Theses Doctoral

Temporal Plane Shifting and Suspended Time in Something Like Your Lagrangian Point and Nothing Never Always Sometimes Changes

Praetorius, Emily

This paper explores the compositional method of “temporal plane shifting” used to evoke states of suspended time in two of my compositions, Something Like Your Lagrangian Point (2019), for two pianists and two percussionists, and Nothing Never Always Sometimes Changes (2021) for alto flute/piccolo, tenor saxophone, violin, cello, and piano. Temporal plane shifting involves overlaying musical material of unrelated tempi—what I call “temporal planes”—to create an experience of time that parallels being in two different locations or states at once. I argue that this creates the feeling of “suspended time.”

This paper begins with an overarching theory that, because our conceptions of time are bound with our conceptions of motion, states of entrainment are thus felt as locations in space. This argument is then expanded to explain the reasoning behind suspended time as the sensation of being in two locations at once. The rest of the paper uses the aforementioned pieces to explore how temporal planes are composed by way of instrumental juxtaposition, rhythmic juxtaposition, material limitation, and gestural repetition, and ends with a discussion of future considerations for the expansion of temporal plane composition.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Di Castri, Zosha
D.M.A., Columbia University
Published Here
June 28, 2023