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American composer and music theorist James Tenney (1934–2006) occupies a central position in the history of American experimental music. Dedicated to expanding the dimensions of aural perception, he sought innovative ways to reconcile such conventional dualities as sound/noise, consonance/dissonance, and harmony/timbre—all of which are artificial constructs of language that tend to impede the fluidity and rich variability of the listening experience. Just as Tenney was fascinated by the perceptual intersection of musical dichotomies, so did he believe there was no meaningful distinction between his theoretical research and his compositional explorations. He wrote extensively on the perception of musical form from a phenomenological perspective, and he composed numerous works that highlight the elegant and complex relationship among natural acoustic phenomena.