Saturday, September 24, 2011

An Akashic Torus

The title An Akashic Torus refers first to the Akashic records, that library found in the ether that contains all knowledge. The Torus is a donut shaped structure that somehow is a common representational mapping in our mind of many multi-dimensional patterns. Along with the intonation employed we have a looking back but not to some ‘Golden Age’ that never was, but as a door to view what been discarded as musical possibilities or even what have been spoiled.  The piece centers solely on pentatonics, an interest resurrected by my contact with Lou Harrison, who I envision as the present caretaker of pentatonic scales in the previously mentioned library. It is not unlike the room he had in his house of similar purpose.  Of much interest also is in the effect of long meters as a resistance to the short time thinking we all are subject to. Although the meter of this piece contracts or expands it remains centered on a meter of 101 beats long, making each bar about 55.5 seconds long. The striking of a Meru Bar most often marks this meter, but not always so I advise not counting.  The piece has only 11 bars to show yet it makes the piece exactly 1111 beats long.

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.

It was a quite difficult piece to write in that the Clarinis were limited to a range of a ninth and this coincided with only the lowest octave of the vibraphone. They also were only capable of playing diatonic scales of 7 notes each and two different ones were necessary for getting all 12 tones of the scale. I worried much about the whole concert sounding too high in pitch lacking bass instruments so this is one of the reasons i added the Meru bars. You need headphones to really hear it though. Care had to be taken also to cue the Pitches for the violin like Tahru as often the lines were melodically more than harmonically conceived making it a bit harder for any string player, much less one also being handed a new instrument.  Fortunately it was all recorded in the studio a few days later which should appear with the other fine works on the program which you can access the links from the youtube video.


  1. I enjoyed listening to this piece, Kraig. And to your explanation at the beginning. There was good tone on the clarinets - but I thought "clarini" meant trumpets.

  2. I am sure you are right about that. It is a bagpipe player who built the Clarini and named them. The second pic here shows a picture of them (they use an alto sax mouthpiece). Some of the holes were awkward for the hand,and they had an iphone app that told there degrees from 12 ET so they could check there tuning.