships between musical objects exist independently of listeners (Kielian-​Gilbert and Guck 1983, 581). As objective properties, they

Verticality  271 similar, post-​structuralist framework, Judy Lochhead has suggested that a musical work is “not a fixed structure but a bundle of sounding relations that are, in Deleuzian terms, in the process of becoming” (2016, 96). Thus, rather than “having” structure, she introduces the verbal noun form to posit that a musical work is “a structuring of musical time” that occurs in the act of listening. This act itself is not a passive reception of sonic energy—​what might be called “auditorship” (an auditory equivalent of spectatorship)—​but a form of speculation about the “possibilities or tendencies” inherent in the relations between musical things. Placing the listener at the heart of musical analysis, Lochhead opens the door to the prospect of conceptualizing forms that are dynamic, forms that are ontologically unstable and indeterminate, forms in which transformation (or revaluation) is their constitutive element. Each act of listening is a new proposal for engaging with the music, a new horizon for realizing the potential inherent in the affordance system that the situated listener co-​constitutes with the acoustical signal.25 Centered in the plane circumscribed by the horizon of possibilities is a body that intends and intervenes on the world, a body whose affectivity simultaneously generates and structures lived time.26 Since it is manifested by can be observed, quantified, and expressed using logical operations, ensuring their persistence regardless of the contingencies of any particular situation. This situation holds true even if contingency is brought in as one of the variables in the formal equation—​for example, when a section of a piece is determined to be functionally ambiguous and capable of playing multiple structural roles on multiple structural levels. That is, ambiguity or multivalence stem from the expectation of what the function of a given harmonic or melodic object, phrase, or theme ought to be, given the theoretical system used as an analytical lens, but the system itself is constituted without an acknowledgment of the listener’s formative role in the musical process. Consequently, there exists a possibility of the piece transitioning from one form to another, of blending elements from different forms, or even of balancing between several forms without fully committing to any of them, but the forms themselves are static. 25 Lochhead’s voice is not alone among scholars who approach musical temporality from the enactive, experiential perspective. Robert Adlington (2003), for example, has similarly argued that the act of listening to music creates the possibility of gaining access “to experiences of change that are at odds with the ways in which we commonly understand time” (297). His specific criticism—​which can be said to reverberate throughout the present chapter—​is that the common understanding of time as motion limits our interpretive choices to those that apply to a very narrow range of styles and genres. Considering time as “a social construction for dealing with change” (300), he provides examples of change that, instead of motion, are best described using metaphors of heat, light, weight, tension, and so on. 26 Other important studies of the role of affect in the perception of musical form include Huron (2013), who argues that musical repetition in particular is supported by two underlying psychological principles: habituation and processing fluency, and Sloboda (1991), who correlated the emotional responses of listeners with structural features of music. In both of these, perception is taken to be a passive occurrence, while in my approach the listener him-​or herself generates the form through affective engagement. The relationship between musical form and affect can also be found in Langer (1957), for whom the form of feeling and the form of music are congruent. (For commentary and extension of these ideas, see Zbikowski [2010].)

272  Enacting MusicAL Time two fundamental drives—​toward or away from some object in the world—​ affect is essentially temporal in that it establishes a relation with this object by intending it either in the past (phobia) or in the future (philia). In addition to joy discussed in this chapter, one can consider, for example, nostalgia as an affect in which something that has passed is intended as an object of the future. Such a reading could be productive in the case of Frey’s “60 Pieces of Sound” (which I discussed in Chapter 1) and where a listening strategy might intend some absent but active musical object to which each block sonority refers. Or take anxiety, in which an event from the past creates roadblocks for a self that tries to intend the future. (I showed this possibility in Chapter 5 with Andriessen’s De Tijd, where a relentless repetition of nearly identical sounds failed to bring about a meaningful change.) In these and other affects, transformation (revaluation) does not act upon a preexisting form, but is rather built into this form, into its temporal unfolding. Revaluation is constitutive of affects, because affect is what imparts value to the world as Being reaches across écart in its attempt to establish a perspective for perception. Thus, to think of affects as forms allows for the revaluation of formal functions to constitute an element of the form itself. Affect imbues form with the capacity for self-​revaluation, which makes it more than a mere subjective response to an acoustical signal—​it makes it the formal property of the musical “text” itself. That is, affect does not concern auditorship, but instead inheres in the relations between musical things. Importantly, it does so not by giving those things a false sense of agency—​as if they were interacting between themselves—​or by fixing them in immutable forms, but precisely by giving the interpreter the power (and passion) to engage in speculation, to engage in “a structuring of musical time.” What, then, does it mean for affect to inhere in the musical form, especially if this form is not something that itself has any fixed existence apart from its own unfolding? It will be helpful to first consider what it does not mean. In particular, affective form does not ask how the music makes you feel; it does not call for an account of your “tremulous pleasures and shudderings” (Brinkema 2014, 32). It is not concerned with the emotional expressivity of music, or your empathy toward it. You need not imagine a virtual agent, or how you yourself might inhabit the music. According to Brinkema, such ideas “[retain] a notion of classical interiority merely redescribed as the interiority of the feeling theorist,” where every analysis becomes a performative “solipsism” that shuts off all productive discussions of the affects themselves in favor of personal accounts of what it is like to

