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Tenney has often characterized himself as a kind of “tone scientist”, that is, one working on an almost microscopic level with the primary materials of sound in order to expand our knowledge of its properties (what makes it what it is) and perceptual identity (how we respond to it). To do so, he has composed music that isolates the components of sound production into their most basic acoustic phenomena; music that explores and illuminates the subatomic pitch relationships within the harmonic series; music that combines these pitches into complexes motivated by systematic patterns or chance procedures. By thus objectifying music, and consequently rejecting its romanticized “self-expressive” nature, Tenney links composition with phenomenology. “The basic idea in phenomenology”, he told Gayle Young, “is making a more strenuous effort to see things as they are, depending upon whatever one is focusing on. I think the best scientists and the best artists are precisely that – phenomenologists”. – Art Lange