Analyzing Perceived Time: A Husserlian Study of Temporal-Consciousness in GÃ©rard Grisey's Vortex Temporum and Morton Feldman's Triadic Memories
Cobb, Nathan Alexander
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This essay explores the varying effects of music on the temporal perception of listeners by closely analyzing two 20th century works: GÃ©rard Grisey’s Vortex Temporum and Morton Feldman’s Triadic Memories. Although representative of vastly different compositional styles, these two composers are alike in their preoccupation with time as a compositional element and thus provide a valuable opportunity to evaluate temporal perception in two unique musical contexts. My approach is threefold: 1) I begin with an exposition of Edmund Husserl’s structure of time-consciousness in order to provide the necessary philosophical framework within which the subjective experience of listeners can be accurately described; 2) I analyze Grisey’s Vortex Temporum I & II and explore the phenomenon of compressed and dilated time, specifically in light of the composer’s conception of the harmonic spectrum as an object with inherent temporal qualities; 3) I analyze Morton Feldman’s Triadic Memories as exemplary of a highly recursive musical context that, although dependent upon a single musical object for its entire duration, lacks locatable, surface-level referents.
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