Verticality  273 be affected (32). The perennial mind/​body split remains unchallenged even as the theory purports to erase it. All that changes, as Amy Cimini (2012) notes, is the amount of weight assigned to one side of the divide or the other. Worse still, this view limits the listener’s affective engagement with music to mere passive consumption, eliminating the body from actively constituting cognitive processes. The efficacy of affect in this model only works in one direction, propagating from the music as some magical excess riding the sonic waves in the hopes of finding a receptive warm body to attach itself to, to agitate and penetrate, to cause to stir or tremble. While at times interesting to read, in such accounts, new meanings, new hearings, new interpretations, and Lochheadian speculations are lost to an apparatus that simply cannot be generalized. In particular, there is no reciprocity between the sonic event and a situated listener, no passionate engagement on the part of the analyst, no “palpating” of the sonic environment as the receptive warm body attempts to make sense of what it hears. Against this negative definition, affects inhere in rhythm, duration, thematic and motivic materials—​but also in timbre, silence, dynamics, and articulation. Following Brinkema and turning to the term’s etymological roots (Latin affectus [“mental or emotional state or reaction”] and afficere [“to act upon”]), rather than a source → recipient transmission of which motion is a necessary condition, affect is a force that makes such motion possible without simultaneously making it predetermined. It is thus doubly active, insofar as the affective disposition alters the nature of the relationship between the nodes in a network, where every force is met with a counterforce—​ a response. I  already showed how repetition of the opening gesture in Hosokawa’s Vertical Time Study I acts in such a way that when we affirm it as repetition of process, we are able to hear the gesture as having undergone transformations from retentions to retentions-​of-​retentions, and beyond. As another illustration, consider the relationship between duration and silence. Periods filled with sound carry a different affective disposition toward the length of elapsed time from those filled with silence. The latter can feel longer or shorter than their objective length, depending on what is happening around them. Imagine, for example, how much more agonizing the opening of Andriessen’s De Tijd would be if it sounded more like something shown here in Example 6.5—​if the thirteen seconds it takes for the chord to change were nothing but an immense void spanning two sonic blips. But the force goes deeper than just a play of anticipation and realization, of surprise and discomfort, because, as a listener, you are not causally bound to experience

274  Enacting MusicAL Time Example 6.5  Louis Andriessen, De Tijd, opening measures recomposed (cf. Example 5.2).

these elements in a particular way, nor are silence and duration causally bound to act on each other. Because they are temporal objects—​that is, they necessarily disintegrate as they become past—​their bond is loose enough to stretch and contract, to twist, even to break altogether as the affective force folds back on itself. Silence can split from duration, can become revaluated such that it no longer bridges two sounds but the sounds reverberate within it. Silence, in other words, can attain expressivity by shedding its duration, by shedding its relation to sound. The possibility of revaluation is intrinsic to the elements themselves; it is one of these elements’ affordances. Which brings me to one final point: the body plays a constitutive role in thinking of affect as a musical form. As a fundamental opening onto the environment, an opening that is characterized by a philic or phobic orientation, an opening that secretes time as Being reaches over into Becoming and lets the latter intertwine with it, affect is a force with and through which we give form to music. At times, this affect can be identified with a concrete label—​ joy, anxiety, euphoria, irritation. But it can also remain as an unnamed quality, an experience—​to borrow from Benjamin Boretz (1992)—​without (the need for) a name. Regardless, affect is always enacted by a situated listener who realizes the potential inherent in the acoustical signal, who structures music by creating salient and meaningful events. Rather than uncoupling affective forms from subjective ones, perhaps it would be more constructive to find a sensible way of integrating them in our analyses. As I mentioned earlier, our current discourse around musical meanings and musical forms is influenced to a large extent by post-​structuralist views, which tend to highlight music’s multivalence, equivocality, and plenitude. To use Arnold Whittall’s (2001) term, we live in a world of “decentered heterogeneity,” in which to suggest an authoritative reading and affix a single formal category is tantamount to

Verticality  275 “violence.” I think that considering meaning in this excessive sense can be immensely profitable, especially as regards some of the more recent trends in music that I discussed throughout this book. And yet, in the process of listening, a singular meaning—​a unique, unrepeatable form—​does emerge, even if it involves multivalence and ambiguity, even if it is largely shaped by vague memories, gaps in attention, emotional vertigo, goosebumps, boredom, and all those other things, both joyful and commonplace, that happen when we listen to music. A turn to the body as a mechanism that gives an inimitable spatial and temporal form to this experience—​in other words, the body as an animate source of temporality—​offers one way of grounding our analytical and theoretical narratives while simultaneously allowing us to unleash our speculative potentialities as we co-​constitute the musical things that we value so much.

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Index For the benefit of digital users, indexed terms that span two pages(e.g., 52–​53) may, on occasion, appear on only one of those pages. Figures are indicated by f following the page number.   Abbate, Carolyn, 20 situation semantics model of, 64, 73, absolute difference, 139–​44 79–​80, 84–​85, 94–​96, 100,  101–​2 absolute time, 32–​33, 211–​12, 229, 236. social, 13, 47, 64, 72, 81–​82, 94 See also objective time vs. solicitations, 52–​53, 99–​100, 240 Adlington, Robert, 205–​7, 211–​14, 231–​32 temporal, 10, 13, 51, 53, 64, 72, 89, 96, aesthetic behavior, 72, 80, 82–​85, 89, 98, 101, 103 102, 130 and tendency, 193–​94 aesthetics, 78 agency, 137, 139, 150, 190–​91, 211, affect, 258. See also auto-​affection 231–​32,  244–​46 affectivity, 52–​53, 130, 173, 191–​92, air-​guitar-​playing, 49–​50,  67–​68 193–​94, 202–​3, 219,  238–​39 Almén, Byron, 8–​9 and the body of the listener, 258–​59 Altieri, Charles, 192–​93, 197–​200 and disposition, 193–​95, 201 Andriessen, Louis. See also Augustine of and emotion, 257, 257n18 Hippo; chronal anxiety; eternity; and the eternal return timelessness (Nietzsche),  257–​59 De Tijd, 14–​15, 188, 204–​5, 214, 218, and expectation, 200–​1 223, 230–​31, 271–​72, 273–​74, 274f and flesh, 173, 191–​92, 193–​94, 257 anticipation, 219–​23,  227–​28 and form, 232, 258–​59, 271–​73, 274–​75 anxiety. See also chronal anxiety and kinesthetic knowledge, 130, 140–​41 and the body, 216–​17 and music, 192–​93 and lived time, 218 and perception, 52–​53, 130, 193–​95, 201 and repetition, 258, 271–​72 and the present, 142, 202–​3 articulation, 145–​47, 180, 207–​10, and silence, 273–​74 212–​13,  220–​21 and solicitations, 101, 191–​92 and vertical time, 235–​36 and time, 99, 101, 142, 202–​3, 271–​72 Augustine of Hippo affordances, 13, 45, 55, 104, 110, 121, 169–​ chronal anxiety of, 216–​17, 218–​19, 71, 174, 228 227–​28,  237 and culture, 68–​69, 72, 77, 95–​96 on eternity, 213, 214 and flesh, 13–​14, 152–​54, 175 on time, 35n30 instrumental, 67, 70 auto-​affection, 155, 188, 193–​94, 200–​1, musical, 13, 67, 79–​80, 82–​83, 85, 94–​ 220–​21,  229 95, 102, 232–​33 autopoiesis, 191–​92. See also Maturana, and significance, 47–​49 Humberto  

