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The music of the Temporalists Paperback – January 13, 2015
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Although ostensibly a theoretical text, Pogoriloffsky's book employs a fictional narrative in order to transport the reader to a place where their assumptions might be experienced without bias. As the book's protagonist, he is initiated in the world of the 'Temporalists' in a manner reminiscent of Borges. Here, the reader encounters a world that mirrors ours, albeit with some important musical differences. In taking this imagined world to the realm of the absurd, Pogoriloffsky creates a vehicle for understanding a specific idea in our world.
-- Sean Lowry
Pogorilowski's musical conceptions clearly come across as hard earned, serious and very well considered. The man has really done his homework, and the book's accompanying bibliography could keep you reading for a good couple of years. It offers a great resource. Pogorilowski's contribution adds a systematic bent that might encourage & enable musicians to more deliberately cultivate time in new ways in their own work. --
Very thoroughly researched and well presented. This book opens up a world of, as yet, untapped compositional possibilities. If nothing else, the authors exhaustive research into the psychological perception of music, rhythm and tempo, makes this book worth a read. The theoretical discipline of western 'classical' music is perhaps a little guilty of having focussed too much on the harmony side of music with a distinct lack of treatises on rhythm, tempo and time. Here's one book that seeks to address the balance.
-- Cliff Bradley (composer)
This interesting book describes a journey into a parallel world that is populated with humans who just happened to have cultivated music as "the art of time" and not as "the art of sounds". It's a fascinating fantasy world sure to engage any musician or music learner!
-- Eugene Cantera
(dlp Music Program)
Every now and then a creative different look at something we think we really know comes along. "The music of the Temporalists" book qualifies in the different-creative-way category of music theory books.
-- Mark Polishook (pianist)
Within an imaginary frame an alternative to the classical bar-rhythm theory is proposed, based on an empirical study of key phenomena of temporal discretization, including entrainment, chunking, subjective accentuation, pulsatory inertia, and temporal gap perception. --
Jadranka Vazanova (Senior editor - Répertoire International de Littérature Musicale)
What if Western music understanding was developed to emphasize pulse and tempi rather than melodies and harmonies? What if there were a common, constructed understood speeds or tempos at the same level as octave division into twelve equal intervals, carved in stone of Bach's "The Well-Tempered Clavier"? This has André Pogoriloffsky tried to find out in the fresh book "The Music of the Temporalists".
-- Maja Solveig Kjelstrup Ratkje
The author clearly has a strong, idiosyncratic thesis underlying his work; however, it painfully lacks the skills to organize and elaborate his vision with clarity or cohesion.
-- Charles Pope Jr.
(ConcertoNet – www.concertonet.com/scripts/livres.php?ID_cd=3648)
This book is worth reading. Unique and highly creative, the author blends investigative music theory with fiction in an arresting way.
-- Franklin Stöver (Composer/Orchestrator/Lexicographer)
What is fascinating about the “Music of the Temporalists” is the fact that it might be the first truly musical imaginary novel in the history of literature. As a literary experiment this is a unique and wondrous experience to read.
-- Moritz Eggert (Neue Musikzeitung)
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The protagonist André is initiated in the world of the Temporalists, which strongly resembles ours, but with some important differences. A guide, Jean- Philippe, explains everything to André who has, as a chosen one, the task to inform us afterwards about the Temporalists.
In this case the subject of his information are the 'mirrored' music rules of the Temporalists. In the Temporalist world the focus of regulation is not the sequential progression of harmony, but the framing of rhythm, or better the duration of sound. Our church modes are reversed into 'temporal scales' based on different time grids. In order to appreciate the chapters with these explanations a knowledge of western harmony is required, otherwise the whole point makes little sense. Pogoriloffsky presents a clever theory - in fact a fantasy - and takes a lot of trouble to ground it on western scientific research on music perception. Whether he really has a point or not is in my view rather irrelevant. The fact that the division in time and tempo falls behind the complexity of harmonic rules in our human world makes clear that we (western) humans apparently have no need for more rules or habits on time divison. The temporalist emphasis on time reminds us of African ways on dealing with tempo and cross-rhythms, which is indeed a neglected part in western music.
What really made this book so enjoyable is the humor with which Pogoriloffsky takes the consequences of his imagined world into the realm of the absurd. The Temporalists language is a reflection of their focus on time division. The sound of phonemes is therefore irrelevant, which results in the continually changing name of André's second informant, Herr Professor Schneiderzeit, Schumpfel, Schönemülerin etc.
Or take the Temporalist 'rain-game', that is played by listening to the rainfall on the roof. The irregular falling drops create sequences that are interpreted as 'words', like coffee dregs in our society. There is a hilaric passage about the Finnish language, and the way our hero introduces the habit of smoking to the Temporalists, immediately resulting in addicted 'hippy blowers' on the campus. Breathtakingly funny is the last chapter about André's farewell party, when strapped in a kind of electric chair (he must apparently leave by dying), he is forced to listen to the Temporalists interpretations of 'our' western music.
Although Pogorilloffsky states in the beginning that his book is not to be read as literature or science fiction, for me this was the case. By presenting to us an alternative society with different rules and strivings, the reader gets the opportunity to look at his own world from a different perspective. And that is what art is about: to present an idea of the possible, and enlarge our habits of thinking.