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Musical Temporalities and Complex Rhythm as Ways of Coexistence with Nature in John Luther Adams’s Inuksuit
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Culture and Aesthetics.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7234-7703
2019 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

One of the major global issues of our time is undeniably the ongoing war on nature and the environmental damage continuously encouraged by modern society. This paper investigates the potential in contemporary art music not only to raise awareness of environmental issues, but also to incite listeners to experience an ethical principle of nature through music by tuning in to nature’s rhythmic temporalities.

American composer John Luther Adams’s work Inuksuit (2009) for nine to ninety-nine percussionists is generally regarded as a political environmental piece. It is to be performed in the outdoors, and one of its incitements is to question what it means for humans to immerse themselves in the sounds of nature through music. At a first listening, though, the music encourages a sense of great violence and destruction, which goes against an intuitive understanding of coexistence. The music gradually shuts out all natural sounds, and with an increasing rhythmic complexity it builds toward a complete cacophony of sound – has man, yet again, taken control over nature? However, through closer attention to rhythmic details and the insides of the musical structure a way of coexistence is made evident. Through Deleuzo-Guattarian notions of time, rhythm and nature, the music reveals a recognition of nature’s smooth, non-pulsed temporalities, as such envisaging a way of coexistence with nature by tuning in to its multiplicity of complex rhythms.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
Keywords [en]
contemporary music, nature, Deleuze, rhythm, temporality, John Luther Adams
National Category
Musicology
Research subject
Musicology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-177659OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-177659DiVA, id: diva2:1383169
Conference
Deleuze/Guattari Studies in Asia: 7th International Conference, Tokyo, Japan, June 21-23, 2019
Available from: 2020-01-07 Created: 2020-01-07 Last updated: 2020-01-08Bibliographically approved

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