300 Index Babbitt, Milton, 196 Philomel, 98 Bach, Johann Sebastian “Ach Gott, vom Himmel sieh darein,” 164, 164n11, 165f Partita No. 1 for Solo Violin (BWV 1001), 24, 25f, 26–​27,  29–​30 Partita No. 2 for Solo Violin (BWV 1004), 70 Bachelard, Gaston, 229 Bannon, Bryan, 172–​73 Barrett, Lisa Feldman, 257–​58 Barry, Barbara, 8–​9 Barsalou, Lawrence, 70–​71 Barthes, Roland, 56–​57 on the “grain” of sound, 72 Bateson, Gregory, 44–​45 beat classes, 31–​32 Beethoven, Ludwig van and form (for Schmalfeldt), 229–​31,  232–​33 Symphony No. 3 (“Eroica”) 221–​22, 222f Symphony No. 5, 86–​87, 86f Symphony No. 5 (as evoked in Forster’s Howards End), 104–​6, 105n2 “Tempest” Sonata, 232–​33 “Waldstein” Sonata, 159–​60 beginning before the beginning, 254–​55,  265–​66 Being and Becoming (and the gap between), 233, 238–​40, 241, 243, 248–​49, 262–​63. See also vertical time Benjamin, Walter, 166–​67 Bergman, Ingmar, 150–​51 Bergson, Henri, 10–​11, 166n12 Berio, Luciano, 64 Visage, 21 Birtwistle, Harrison Exody, 113–​17, 114f Blom, Jan Petter, 143n33 body, the. See also breath; kinesphere; kinesthetic knowledge; stillness and the acoustic signal, 70 agency of, 137, 139, 150, 190–​91, 211, 231–​32,  244–​46 analytical work of, 183 and anxiety, 216–​17

and the beat, 32 boundaries of, 177–​78 and cognition, 106–​7, 108–​9 “conjectural body” (James), 26n11 and contingency, 130, 159–​60, 161, 163,  201–​2 and culture, 107 cyborgs,  135–​36 and digital technology, 148–​53 history and, 135–​36 “I can” of, 155, 156, 161, 169, 170–​71,  176–​77 and ideology, 108 instrumental imitation of, 19–​20,  19n4 “kinetic body logos” (Sheets-​Johnstone),  127 lived, 109, 143–​44, 150, 152–​54, 171 and musical form, 270–​71 and musical meaning, 50, 106–​7 and musical significance, 47–​48 and musical time, 4–​5, 192–​93, 218,  274–​75 and the present, 140–​42 and prostheses, 108, 150–​51 quiver of, 188, 194–​95, 204–​5, 261–​62 and recordings, 19 and repetition, 40–​41 sacrifice of (for the enaction of musical time),  182–​83 schema, 100, 134–​36, 145–​47, 148, 176–​ 77, 190–​91,  257–​58 as “secreting” time (Merleau-​Ponty), 34–​35, 154–​55, 161, 169, 174, 175–​ 76, 181–​82, 184–​85, 188, 190–​91, 239, 241–​42,  274–​75 and the social, 131–​33 as subject, 19, 21–​22, 108–​9, 150, 155, 157, 161–​63, 171–​75, 182, 184–​85, 219, 227, 238–​39 and visual art (for Merleau-​Ponty), 156–​57, 156n7, 166–​67,  176–​77 and vulnerability, 194–​95 and the world (for Merleau-​Ponty), 158, 176–​77,  182 Bompas, Aline, 47–​48, 158 Boretz, Benjamin, 274–​75 Botstein, Leon, 89

Index  301 Boulez, Pierre, 89–​90 Le Marteau sans maître,  8–​9 on smooth and striated time, 2–​3 Bower, Matthew, 53, 130 breath, 57–​64, 96, 266–​67 aestheticization of, 62–​64 and air (as medium), 93 as boundary, 96–​97 and Clyne’s Roulette, 61–​64, 62f, 72, 96,  265–​66 control,  62–​64 as an “invisible poem” (Rilke), 57–​58 and Lachenmann’s temA, 58–​64,  100–​1 as life, 98–​99 as noise, 97–​98 and the Other, 98–​99 and proximity, 98–​99 and subjectivity, 98–​99 Brinkema, Eugenie, 258, 260, 272–​74 Brown, Earle, 232–​33 Brown, Eliza, 196 Brown, Nicholas, 69–​70 Burrows, David, 9 Butler, Judith, 270–​71   Cage, John, 89–​90 4′33′′, 84–​85,  102–​3 calendars, 1–​2,  150–​52 Carter, Elliott, 2–​3 Asko Concerto, 124f, 125–​26, 126f Certeau, Michel de, 248n10 Chemero, Anthony, 48–​49, 133. See also situation semantics model of affordances on the situation semantics model of affordances, 64, 74–​75, 75f chronal anxiety. See also anxiety in Andriessen’s De Tijd, 188, 218, 223,  230–​31 for Augustine, 216–​17, 218–​19, 227–​28 in Rokeby’s “Measure,” 150–​51 Cimini, Amy, 272–​73 Clarke, Eric, 47–​48, 67–​69, 72, 77–​78,  84–​85 Clément, Fabrice, 81–​82 Clifton, Thomas, 32–​33 clocks, 1–​2, 151–​52, 184, 207 “clock time,” 151n2, 151n3

