Wednesday, December 7, 2011
What comes out of humans is such a wider variety than any one person or culture could ever imagine. Look at the different ways people make music, each with its own development, than often is compensatory to how it is used in other cultures. It becomes extremely difficult to reduce music to universal qualities that are common to all. At best we can find some that apply to most, yet in particular, these can vary to a degree that is equally complex.
I prefer to pursuit and defend a path which i see more as going deeper 'into' the human as opposed to only 'outside' of it. What is this 'musical nature" of human beings that some cast as "inferior' to nature as if it has some original sin that must be suppressed. There is something 'puritanical' here.Might this definition of nature be one that only gives it masculine traits and characters, a suppression of all the hidden and truly mysterious workings of nature in places outside the microscope. In the meanwhile music comes out of human beings like breath.
There is much in nature which is beautiful and listenable, and needs to be preserved. This though is as true inwardly than outwardly. The nature we find in the outer world though does not develop although it can be destroyed as is going on world wide [we all know that]. The inner nature though is one that grows and changes in unexpected ways , albeit slowly at times, but this requires a nourishment, more often in it being given expression more than it imitating an outer world. When it imitates it is more often than not inclined toward the imitation of other humans. Even the interest in the environment, might be to big extent, imitating what others humans are doing. Within us too are the plants and varied species that we might water, the ones that grow inside of us and seem to potentially grow without limit. What nature implanted in us, might be so that in a way she might hear herself in a way she can't hear otherwise.
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Indonesia i think is a brave country to try in general the combining of all these different islands into one nation. If the world did become one, hopefully not under the banking interest, but in the interest of more humanitarian cooperation, it might be a good testing ground. But at this concert they had a raffle and right before they picked i turned to my wife who had entered and said' i guess we are going to Bali again" and sure enough they called her name although she wasn't sure at first.
We met Franki Raden for the first time unrelated to this during intermission and found out about the festival he was putting together in Bali IMEX [Indonesian Music Expo] so we both felt it was some sign to go there at that time. As politics is what it is , there was pressure for the gov't sponsors to put on many acts they thought fit and it was probably the last night that best represented Raden's vision. There was a group from Sulawesi that performed and after they warmed up, one realized that one was dealing with ritual more than just music. It was over powering. Greg Schiemer composed a work for swinging i phones holding sustain pitches that seem to fit in an uncanny way and this group joined him and it had to be one of the greatest combination of opposite technologies i have seen.
Most of our time there was spent just outside Ubud in Sebali in the company of Gusti Ngurah Suaratana who lead us to ceremonies, some on the street, and was responsible for having our marriage blessed in a ceremony and lead us to a remote rice field where he had built a small structure. While there, his wife appeared with coffee and pastries that surprised us that she even got there at the same time. Gusti spoke a little English and Japanese and much of our communication over many long hours involved gesture that really seem to work. He was an instant friend if not member of a family as he put it. He in turn was good friends with Kris, an artist and historical prince of Ubud, who partooked of our blessing in between his heavy schedule of mediating problems in the region, all without pay. He too was a greatly inspired person who had studied abroad in order to understand his own culture and had even lived with an aboriginal family for 6 months eating everything thing but the large worms which ws just beyond of what he might do.
From Kris we learned that there is a law that every rice farmer in Bali has a equal right and access to water and that there are people put in charge to see this is in fact what happens. Being in the single rice field we were in was already a lesson on just how complex this can be and still i cannot imagine how it was done, much less on an island wide level. Bali seemed more civilized than elsewhere.
Here is a recording next door to where Kris lives of some hocketing frogs in the rain.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
No such luck in many cases.
While they are figuring out what they did wrong at CERN with their faster than light results, i have stumbled into something that should have long ago been dealt with.
While in the process of tuning up some instruments in a new tuning, i had some tubes that are to become resonators that i decided to play with a bit on a set of reeds tuned to the same tuning. Terumi suggested playing with open resonators so i took the caps off and found i could augment the sound of a reed and use my hand to open and close to play with the sound. The problem was that the resonators were resonating a pitch a whole tone or more lower than what all the the theoretical measurements have been telling me.
I checked my answers with others who concluded that what i had was in the the range of what they had. I asked on the reed organ list if anyone there had such a thing happen and one suggested that it was the cavity that held the reed that jointly made a lower resonator. This made total sense to me and assumed it was correct but i thought i could check it by trying it against the second set of reeds which has a much shallower cavity. the result was the same.
