There are few texts which delve beyond a superficial examination of how we experience temporality in experimental music, even though it is precisely this area of music which provides such radically unique temporal experiences for listeners. In a highly accesable format using case studies, Being Time employs an ongoing dialogue to examine in depth how various compositional concerns within experimental and minimal musics affect our sense of time and duration. Various theoretical viewpoints inform the dialogue, but the phenomenological lineage from Husserl, through Merleau-Ponty to Clifton infuses the discussion to provide experiential arguments, rather than abstracted hypotheses.
An introductory chapter on experimental music is followed by studies of individual composers and artists such as Morton Feldman, Manfred Werder, Bernhardt Günter, Richard Chartier, La Monte Young and Toshiya Tsunoda which are embedded in the continuing discourse, along with issues of perception and memory in experimental music.
Being Time promotes deep, considered thought on the radical natures of our personal experience of temporality when listening to contemporary experimental approaches to composition and performance, and consequently promoting the participatory qualities of the listener in the act of music-making.