In The Forum IV

Proklos: Let us continue and see where this journey leads….
Proposition 1 –
“every primary cause infuses its effect more powerfully than does a universal second cause when a universal second cause removes its power from a thing, the universal primary cause does not withdraw its power from the thing, the power that is first in arriving is the last at receding”
…these statements would then proclaim that what is above has greater effect, that what is above is infinity, which is Time (above infinity is a realm of which we have no experience, so we must pass over this in silence, as the Logician so clearly stated). So Time is the primary cause and its effects are its participants – that is those elements which are derived from/followed by/realized within/the result of Time.

Sympnoia: Though your statements have clear logic and thought, how can we ever know what manifests this Unity?

Pro: Proposition 7: What is beyond Infinite Time? What is “above” Infinite Time”? Contrary to what I have stated, The Brother states that the first multiplicities after the first Cause are the intelligences - that which is divisible is divided into multiplicity, magnitude or motion, when a thing is in this state IT IS UNDER TIME…it receives its division only in Time.

Sym: This is most diffficult to follow, though I will through the rest of my days attempt to do so. Can you somehow give an indictation of how Time manifests, and how we, as organizers thereof, can follow its manner of operation?

Pro: Most assuredly, we must begin at the beginning, and with Time, therefore, we must begin…

Sym: Can we follow certain steps through to illuminate the path?

Pro: As the Santiagan once wrote, “Time passes, and I, more and more pleased being in it, am pleased that there is Time, am pleased to be contained in Time, to be the content of Time.” The same might be said of Space, but that is for a later discussion. Let us return to The Brother, "time, without magnitude, body or motion – UNDIVIDED, indivisible." So what does this affect? And how so? We live in a division of Time, that is from birth to death. If we are organizing Time within that time then we can assign a fixed or a changing value to that participant within our overall Time.

Sym: And how do we assign this?

Pro: A fixed value would then be a Secondary Cause, which would then have its fixed effects on those elements below that value.

Sym: And so a changing value would cause changing effects to all which followed?

Pro: Most assuredly and well followed. Let us examine and hear such a progression of Causes and Effects, for, to paraphrase Psuedo-Dionysius “Time is the very essence of Sound through Time’s necessity as the cause of all Sound”….and let us again see where this journey leads…. If we wish to organize, for example, 6 minutes of time, as stated before the divisions of this might be fixed or might be randomizable. Going further, we could say there will be 6 dividions of this 6-minute duration, and each division might fall within 60 seconds, plus or minus 45 seconds [shortest duration 15 seconds >>> longest duration 105 seconds]. So we create a tool which allows this to be formulated, which has given this as its chance-determined outcome:

Sym: And now, with this aspect determined, we can apply similar methods or manners of operation, to the “smaller” paramenters which fall within Time and the divisions derived thus far.

Pro: Most excellent and well-deciphered. As witness to these efforts of discovery, you listen thoughtfully and reason wisely. What might you suggest for deriving pitches, based on this method of dividing Time?

Sym: Since there is a central duration, the 60 seconds, and then a randomly determined amount added to or subtracted from that, we could being with an instrument which is able to play a “middle C” pitch, and then find the instrument’s range and have that set the pitches to use. And I further propose that since there are 6 sections in this étude, we might form 6 different sets of spans above/below the central “middle C”, such that division 1 has range of +/- 12 semitones; division 2 has range of +/- 32 semitones; etc. We could also create a random-number generator for the number of pitches for each section, with a minimum and maximum so that some divisions could be very dense and others quite sparse, illuminating all the participants in the manifestation of each division.

Pro: This is quite an intriguing manner of organization. A question: might the minimum number of pitches for a section be ZERO?

Sym: I see no reason to refrain from the possibility of silence, of organized and thence performed silence, for isn’t silence merely the activity of listening?

Pro: Well-said and well-placed in our discussion of the progrssion of the first multiplicities after Time, the first elements capable of delineation by magnitude, the first participants after Time, whose essences are able to move through Time depending on the cause of Time for their becoming effective.

Sym: And we must not forget the other sonic parameters; amplitude, timbre, smaller durational units (so-called rhythms), and when entering the electro-acoustic realms, even spatial location. timbral changes, granular synthesis and the like.

Pro: But how does the differ from the many other methods where “sets” of these parameters are used? Those composers who make great use of the number twelve, those who derive sonic organization, direction and content from the “spectral” analysis of sound?

Sym: We must not forget where this journey began, with the random selection within a limited multiplicity – the first causal aspect of this étude. I have attempted to outline the further steps which might be taken to continue the energy and manner of that operation, the division of the overall time into smaller temporal participants. And I never knew the outcome of this beforehand, it was all a continuous mystery, from the division of time, to the pitch-content, and we will go further using the same methods for the remaining sonic components, and in the end arrive at the composition of the 6-minute time-étude1:

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