One of the things i did to test was to play the pitch it should be along with the lower pitch.
In all cases it is the lower pitch that sounded much louder.
It appears i am not the first to notice this. i got an message from Simon Buser, a builder and Organist in Germany who said,
Saturday, September 24, 2011
For those interested and familiar with Moments of Symmetry patterns, here is also the final rhythmic breakdown of the piece based on secondary Moment of Symmetry patterns. The basic 101 was both subdivided by a 64 beat generator which was cycled around or another generator which resulted in 64 different subdivisions. from there the 101 pattern was both expanded to a 138 beat pattern and contracted to both a 64 and 37 beat ones.
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
As a prelude let me say not to worry. I will tell you what a Dekany is , and yes somehow I have come up with quite a few 14 tone scales, in fact more than any other number.
The harmonics 2-3-7-11-13 as a set have raised some interest. George Secor and Margo Schulter, are just two important microtonal theorist who have seen interesting possibilities in them. While the former sees it as a bedrock for harmonic development and is interested in scales that can accommodate them as in this paper of his. The latter, Margo Schulter is interested in this set as the basis to explore her neo-renaissance/neo-gothic approach to music since these harmonics are the basis of the Persian scales of the time.
Margo had recently posed the question about how these harmonics might also be developed into scales that include the non-tonal centered harmonics structures of Erv Wilson's called Combination Product sets, or CPS for short. These structures provide a gateway into a somewhat 'atonal' or perhaps 'pantonal' environment while retaining relatively simple consonances. The interest is in adding to the language of this period before tonality would take such a strong hold.
The simplest CPS we can form of these is the 2 out of 5 Dekany. The Dekany is a 10 tone structure that takes the combination 2 out of 5 elements at a time and multiplies these together. [2*3, 2*7, 2*11, 2*13, 3*7, 3*11, 3*13, 7*11, 7*13, 11*13]. You can download the chart above or a larger one here to see how one can map it out on a lattice. Now while this give us a wonderful harmonic set, there is a great advantage in going one step further and trying to find what is called a Constant Structure. This is a structure where each times ratio occurs in such a scale, it will be have the same number of notes in between. [We find this property in the pentatonic scale on the black notes, in the diatonic and in the 12 tone scale for instance] Now this Dekany does not have this property on its own and the chart shows how I solved the problem and ended up with a 14 tone scale.
I preserved on the left half shows the steps it took to solve [in case one wishes to do so with any set that might interest one.]
First one arranges the main intervals from smallest to largest possible with the harmonics one is working with. This coincides with the series one sees running down the right hand side in the left half of the chart.
While 14/13 were all one unit the 13/12 we can observe that one of the three occurrences are two units to the other two being only one. Hence we need to add tones so that all the 13/12 are 2 units in size. This is designated with a circle with an arrow from side to side which is carried down and counted in determining the other intervals.
A rather odd thing happen though as when we reach down to 11/8, we can see that the 12 notes up to that point do form a constant structure, but the 11/8 is only 4 units is much too small as the smaller 4/3 is 6 units. While one can have a bit of an overlap on range, we instead fix this oddity by adding two tones in the large gap to make it at least the same number of units as the 4/3. Since the idea was to have possible repeated tetrachords the pitches chosen to be added were ones that were a 3/2 above or below tones we had. There are other solutions one could pick.
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
http://anaphoria.com/ViggoRhythm.pdf Here is a short paper about to be added to The Journal of Anaphorian Music theory on how Viggo Brun's Algorithm can be used to generate long meters or metric patterns. These produce different variations than the ones i have worked out with Horogram Rhythms found in that journal.
Friday, May 20, 2011
This is a very elementary paper that i thought i would share.
It touches upon the use of Bi-level Moments of symmetry as well as chains with slight variations.
All is discussed in terms of an undefined 12 but the principle can be applied to any tuning. hope it is helpful. http://anaphoria.com/pentatonics.pdf
It is like a third world application of Xenakis sieve method. but then again we might prefer to apply complex ideas in simple ways than simple ideas to complex ones.
Saturday, May 7, 2011
Sunday, May 1, 2011
please forgive. But people talk about all musical innovation as being evolutionary,yet if we are basing this on nature, possibly we might be stricter and point out in nature there are all types of variations produced that don't always result in a forward progression of the species.
