Created between 1963 and 1967, Treatise is a graphic musical score consisting of 193 pages of lines, symbols and a variety of geometric shapes. This monumental work by Cornelius Cardew is an introspective journey into the nature of time and rhythm, inspired by Wittgenstein's concept of Tractatus logico-philosophicus.
Just as the philosopher explored the limits of language and its relationship to reality, Treatise becomes a kind of 'treatise of sound', provoking reflection on our perception of time and rhythm. In Treatise, time ceases to be merely a linear sequence of events, becoming a dense network of relations and experiences, just as in Wittgenstein's philosophy, where meanings are formed in context. This non-linear perception of time is reflected in abstract symbols and shapes that remind us of the relational nature of reality.
Treatise provokes interpretation and exploration of sound, just as Wittgenstein provoked reflection on language. Like language, which reflects our perception of the world, rhythm in Treatise manifests itself as a fundamental element of human existence, providing a starting point for introspection on existence and the meaning of life.