in Rokeby’s “Measure,” 149, 150–​51,  184–​85 as “slaying” time (The Sound and the Fury), 184 Clyne, Anna Roulette, 61–​64, 62f, 72, 95–​96, 265–​66 cognition,  52–​54 embodied, 106–​7,  108–​9 kinesthetic knowledge as, 127 and Western tonality, 211–​12 Cohen, Richard, 31–​32 Colombetti, Giovanna, 191–​92 Cone, Edward T., 20 Connerton, Paul, 135–​36 consciousness, embodied, 39–​40 contingency and the affective model of verticality, 243 and the body, 130, 159–​60, 161, 163, 201–​2 and form, 232 and kinesthetic knowledge, 130, 159–​60,  161 and perception, 159–​60 of sound, 253–​54 convention cultural/​social, 79–​80, 82, 84–​85, 94, 101, 177–​78, 228 musical, 82–​83, 85, 266–​67 coordination, 120–​27, 135–​36, 139, 140, 142–​43. See also kinesthetic knowledge; synchronization and Andriessen’s De Tijd, 222–​23, 227 vs. synchronization, 120–​21, 219–​21 Cox, Arnie, 6, 111 Cross, Ian, 101 Crumb, George, 89–​90 Cumming, Naomi, 19, 20–​21, 22–​24 Currie, James, 182–​83 Czernowin, Chaya, 196   Dahlhaus, Carl, 229–​30, 231–​32, 260–​61 Dalí, Salvador, 150–​51 dancing and kinesthetic knowledge, 4–​5 as listener response, 49–​50, 72–​73, 89 modern, 6 plastique animée (Dalcroze), 89–​90 of robots, 105–​6

302 Index de Bézenac, Christophe, 67–​68 dehiscence, 38–​39, 141n31, 201–​2, 203, 219–​22, 243,  260–​61 Deleuze, Gilles, 97–​98 on active/​reactive forces, 256–​57 reading of Nietzsche’s “eternal return,” 251–​52,  256–​57 return of the return, 252, 255, 261–​62 De Lio, Thomas, 270–​71 Demers, Joanna, 78, 80, 84–​85 Depraz, Natalie, 193–​94 D’Errico, Mike, 95–​96 Derrida, Jacques, 78 “metaphysics of presence,” 140n29 Descartes, René, 29, 39 De Souza, Jonathan, 70–​71, 128, 137–​38,  139 Deutsch, Diana, 66–​67 Dewey, John on art and emotion, 258 on art and everyday forms, 43, 79–​80 on art and temporality, 79 on habits, 138n27 on life and coordination/​ synchronization, 79, 120 Dibben, Nicola, 87–​88 Dissanayake, Ellen, 120–​21 dissonance and vertical time, 244–​47 divergence. See écart (divergence) Dreyfus, Hubert, 47–​48, 100 Dreyfus, Stuart, 47–​48 Dufourcq, Annabelle, 201–​2 duration. See also silence; standstill long,  187–​88 and silence, 273–​74 Dyson, Frances, 30–​31, 64–​65   écart (divergence), 171–​73, 174–​75, 177–​ 78, 182–​83, 184–​85, 190–​91, 220–​21, 227, 229, 233, 238–​39, 241–​42, 243–​ 44, 248–​49, 261–​62, 265, 271–​72. See also Being and Becoming (and the gap between) Eiko and Koma, 189n1 Einstein, Albert, 30 emotion, 257–​58. See also affect

enaction/​enactment contextual, 13 of kinesthetic knowledge, 142–​43, 158–​59,  182 and lived time, 34 and musical time, 40, 102–​3, 211 and significance, 44–​45 of time, 143–​44, 145, 175–​76, 193,  203–​4 time as, 10–​12, 40–​41 entrainment, 91–​93, 112–​15, 117–​18, 142, 143–​44, 184,  222–​23 Epstein, David, 8–​9 eternal return (Nietzsche), 249–​52, 253–​ 54, 255–​57, 258–​63, 269–​70. See also eternity; Nietzsche, Friedrich; repetition eternity, 187, 214. See also Augustine of Hippo; eternal return; stillness; timelessness the eternal moment (for Andriessen),  205–​6 eternal return, 247 vs. timelessness, 207–​10, 213–​15, 251 expectation and affect, 200–​1 cultural, 53, 82 expecting the unexpected, 195–​96,  200–​2 and memory, 221–​22, 233–​35 and modernist music, 195–​96, 200–​1 and protentions, 202–​3 in vertical music, 236 and the Western tonal system, 211–​12   Faulkner, William, 184 Feldman, Morton, 263n20 Ferneyhough, Brian String Quartet No. 3, 121–​23, 122f, 142 Fischer, George, 183 flesh,  34–​35 and affect, 173, 191–​92, 193–​94, 257 and affordances, 13–​14, 152–​54, 175 and form, 269–​70 musical, 178, 179 and perception, 171, 172–​73

Index  303 and solicitations, 153–​54 sound as, 185 of time, 169, 184–​85 touching and being touched, 144n34, 161–​62,  171–​72 flow illusion of temporal, 239–​40, 241 musical, 32 sound as, 145 of time, 1, 2, 146–​47, 150–​51, 248 flux, 197 form absolutely new, 260–​61 and affect, 232, 258–​59, 271–​73, 274–​75 and contingency, 232 and the flesh of the listener, 269–​70 malleable, 229, 232–​33, 244–​46, 260–​63,  269 as a performative act, 270–​71 as a process of becoming (Schmalfeldt),  229–​33 process as, 231–​33, 260–​61, 262–​63 Forster, E. M., 104–​7, 105n2, 109 Foucault, Michel, 78 “docile bodies,” 117–​18 fragment, the, 197 Fraser, J. T., 237 Frey, Jürg “60 Pieces of Sound,” 24–​29, 32–​33,  271–​72 future, the as constituted both in and as the present,  221–​22 as “a quickening of what now is” (Dewey), 79 vertical time as without, 241–​42   Galileo Galilei, 29–​30, 154–​55 Gallagher, Shaun, 53, 110–​11, 130, 135,  194–​95 gasps in Clyne’s Roulette, 61–​64, 62f, 72, 96,  265–​66 gesture, 190–​91, 201 lack of in vertical music, 236 of sound, 266–​67 “sound-​producing” (Godøy), 69

