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Uncommon Measure: Book summary and reviews of Uncommon Measure by Natalie Hodges

Uncommon Measure

A Journey Through Music, Performance, and the Science of Time

by Natalie Hodges

Uncommon Measure by Natalie Hodges X
Uncommon Measure by Natalie Hodges
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  • Published Mar 2022
    224 pages
    Genre: Biography/Memoir

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Book Summary

A virtuosic debut from a gifted violinist searching for a new mode of artistic becoming.

How does time shape consciousness and consciousness, time? Do we live in time, or does time live in us? And how does music, with its patterns of rhythm and harmony, inform our experience of time?

Uncommon Measure explores these questions from the perspective of a young Korean American who dedicated herself to perfecting her art until performance anxiety forced her to give up the dream of becoming a concert solo violinist. Anchoring her story in illuminating research in neuroscience and quantum physics, Hodges traces her own passage through difficult family dynamics, prejudice, and enormous personal expectations to come to terms with the meaning of a life reimagined—one still shaped by classical music but moving toward the freedom of improvisation.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Korean American violinist Hodges debuts with a literary mosaic of invention, inquiry, and wonder that interrogates classical music, quantum entanglement, the Tiger Mother stereotype, and the fluidity of time...a luminous meditation on the ways in which art, freedom, and identity intertwine. This impresses at every turn." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"[M]asterful...The author's writing is deeply intelligent and exquisitely personal, expertly balancing emotional vulnerability with trenchant analysis, and her lyrical prose and clarity of thought render each page a pleasure to read. A gorgeously written, profoundly felt essay collection about time, memory, and music." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"A dazzling look at memory and the universe...Hodges ponders these puzzles with intellectual depth, unique perspectives, and an artistic, eloquent, and inspiring voice." - Booklist

"In all, this title makes a valuable contribution to the ever-expanding universe of works addressing science and music, two seemingly disparate fields that have surprisingly much in common." - Library Journal

"Natalie Hodges is a musician with a poet's soul and a writer with a musician's heart. Her prose partita, Uncommon Measure, is an extraordinary translation of music, devotion, and sorrow into the literary, recounting her relinquishment of a performance career and her continued love of music. In these pages, if no longer on the stage, she is brilliantly making us hear." - Susan Faludi, author of Backlash and In the Darkroom

"Uncommon Measure is astonishingly assured and inventive. Mixing personal reflection, reportage, literary criticism, music theory, neurology, even evolutionary studies, Hodges has pulled off something singular and wonderful. From the first page to the last, the book rides on the high wire of Hodges's virtuosic voice. It is shot through with a sinuous, luminous energy." - Darcy Frey, author of The Last Shot: City Streets, Basketball Dreams

"There is not a sentence in Hodges's Uncommon Measure that does not illumine, not a single insight that doesn't lead on to a still greater one, not a moment that does not open us to wonder. In searching and visionary prose, Hodges comes close to creating a new language, one of continual questioning and delight. This is an exquisite book to be read and reread, a treasure." - Richard Hoffman, author of Half the House and Love & Fury

This information about Uncommon Measure was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Natalie Hodges

Natalie Hodges has performed as a classical violinist throughout Colorado and in New York, Boston, Paris, and the Italian Piedmont, as well as at the Aspen Music Festival and the Stowe Tango Music Festival. She graduated from Harvard University, where she studied English and music, and lives in Denver, Colorado. Uncommon Measure is her first book.

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