Many of these are sterile, so what really constitutes what is evolutionary is the ability of something to produce fertile offspring as opposed to sterile hybrids. Let history define where musical evolution is or what might be like the parallel to Monsanto. What good is it to go somewhere if once you get there there is no where to go but the way one comes in. Perhaps there are more Cul-de-Sacs than ever before, but perhaps history knows them as the commonest of lots.
Friday, April 1, 2011
I will be having a work premiered at this event of the above title in case you are in these environs.
'Dark Dissents' is for a retuned Hungarian Cymbolum played by Cory Beers
(It is quite unusual to have someone else perform my work)
Exploring the thresholds of where private dissents slowly transforms into public ones.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
The first in over 4 years and it marks my first since immigrating to Australia.
Our Rainy Season involved two Australia's finest improvisers, and Nuilagi, involved two of some of the finest i had worked with in the US.
I am honored to have it released on such a fine label as and/Oar's related label Either /Oar.
more info here
Sunday, January 16, 2011
All the works will be based on a scale of mine i call Centaur.
which is a rare honor all its own. The instruments commissioned are 2 sets of 4 Clarini's [made by Linsey Pollack] to play subsets of the Centaur scale and a violin like instrument with 7 sympathetic strings called the Tarhui [made by Peter Biffin]. My 3 Octave Centaur Vibraphone will complete the tuned instruments. It is an exciting and wonderful opportunity to join with other talented composers exploring compositionally this newly created ensemble of instruments with its unique tuning.
Friday, January 14, 2011
It quickly became apparent that he envisioned a just intonational matrix in which one could 'fly' through, as a space where nearby harmonies would have some relation to each other yet still retain a special identity in the overall field to aid in the sense of movement. This reawakened my own interest in parallel ideas of unifying space and pitch.
Those familiar with lambdomas [of which Partch’s diamond is an example] would recognize this as a logical choice, but these result with everything higher on one end. Thus the results are rather unbalanced and also lack a harmonic variety we sought for.
The situation instead seemed ripe for other types of intonational possibilities and I thought that some of the simpler recurrent sequences would work well.
So with a bit of experimenting I found that 'magic squares' placed in the middle provided good seeds for making different series running in four directions . Nearby tones would retain various difference tone reinforcements yet over ‘space’ one would move away or toward where one started harmonically in a significant yet varied way. Yet there was something musically appealing to having certain harmonics stand out and even be repeated yet then diverge in different directions from there.
After going into the anechoic chamber where Deleflie has his speakers set up and listening to some of the results, we found it warranted pursuing an actual installation with small speakers in a space where people can walk through. We are working toward this at the moment.
While this idea continues to develop further, this diagram shows some of the ways I am constructing my matrices. This one serves as a good illustration in that it includes more than one series embedded into it. [Click to enlarge.]
The numbers refer to harmonics (that in turn have to be multiplied to get them in the hearing range). First I started with a magic square made of numbers 4-12 that one can see in the outlined box in the near middle. From here I construct recurrent sequences for each direction of two varieties.
Take a number, say 5, in the box and call this A with B and C being the numbers above it. Now if we create a sequence such as A + C = D we take 5 + 9 =14 which is the number above 9. Now if we move the sequence up we add 10 + 14 = 24 and we continue this pattern. Next the same formula is applied moving to the right where 5 + 7 = 12 and 12 + 12 = 24 etc. For the other two directions I used a different recurrent sequence. This one is A + B = D. So in this case we add 7 + 12 = 19 and 12 + 5 = 17 in the case of the bottom row moving left or in the case of moving down 9 +10 = 19 and 10 + 5 =15 etc. These two sequences I learned from Erv Wilson who uses them to create his Meta-Pelog and Meta-Slendro scales. He might be the first to have found them embedded in Pascal's Triangle or Meru Prastara, as it was known centuries earlier . His papers on this can be seen here.
You will notice that being a magic square the number 24 comes out being the sum of the row or columns in the box, and if one follows any of the lines in either direction where one has three 24s in a row you might notice we get simple harmonics of this 24. Quickly each quadrant deverges in its own unique way on either side of these rows. The corners become the highest notes with the center the lowest, which is a useful balanced arc. Yet it is possible to treat this whole series as a subharmonic series where the corners become the lowest and the center the highest.
Etienne has realized this using SuperCollider. Sound examples can be heard on Etienne’s page, which should give one the idea of the area we are exploring. Much more to come.