Gibson, James J., 7. See also affordances on behavior (as affording behavior), 123n18 and morality, 46n43 spatial perceptual invariants, 91 on substance and utility, 93 theory of affordances, 10, 41, 45, 67, 82, 92–​93, 152–​53,  170–​71 Göckel, Anna, 26–​27 Godøy, Rolf Inge, 36n34, 69–​70, 86 Górecki, Henryk Symphony No. 3, 210–​11 Grant, Roger, 32 Griffiths, Paul, 210–​11 Grisey, Gérard, 2–​3, 177–​78, 219–​20 groove, 123n19, 128n20, 143n33 Grosz, Elizabeth, 40, 108, 109, 250 Guck, Marion, 50, 183   habit and action (for Dewey), 138n27 and kinesthetic knowledge, 129, 132–​ 33, 136–​39,  145–​47 and perception, 138–​39 and repetition, 255 in vertical time, 241 Hansen, Mark, 14, 135–​36, 188–​92, 189n1, 203–​4, 204n10, 226 Hasty, Christopher, 8–​9, 28–​29, 32–​33, 139, 145, 151n3, 177–​78, 181 Hatten, Robert, 8–​9, 14–​15 headbanging as listener response, 132, 133 Hegarty, Paul, 64–​65 Heidegger, Martin, 41n37, 45–​46, 130,  140–​41 Heller-​Roazen, Daniel, 56n1 Helm, Paul, 215 high-​speed cameras, 188–​91,  203–​4 hocket in Andriessen’s De Tijd, 207, 208f, 209f, 213 in Birtwistle’s Exody,  115–​17 horizontal time, 237, 238, 239, 240–​41, 243, 244, 246–​47, 248–​49, 250–​51, 258–​59, 261–​63, 267. See also vertical time

304 Index Hosokawa, Toshio, 233–​35, 237–​38, 243, 253–​55,  263–​67 Vertical Time Study I, 14, 233–​38, 253–​ 54, 255, 262, 268f, 269–​70, 269f Hulse, Brian, 232n4 Hume, David, 104 Huron, David, 195–​96, 197–​200, 233–​35 Husserl, Edmund. See also object: temporal; retention/​protention the lived body/​lived-​body exteriority, 109,  143–​44 model of time consciousness, 35–​38, 163–​64,  242–​43 on the present, 243 on the temporal object, 180–​82   immediacy, 244–​46, 245n8 impermanence in music (for Hosokawa), 237–​38 in Nietzsche’s thought, 249–​50 and the return, 253–​54 inactivity. See stillness Ingold, Tim, 80–​81, 130, 132–​33 intentionality, 5–​6, 36–​40, 64–​65, 175, 188–​91, 189n1, 204 “intentional arc” (Merleau-​Ponty), 72 motor, 38–​40, 123n19 Irigaray, Luce, 172–​73, 177–​78 isochrony,  92–​93   Jacoby, Nori, 137, 137f James, Robin, 26n11 Jaques-​Dalcroze, Émile,  89–​90 Jensenius, Alexander Refsum, 187 Johnson, Julian, 105 joy and Nietzsche’s “eternal return,” 256–​57,  259–​62 and silence, 267 Judas Priest “Painkiller,” 132, 133   Kane, Brian, 66, 263n20 Käufer, Stephan, 133 Kaufmann, Laurence, 81–​82 Kerman, Joseph, 78 kinesphere, 48, 48n45 kinesthetic knowledge, 4–​5, 13, 106–​7, 109, 112, 127, 144, 152–​53, 183, 228, 231–​33

and affect, 130, 140–​41 as cognition itself, 127 and contingency, 130, 159–​60, 161 and habit, 129, 132–​33, 136–​39, 145–​47 as intercorporeal, 131–​33 and listening, 128, 211 and lived time, 139, 144 and perception, 158–​60, 161, 168–​69,  170–​71 as a process of production, 121–​23 and synchronization/​ coordination,  219–​20 vs. tacit knowledge, 129 “truth value” of, 131 and valence, 194–​95 knowledge. See also kinesthetic knowledge “tacit knowledge” (Polanyi), 128–​29n21,  129 Kramer, Jonathan, 8–​9, 28–​29, 211–​12, 233–​37, 235–​36n5, 250,  262–​63 Kramer, Lawrence, 78 Kristeva, Julia, 78 Krueger, Joel, 72–​73   Laban, Rudolf, 48, 48n45 Lachenmann, Helmut, 26, 181–​82 musique concrète instrumentale, 58, 254 temA, 58–​64, 72, 91–​92, 100–​1 Landes, David, 109n7 Langer, Susan, 7–​8, 42, 43, 151n3, 258 language and musical meaning, 105 and reality, 172–​73 and survival, 239n6 and thought, 243 Laqueur, Thomas, 107 Lehman, Frank, 210–​11 Leipert, Trent, 196 Levinas, Emmanuel, 98–​99 Lewin, David, 179–​81, 244–​46 Leys, Ruth, 257n18 listeners and coordination, 123–​25 and the creation/​altering of musical form/​structure, 50, 232, 238, 260–​61, 267–​71,  274–​75 and the creation of time, 42–​43 embodied, 40 and the enactment of time, 203–​4, 219

Index  305 encultured (and musical meaning), 53 and expectation, 195–​96, 260–​61 and performer, 20–​22 as (quasi-​)performer (in Rokeby’s “Measure”), 185–​86,  230–​31 and the revaluation of musical material,  229–​31 and “sound-​producing gestures” (Godøy), 69 and (the expectation of) stillness, 6, 89–​90,  183–​84 listening as an act of production (Voeglin),  111–​12 consciousness,  179–​80 and memory, 238 lived time, 7, 10–​11, 33, 65–​66, 169, 176–​ 77, 184–​85, 203, 228 and anxiety, 218 asymmetry of, 202–​3 as fragile, 194–​96, 218 as immeasurable, 185 and kinesthetic knowledge, 139, 144 and meter, 142–​43 and music/​musical meaning, 42–​43, 102,  106–​7 and openness to unpredictability, 201–​2 as a single experience of a continually changing present, 38–​39 and vertical time, 233 and vitality, 190–​91 Lochhead, Judy, 6, 53, 111–​12, 183, 265,  270–​71 London, Justin, 91–​93, 112–​13, 142   ma, 264–​65. See also écart; Hosokawa, Toshio: Vertical Time Study I; silence Mann, Thomas, 29–​30 Margulis, Elizabeth, 66, 252, 264n22 Marratto, Scott, 140, 140n29, 155, 157–​58,  159–​60 materiality of breath, 59–​61, 100–​1 of instruments, 70–​71 and noise, 64–​65 of sound, 57–​58, 70 Maturana, Humberto, 191. See also autopoiesis McAdams, Stephen, 269–​70

