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Wednesday, January 16
The Music Mann

The late great German novelist Thomas Mann has been celebrated for his explorations of time—its ability to speed up and slow down in a sort of life-rubato, its tendency to switch gears, to drift and drag and fly by all at once. Some readers, myself included, have reported feeling this very sense of time shifting…

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Monday, December 24
Music’s Spatial Revolution, Headphones, and the Musical Artist as Architect

Throughout history, music has generally been understood as that art that operates through the medium of time. This is in contradistinction to the visual arts, which, for the greater duration of Western philosophical and aesthetic culture, were conceived of as spatial forms that mimetically represented a divine and ordered Nature. We can think of Da…

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Sunday, December 23
Breaking Up Time

When we make music, we get to decide how to break up time. Time becomes our clay.  Here’s how you mold it.   The way a musician divides time—how one delineates the musical space—is consistent with the way he or she sees the world. So first, decide how you see the world.   One of…

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Thursday, December 20
I Still Quite Like Some Of Your Early Stuff: Bob Dylan, the Pet Shop Boys, and the Art of the Dinosaur Album

Elsewhere in this zine, you’ll find my reviews of Bob Dylan’s Tempest and the Pet Shop Boys’ Elysium. Neither of them are enthusiastic, both of them are generous in spirit, but neither of them has much to say. That’s because it isn’t necessary to say much about these records: each of them conform to their…

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Tuesday, December 18
Music and Memory

The piano nocturne filtered quietly through my computer speakers, its notes rising and ebbing shyly back again. My suitemate Angela hummed appreciatively, leaning back against the wall and closing her eyelids lightly. “My sister played this piece on the piano,” she told me, opening her eyes. “I miss my family. The last time I heard…

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