The author of these notes has spent his life explaining radical music, and the music on this disc may be the most radical I’ve ever written about. Peter Thoegersen (b. 1967) is not yet a name known to the music world; not for any lack of connection to other famous musicians, but because he came to composition late, and because his artistic aims are so broad and complex that they have taken years to evolve. His aesthetic is well defined, and he is upfront about having a name for it: “Polytempic Polymicrotonal Music.” That means he has musical layers simultaneously moving in different tempos, plus, even more radically, that he has different microtonal scales playing at the same time. Few composers have aimed at such fervent and heterogeneous multidimensionality. And yet, while Thoegersen’s music can seem overwhelming at first, running through it is a level of charm and simplicity that belies the initial impression.
In total, these three pieces emphasize a particular side of Thoegersen’s output. The image his music creates of ornately mathematical structures filled with intuitively friendly melodies maps on to the personality of the man himself: outspoken and acerbically ruthless in his musical opinions, Thoegersen is also marked by a jolly sense of humor and an inexhaustible love of cats and other animals that make him ultimately less imposing and more personable than he might seem at first. The same can be said for his music. And by going further than anyone else has gone in terms of this particularly American concept of fusing the polytempic with the polymicrotonal—extending and combining the conceptual worlds of Ives, Cowell, Nancarrow, Partch, Carter, even Frank Zappa and many others—he has created a special place for himself within American music. —Kyle Gann (from the liner notes)