McClary, Susan, 78, 108 McDermott, Josh, 137, 137f McGregor, Wayne AtaXia,  117–​19 McNeill, William, 49–​50, 112–​13 Mead, Andrew, 6 medium,  93–​95 memory. See also retention/​protention and action, 137–​38 and cognition, 110 cultural, 135–​36, 137–​38, 139 and expectation, 221–​22, 233–​35 kinesthetic, 136, 137–​38, 139 and listening, 238, 252–​53 and musical significance, 47–​48 and the past, 180, 259–​60 primary/​secondary (Husserl), 36,  242–​43 and timescale (in Andriessen’s De Tijd), 226 Merleau-​Ponty, Maurice, 7, 13–​14, 36–​39,  48 “auto-​affection,” 155, 188, 193–​94, 200–​ 1, 220–​21, 229 on being our bodies, 108–​9, 109n7, 155n6,  161–​62 “body schema,” 135, 135n25, 137–​38, 176–​77, 190–​91,  257–​58 on consciousness, 39–​40 “dehiscence” of the present toward the future, 38–​39, 141n31, 201–​2, 203, 219–​22, 243,  260–​61 écart (divergence), 171–​73, 174–​75, 177–​78, 182–​83, 184–​85, 190–​91, 220–​21, 227, 229, 233, 238–​39, 241–​42, 243–​44, 248–​49, 261–​62, 265,  271–​72 “flesh,” 13–​14, 34–​35, 152–​54, 171–​78, 179, 191–​92, 193–​94, 219–​20, 238–​ 39, 240, 243, 257 on habits (and the body schema), 138 on the “intentional arc,” 72 on language, 243 on lived time, 10–​11, 36–​40 “maximum grip” on the world, 47–​48, 162–​63,  174 on movements of the body and the tactile world, 134 on music, 177–​78

306 Index Merleau-​Ponty, Maurice (cont.) on objective time, 4–​5, 151–​52 on the “original temporality,” 146–​47 on perception, 170–​71 on perspective, 160 on the present (“upsurge”), 33–​34, 92–​ 93, 140–​43, 140n29, 164–​67 on the “pure past” (and our lack of access to it), 180 and the “secretion of time,” 34–​35, 154–​55, 161, 169, 174, 175–​76, 181–​82, 184–​85, 188, 190–​91, 239, 241–​42,  274–​75 on “spatiality of situation,” 140–​41 “style,” 38–​39, 148, 166–​69, 174, 182–​83,  248–​49 on temporal consciousness (after Husserl), 163–​67,  242–​43 on time as a network of intentionalities, 5–​6, 36–​40,  175 on “true time,” 151–​52 on “vertical or wild Being,” 240, 247–​48,  261–​63 on visual art (and the body), 156–​57, 156n7, 166–​67,  176–​77 Messiaen, Olivier Quatuor pour la fin de temps,  210–​11 meter, 142–​44. See also entrainment as an aesthetic activity of organizing musical flow, 32 and entrainment, 91–​92, 112–​13, 142 as a grid, 32 hypermeter (in Andriessen’s De Tijd),  224–​26 and lived time, 142–​43 vs. rhythm, 7–​9, 8n6 Metzer, David, 197, 264n22 Meyer, Leonard B., 128, 233–​35 Meyer-​Kalkus, Reinhart, 238 micro-​listening,  14 Miller, Elaine, 260–​61 Milstein, Nathan, 26–​27 Mintz, Shlomo, 26–​27 modernity and musical meaning, 105 Morgan, Robert, 7–​8, 28–​29 Moshaver, Maryam, 179–​81, 244–​46 motion-​capture technology, 6, 113–​15, 125, 149, 187. See also Rokeby, David

Mozart, Leopold, 19–​20, 20n5 Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus Symphony No. 40, K. 550, 24, 25f, 26–​27,  29–​30 Muldoon, Mark, 30–​31 Munster, Anna, 149–​50 muscular bonding, 49–​50, 112–​13. See also McNeill, William music vs. the acoustical signal, 51, 102 and affect, 192–​93 as artifact, 71 as a cultural memory, 136 and expectation, 195–​96, 200–​1 as fixed, 22–​24 “motor potentialities” of (Krueger),  72–​73 and noise, 55–​57, 62–​67, 83–​84, 100–​1 speech as, 66–​67 as a technology, 135–​36, 228 as a temporal art, 2, 7–​8, 28–​29 as a temporal object, 181–​82 as time, 53 as without boundary between self and non-​self,  177–​78 musical time, 2–​3, 4–​5, 9, 40, 53–​54, 151n3, 236, 262–​63   nature and culture (for Gibson), 80–​81 and mathematics, 55–​56 Neuwirth, Olga Clinamen/​Nodus, 196–​200, 198f New Musicology, 78 Newton, Isaac, 29–​30, 32 Ngai, Sianne, 99n32, 257 Nietzsche, Friedrich, 250n11 eternal return, 249–​52, 253–​54, 255–​57, 258–​63,  269–​70 and joy, 256–​57, 259–​62 on time, 249–​51 and the will, 256–​57, 259–​61 Noë, Alva, 130 noise,  55–​58 aestheticization of, 62–​64 breathing as a special kind of, 57–​58 and intentionality, 64–​65 and music, 55–​57, 62–​67, 83–​84, 100–​1 as a relational concept (Novak), 64–​65

