Canadians explain to Americans who work at NASA the very approximate meaning of Rubber Time

Subject: Canadians explain to Americans who work at NASA the very approximate meaning of Rubber Time
From: Eliot Handelman (
Date: Mon Oct 10 2005 - 20:03:09 EDT

Dear Americans who work at Nasa,

Classical music is a kind of "rhythmically discrete" music -- that is,
most rhythms are made with a
very small set of rhythmic proportions. In new music we have the freedom to
make rhythms with any proportion.

We can create, for instance, the "speeding ratchet" effect where
pulse-sizes are determined by some
restitutive multiplicand. Prior to the computer, we'd have to rely on
guiros and such, largely
non-notatable instruments.

With the computer we are creating a new rhythmic physics. It may or may
not reflect our
instincts about sound in the real world, as the speeding ratchet effect

My model for thinking about these possibilities is cartoons, like Tex
Avery or Ren and Stimpy. These
cartoons are about transitions between something that is like a human
being and something that
is like a demonstration of physics, eg, an evil cat scrunched up into a
ball bouncing from wall to wall, with
parts of him trying to catch up, etc.

Music is about the movement of objects that we grasp as being of some
shape. The distinction between classical shape
and new music is that new music has more continuous variational scope.
Rhythms like ee q are
like symbolic representations of an event that's more like gum-whoosh
---SLAM! The whole transition from repreentational
to real is now available.

The character in a cartoon is nothing if not rubber. Rubber time
therefore means, "continuous transformations beween
discrete/symbolic events and physical simulations of real world
(genetically adapated) rhythm."

My compliments to an organization that once almost hired me to grind lisp,

eliot, Ph.d, now working for himself.

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