Place Time (Sounds)

Hearing Manfred Werder's 2005 (1)

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John Cage’s incorporation of all sound into music with his work 4’33” (1952) has come frequently to be heard as an ‘end of history’. Although many writings on experimental music and sonic art hinge on Cage’s contribution and resounding influence, it is nonetheless considered as some kind of crisis.

Addressing this, the Wandelweiser collective of composers, improvisers and musicians has been pivotal in expanding on Cage’s work. Manfred Werder, in particular, stands out as a composer who has carried on from Cage. Especially with his piece 2005 (1), which calls only for place, time and (sounds) – ort, zeit, (klänge).

Place Time (Sounds): Hearing Manfred Werder’s 2005 (1) discusses the significance of this piece. In the paper Byrne addresses the work, its score and notable actualizations as well as its place in Werder’s oeuvre and relationship to Cage’s work, demonstrating that 2005 (1) is a piece of expanded music that hears sound as multiplicity, collapses established distinctions between listener and performer and places particular importance on context. Byrne therefore argues that the piece has significant implications for how sound is heard, the role of music and how it is possible for music to engage directly with place.

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Cage, J. (1973). Silence. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press.

Kahn, J. (2012). Manfred Werder - 2005(1), Winds Measure.

Migone, C. (2012). Sonic Somatic: Performances of the Unsound Body. Berlin: Errant Bodies Press.

Reynell, S. (2015).  Interview with Manfred Werder. Another Timbre. Available at: [Accessed August 27, 2015].

Werder, M., (2015). Interviewed by Ben Byrne, June 16.
Kahn, J. (2015). Interviewed by Ben Byrne, June 15.


Audio PaperWerderSoundPlaceMusicExperimental

About the author(s)

Ben Byrne is a scholar, musician and curator who explores sonic art, media and culture through technology - engaging the complexities of identity, media and environment. He is a Lecturer in Digital Media at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. He is also the founder and director of Avantwhatever, a contemporary experimental music label.

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