Index  307 Noland, Carrie, 132–​33 Nonken, Marilyn, 67–​68 Nonnenmann, Rainer, 58 Norman, Andrew “Susanna” (from The Companion Guide to Rome), 16–​22, 26–​29, 32–​33, 62–​ 64, 100–​1,  266–​67 now, the. See also present, the the frame of, 145–​46 and high-​speed recording, 188–​91,  203–​4 lack of (in objective time), 29–​30 and music (for Burrows), 9 “now-​phase” (Husserl),  35–​36 a series of isolated “nows,” 33–​34, 36–​ 38, 163, 167–​68, 243 and solicitation, 99 and temporal affordance, 90   object musical, 18, 21–​22, 23f, 180 process as, 27–​28, 32–​33 temporal, 36–​38, 179 transcendence of the aesthetic, 244–​46 objective time, 10–​11, 14–​15, 29–​34, 151–​52, 154n5, 190–​91. See also absolute time benefits of, 30–​32 and response, 48–​49 Ōhashi, Ryōsuke, 265 olfactory sensation, 5–​6 omphalic calibration, 220–​23, 227–​28 O’Regan, J. Kevin, 47–​48, 130, 158 organization. See also meter self-​,  191 time as organizer, 1–​2   Pärt, Arvo St. John Passion,  210–​11 perception,  47–​48 and affect, 52–​53, 130, 193–​95, 201 and “against-​ness,” 170–​71,  173–​74 and contingency, 159–​60 as a cultural skill (Ingold), 80–​81 and the enaction of time, 175–​76 of the explicit and implicit, 164–​67, 169–​70, 175, 176–​77, 182, 201 and flesh, 171, 172–​73 and habit, 138–​39

and kinesthetic knowledge, 158–​60, 161, 168–​69,  170–​71 and movement, 157–​60, 164–​66 and the “not-​yet,” 168–​69, 170–​71, 181–​82,  219–​20 reality-​based (for Gibson), 69 temporal dynamics of, 160, 161 periodicity, 91–​93. See also entrainment; synchronization and synchronization, 91–​92, 112–​15, 142–​44, 143n32,  219–​20 Planck time, 30–​31 Polanyi, Michael, 128–​29n21, 129, 161. See also tacit knowledge possession,  247–​48 of process, 261–​63 of time, 248, 249, 255, 262–​63 predictability. See also entrainment; expectation; periodicity; synchronization and social behavior, 81–​82 and synchronization, 120, 143–​44 presence bodily (Cumming), 20 as construct, 20 present, the. See also dehiscence; écart (divergence); now, the and absence, 178 and affect, 142, 202–​3 as containing past and future (Merleau-​ Ponty’s “upsurge”), 33–​34, 92–​93, 140–​43, 140n29,  164–​67 and écart (divergence), 174–​75 and the enactment of a musical cultural moment, 139 and eternity (for Augustine), 215–​17 as expanded/​extended in Andriessen’s De Tijd, 212–​13, 219 as expanded/​extended with the help high-​speed recording, 188–​91,  203–​4 as expanded/​extended in “vertical music” (Kramer), 236 and the future, 221–​22 as imprinted on the past, 180, 259–​60 as infinitely recurring (and joy), 260 and memory/​expectation, 221 musical, 140 in “true time” (Merleau-​Ponty),  151–​52

308 Index process as form, 231–​33, 260–​61, 262–​63 musical (and temporality), 181 as object, 27–​28, 32–​33 possession of, 261–​63 repetition as a return of, 252–​53, 254, 267,  273–​74 and temporality, 9, 26–​29, 139 protention/​retention. See retention/​ protention purity, 197–​200 Pythagoras, 55–​57, 101   referentiality,  22–​24 Reich, Steve Violin Phase, 236 repetition. See also eternal return and the acquisition of symbolic meaning in bodily expressions, 40–​41 in Andriessen’s De Tijd, 227–​28,  271–​72 and anxiety, 258, 271–​72 for Deleuze (in Nietzsche’s “eternal return”), 251 and difference in “Gretchen am Spinnrade,”  252–​53 and habit, 255 and joy, 260, 261–​62 and the new (Brinkema), 260–​61 and the return to the past, 29 as a return of process, 252–​53, 254, 267,  273–​74 in Rokeby’s “Measure,” 149–​50 and social behavior/​convention, 81–​82 and speech-​to-​song illusion,  66–​67 as taking music “out of time” (Margulis), 252 of time, 249, 262–​63 and verticality, 248–​49 response and experience (Huron), 197–​200 and objective time, 48–​49 vs. reaction, 48–​50 retention/​protention, 35–​36, 36n34, 163–​ 69, 174–​75, 184, 190–​91, 194–​95, 202–​3, 219–​20, 221–​22, 242–​43, 252–​ 53, 273–​74. See also memory rhythm vs. meter, 7–​9, 8n6

and pitch, 31–​32 and Pythagoras, 56 and speech, 66 and time’s measurability, 207–​10 Rilke, Rainer Maria, 57–​58 Roholt, Tiger, 123n19, 143n33 Rokeby, David “Measure” (from Very Nervous System [VNS]), 149–​53, 183–​86, 219 Romdenh-​Romluc, Komarine, 169 Rosch, Eleanor, 110 Rosenberg, David, 1–​2 Rowell, Lewis, 4–​5   Saariaho, Kaija, 196 L’Amour de loin, 166–​67, 167f,  168–​69 Schaeffer, Pierre, 65–​66 Schmalfeldt, Janet, 229–​32, 260–​61 Schubert, Franz “Gretchen am Spinnrade,” D.118, 252–​ 53, 252n15, 253f Sciarrino, Salvatore, 97–​98 semantic satiation, 66. See also speech semiotic play, 20–​21 Shaviro, Steven, 97–​98 Sheets-​Johnstone, Maxine, 127, 141–​42, 161, 193 significance, 41, 42 and affordances, 47–​49 music’s, 7–​8, 13, 42, 47–​49, 52, 82–​83,  143–​44 as time, 41, 43 silence, 264n22 as an aesthetic ideal of modernist composers (Metzer), 197 and affect, 273–​74 and duration, 273–​74 in Frey’s “60 Pieces of Sound,” 24–​26 in Hosokawa’s Vertical Time Study I, 233–​35, 253–​54, 255,  263–​67 and joy, 267 as a musical thing, 265–​66 and performance decorum, 97 situation semantics model of affordances, 64, 73, 79–​80, 84–​85, 94–​96, 100,  101–​2 solicitations,  169–​71 and affect, 101, 191–​92

