Explorations in Time and Temporality

A Public Humanities Project by the Geoffrion Family Fellows at Miami University’s Humanities Center 2019-2020

Matthew Burtner

Dr. Matthew Burtner, an Alaskan-born composer and sound artist works extensively with eco-acoustics. His music and research explores, as he says, embodiment, ecology, poly-temporality and noise. For him, music is a means to compress large time scales into shorter musical experiences that humans can understand. This decentralization of human time is at the crux of his work and overall message. We discussed how he melds music and the Arctic climate into beautiful works of sound, as well as his self-developed process. Burtner’s works include three evening-length “intermedia environmental opera/theater works: Ukiuq Tulugaq (Winter Raven), Kuik, and Auksalaq, and several solo albums. He is the creator of the NOMADS telematic system, the MICE human-computer ensemble and orchestra, the Metasaxophone augmented instrument, and a number of eco-acoustic approaches.