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Manipulation of pulse and tempo
- a KUV project in collaboration with the Danish National Academy Of Music

Thēsaurōs is related to causal complexity and complexity within organic movements. Focus is on the collective embodied cognition of multitemporal tensions. (EPITOME)


This work emanates from one single polyrhythmic structure and two variations of this structure, resulting in three rhythmic circles. Each circle sets the frame for two compositions. In total: six disparate pieces with identical or closely related starting points. (DHĒ)


An essential counterpoint to the stringent concept is the trio’s embodiment of the multitemporal tensions through strategies and perspectivation on the six compositions. (TAXIS)


The starting point is found in the tensions emerging through multitemporal pulse sensations. The structural translation of this tension is complex, causal, and organic. (KINESIS)


The endpoint: Through the embodied cognition of the structural tensions and an open relation to the compositions, a feeling of freedom and flexibility emerges, enabling trialogues in a multitemporal musical language charged with an inexhaustible potential. (TREASURE)


A thesaurus is a group of synonyms and related concepts. It originates from the Greek thēsaurōs, which translates to treasure chamber. I named this album Thēsaurōs because I feel it is both. (CHEST)

Peter Bruun , 2022

The artistic result of 'Manipulation of puls and tempo' is 6 songs in 3 different 'Rhythm Designs'. 

All 6 pieces will be released on ILK music 2022 as THESAURŌS

Here you can listen to the THEME of the 6 songs, two in each variation of the three Rhythmic Design 


Composed by Peter Bruun 

Performed by Søren Kjærgaard (piano), Jonas Westergaard (bass), Peter Bruun (drums) 


Scroll all the way to the end end to find an interview about the first rhythm design and some spontanious reflections. Thanks to Uncovering The Scenius and Jan D Kardereit.  


Rhythm Design 

Through rhythmic design, it is possible to stage pulse sensation, centers of gravity and tempo-dynamic illusions in the very foundation of a work before it is composed. In the same way that a musical score can indicate a tempo or time signature in which the composition is understood / written, the rhythmic design provides a more detailed predetermined movement through tempo, pulse, centers of gravity and tensions. A conventional score will often be based on a specific subdivision (eg 16 parts, triplets or a rhythmic clave) and a form (eg a fuga, sonata ect), as well as tonality. Rhythmic design is a radical extension of the conventional starting points and creates a frame, movements in time / tempo, as well as an overall structural form.


The final works are inspired by the concept Reference Rhythm
Reference Rhythm (The reference Rhythm Method - An Intuitive Approach To Advanced Rhythms) is a technique developed by the Swedish guitarist Mulle Holmkvist. He has developed a learning method to approach advanced polyrhythms based on an intuitive phrasing of rhythms. Mulle Holmkvist's system is not designed as a compositional tool, but as a learning tool. In short the concept of Reference Rhythm is to create a rhythms in ‘normal’ subdivisions (8th-notes, triplets 16th-notes, instead of more complicated tupplets) that approach the exact polyrhythm. Then by phrasing you will approach the polyrhythm, thus creating an intuitive shortcut to perform complex polyrhythms.

The 6 works are composed into a polymetric structure where two different pulse sensations are experienced simultaneously. One pulse sensation is the written one and the other is a polymetric approximation. A polymetric approximation is not the exact notation of the polyrhythm but as close as you can get only using simple rhythms.  


The three Rhythm Designs is three different polyrhythmic approximations: 


Rhythm design no.1 is 12 over 11
Rhythm design no.2 is 12 over 13
Rhythm design no.1 is 18 over 17





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SONG no. 1 (THĒSAURÓS NO 1 [12/11]: CHEST) 

SONG no. 2 (THĒSAURÓS NO 2 [12/11]: KINESIS)

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SONG no. 3 (THĒSAURÓS NO 3 [12/13]: DHĒ)

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SONG no. 5 (THĒSAURÓS NO 5 [17/18]: TAXIS)

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SONG no. 6 (THĒSAURÓS NO 6 [17/18]: EPITOME)

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INTERVIEW by Jan D. Kardereit 'Uncovering the Scenius'

INTERVIEW with Jan D. Kardereit
00:00 / 24:28


'Manipulation of pulse and tempo' investigates and develops the use of polyrhythmic structures as a form-creating basis for composition. The project is based on reference rhythmics as the overall compositional method and further develops this in three different methodological approaches, called distribution rhythmics, rhythm design and moving pulse.

Reference rhythm is a technique developed by the Swedish guitarist Mulle Holmkvist. He has developed a method to learn polyrhythmics based on an intuitive phrasing of (simple) rhythms that approach the actual polyrhythm. Mulle Holmkvist's system is designed as a learning tool, while the reference rhythm in "Manipulation of pulse and tempo" is placed in a compositional / artistic context.

The overall compositional method of the project is thus reference rhythmics; rhythms in ‘ordinary’ subdivisions that approach the exact polyrhythm. By phrasing the reference rhythm, an intuitive shortcut is created to perform complex polyrhythms, from which three methods emerge:

Distribution Rhythm: Fixed rhythms / patterns, motorically orchestrated, that change the center of gravity in the basic sense of tempo and create the illusion of new (and variable) subdivisions.

Moving Pulse: An irregular pulse related to a fixed tempo. Polyrhythmic layers with a special swing or the illusion of rising / falling / waveing ​​in tempo.

Rhythmic design / form: The above methods work with the individual elements of the music. The rhythm design is formative and precedes the tonal and harmonic content. “Rhythmic design” can cover many different methods, but in this project polyrhythmic reference rhythms are used to create the musical form.

The project examines and documents the architectural and the intuitive / personal aspects of both the development of rhythm design (architectural part), where a precise and accurate rhythmic foundation is developed for the composition itself, as well as the movement from structure to music. (intuitive / personal part), which is completely intuitive, but sticks strictly to the underlying rhythm design. The rhythm design can thus be described as a canvas on which the composition itself is "painted".



I originally sat out to examine a variety of Rhythm Designs with different polyrhythmic structures (described as ‘moving pulse’, ‘Distribution Rhythm’).

In the proces I decided to work with only one rhythmic design (in three variations) because I wanted to see what the different possibilities/potentials was in one rhythm design. And focus on the different directions (musical expressions) possible with the same starting point (The Rhythm Design). I’m not sure what’s proven, but to me the rhythm design went in very different directions. And was a great inspiration. As I describe in the interview (Uncovering the Scenius) the Rhythm Design works as filters allowing an artistic dialog with something that feels different than my self and my own musical language. Each song felt as different to work with as different songs in the same time signature. 


The next step of this project is to examine the embodiment of rhythm design. The embodiment turned out to be the most important part of the proces of developing a musical language within these designs.  In the learning and presentation of these rhythm design (to the trio) it was crucial to embody the rhythmic foundation in order to develop a free intuition. A future proces will include a focus on the embodiment of the the rhythm design based on intuition and improvisation.

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