Index  309 vs. affordances, 52–​53, 99–​100, 240 and flesh, 153–​54 and music, 152–​53 spasm, 190–​91, 201 spectatorship vs. participation, 4–​5 speech and music/​song,  66–​67 in Pärt’s St. John Passion,  210–​11 standstill, 187–​91,  266–​67 and micro-​movement, 188–​91, 204 as replete with tension, 187 sonorous (in Andriessen’s De Tijd), 204–​5, 219,  224–​26 Sterne, Jonathan, 246 Stiegler, Bernard, 111–​12 stillness. See also standstill and death, 217–​18 and eternity (for Augustine), 215–​18, 227–​28,  237 and kinesthetic knowledge, 4–​5, 136 while listening (as social convention), 6, 89–​90,  183–​84 performer (in Hosokawa’s Vertical Time Study I), 233–​35,  266–​67 temporal, 207, 217 Stockhausen, Karlheinz, 2–​3, 182–​83 Stimmung, 187–​88, 204, 236–​37 Stravinsky, Igor, 2–​3 The Rite of Spring,  117–​19 subjective time, 34–​35 subjectivity and the body, 19, 21–​22, 108–​9, 150, 155, 157f, 161–​63, 171–​75, 182, 184–​ 85, 219, 227, 238–​39 and breath, 98–​99 and kinesthetic knowledge, 131–​32, 133, 140–​41, 143–​44, 145 and the present, 140 surface contact, 171–​72, 174–​75, 176–​78, 240 as the interface between media and substances, 93 synchronization, 112, 135–​36, 139, 140, 142–​44. See also coordination; kinesthetic knowledge and Andriessen’s De Tijd,  222–​23 as a boundary concept, 118–​19

vs. coordination, 120–​21, 219–​21 as essential to human existence, 117–​18 and ethics, 117–​18 mean negative asynchrony, 48–​49,  220–​21 and periodicity, 91–​92, 112–​15, 142–​44, 143n32,  219–​20

  tacit knowledge, 128–​29n21, 129, 161. See also Polanyi, Michael tapping, finger-​/​foot-​, 49–​50, 72–​73, 83–​84,  89 and the contact surface, 174–​75 in Howards End, 105–​6, 109, 127 and kinesthetic knowledge, 4–​5, 106–​7, 109, 112, 127, 146–​47 tendency, 193–​95, 201 Thompson, Evan, 110 time. See also eternity; lived time; vertical time and the abandonment of self, 152–​53 and affect, 99, 101, 142, 202–​3, 271–​72 ceasing of (via trance), 178 “clock time,” 151n2, 151n3 crisis of, 188 as enaction, 10–​12, 40–​41 and flesh, 173–​74, 239 as the fourth dimension, 29–​30, 248 as infinite (for Nietzsche), 250 lifeless, 184 “linear” vs. “nonlinear” (Kramer), 8–​9, 235–​36, 235–​36n5 as measurement, 92–​93 and motion, 30–​31 musical, 2–​3, 4–​5, 9, 40, 53–​54, 151n3, 236,  262–​63 objective, 10–​11, 14–​15, 29–​34, 48–​49, 151–​52, 154n5,  190–​91 as organizer, 1–​2 and the Other, 99 possession of, 248, 249, 255, 262–​63 as “a pre-​existing condition,” 211 “real,”  150–​51 as relational, 179 as a river, 1, 38–​39 as “secreted,” 34–​35, 154–​55, 161, 169, 174, 175–​76, 181–​82, 184–​85, 188, 190–​91, 239, 241–​42,  274–​75

310 Index time (cont.) speed of, 29 subjective,  34–​35 thickness of, 33–​34, 36, 145, 163, 164, 169 the timeline, 1–​2, 4–​5, 29–​30 “time-​scapes,”  98–​99 “true time” (Merleau-​Ponty), 151–​52 timelessness,  211–​13 vs. eternity, 207–​10, 213–​15, 251 evoked in Andriessen’s De Tijd, 205–​6, 207–​10, 211–​13, 218–​19,  231–​32 evoked in Messiaen’s Quatuor pour la fin de temps,  210–​11 evoked in Pärt’s St. John Passion,  210–​11 musical representations of, 29, 207–​10 and verticality/​vertical music, 236, 240–​41,  244–​46 Todes, Samuel, 121–​23 Tomkins, Silvan, 52–​53 touch and kinship between the body and the world (Merleau-​Ponty), 176–​77, 182 touching and being touched, 144n34, 161–​62,  171–​72 Trochimczyk, Maja, 210–​11 Tsimané tribe, 137   valence, 53, 130, 194–​96, 200–​1, 203 van der Kamp, John, 74–​75 Varela, Francisco J., 14, 110, 191, 193–​95 vertical time, 211–​12, 232–​38, 247–​49, 253–​55, 258–​59, 261–​62. See also Being and Becoming (and the gap between); horizontal time; Hosokawa, Toshio: Vertical Time Study I and dissonance, 244–​47 and habit, 241 and horizontal time, 243, 244, 261–​62,  267

as inhabiting the gap between Being and Becoming (Wiskus), 240–​41 and lived time, 233 as “our own time,” 240–​41, 246–​48,  256–​57 vertical music, 236–​37 as without future, 241–​42 Vila, Pablo, 192–​93 Viola, Bill, 188–​89 vitality,  188–​91 and body schema, 190–​91 and lived time, 190–​91 Voeglin, Salome, 111–​12 voice, the and strings (singing violins), 19–​20,  19n4   Wambacq, Judith, 173–​74 Wandelweiser group, 24–​26. See also Frey, Jürg Webern, Anton Quartet Op. 22, 8–​9 Weiss, Gail, 177 Whitehead, Alfred North, 145 Whittall, Arnold, 274–​75 will, 256–​57,  259–​61 Windsor, W. Luke, 67–​68 Wiskus, Jessica, 239n6, 239, 243–​46 on music as “inhabiting” time, 181–​82 on music and the listener, 178n22, 182n32,  243–​46 on vertical time, 240–​41, 243–​47 Withagen, Rob, 74–​75 Witkiewicz, Stanisław Ignacy, 187 Woodruff, Ghofur Eliot, 101   Yoshioka, Airi, 264–​65   Zbikowski, Lawrence, 6, 7–​8, 79–​80,  135–​36 Zuckerkandl, Victor, 28–​29