Math Is Music Is Life

Cropped image of the cover for Andrew Forrest's Harmonic Resonance

Last week’s episode, Gambit, was such a success — the chat room was vibrant, the responses to the music were overwhelmingly positive, and we received suggestions for additional tracks — that we decided to extend the concept into a second week.

The premise for last week’s show was the idea that math and music are closely intertwined, as exemplified by Glenn Sogge’s excellent new release, The Euler Variations. Numbers, symbols, the relationships of things to each other, are the stuff of life. Music, by virtue of its very nature as foundational waves, makes up the universe. The universe is music, whirling like a macro dervish in an eternal dance.

The cornerstone of this episode comes from Carbonates On Mars, with a brand new track, created a few weeks ago using the mathematical 432Hz tuning frequency. We start the program with a track that Jack Hertz created a few years ago after watching the documentary ‘Resonance – Beings of Frequency,’ where he learned that the planet Earth has a resonant frequency of 7.83 Hz.

(Cover art for today’s program is a cropped version of the album cover for Andrew Forrest’s Harmonic Resonance )

Earth – Jack Hertz – 7.83 Hz (2013)

“The music on this album was inspired by the documentary ‘Resonance – Beings of Frequency.’ Where I learned that the planet Earth has a resonant frequency of 7.83 Hz. Originally detected in 1899 by Nikola Tesla, it was Winfried Otto Schumann who formulated the theoretical aspects in the mid-1950s of the global resonances that are now referred to as the ‘Schumann resonances.’ 


The notion that the Earth is an oscillator onto itself was so inspiring. A flood of ideas for new ambient compositions came to me. Since frequencies under 20 hertz cannot be perceived by the human ear. I incorporated the Earth’s tone in other ways. Using them as a basis for sound modulation, binaural beats, pulses and the frequency intervals of LFOs, filters and oscillators based on the fundamental 7.83 and multiples such as 14.3, 20.8, 27.3 and 33.8 Hz. As it turns out, the use of these frequency intervals worked out such that the finished tracks unintentionally complement each other when played simultaneously in various combinations.” 

— Jack Hertz, April 2013

Symbolic Script – Numina – Sound Symbols (2008)

All music was performed using analog and digital hardware synthesizers & effects.

Numina is the ambient music project of US based artist Jesse Sola. It took form in the mid-90s with the first official self-release in 2000 with music to take the listener on a boundless mental journey. Numina has released several albums on major EM labels such as Hypnos, Spotted Peccary, & Relaxed Machinery. Numina’s music has received airplay on Hearts of Space, SOMAFM, Star’s End as well as streaming internet airplay on StillStream, Pandora, and Spotify.

Harmonic Resonance – 3rd Movement – Andrew Forrest Arts – Harmonic Resonance (2011)

432Hz Dronescape – Carbonates On Mars432Hz Dronescape (2017)

This track is created around A-432 tuning instead of A-440, the tuning to which our modern ears are accustomed. In the words of the artist:

“Some people think there’s something in the 432hz principal others don’t. Personally I do feel that the music created in 432hz has a certain warmth to it. But, whatever, it’s always good (and fun) to experiment with different concepts.”

Harmonic Motion – Palancar – Counting Raindrops (2014)

“Counting Raindrops remains one of the albums I’ve made that I like the best, mostly because I feel I came closest to achieving the goal that I originally set out. ‘Harmonic Motion’ is the first track on the album, given it strikes me as having just the right balance between backward and forward looking contemplation, sort of a metaphor for being in the now, like the quantum notion that the world doesn’t really exist until a moment forces it to take a concrete form. This piece is an attempt to capture that notion.”

Symbolics – Robert Rich – Music From Atlas Dei (2007)

This album focuses on new music from the film Atlas Dei – those pieces that aren’t released on previous CDs. The remaining tracks on this CD feature new mixes, crossfades and edits of the older pieces. Now out of print, the DVD Atlas Dei presented this music in 5 channel surround, along with visuals.

The film Atlas Dei takes a lyrical journey through time and space into the mystery of our cosmos. On this feature length film, musician Robert Rich and filmmaker Daniel Colvin weave the strands of science, myth, and poetic vision into a powerful and compelling tapestry of the human enigma.

Sequence of Life – Jim Ottaway – Timeless e-Motion (2017)

Musicophilia – Paul Nagle – Beyond L-Dopa (2016)

The majority of this was recorded live at an Awakenings performance on March 12th 2016. The addition of the final element to the live sound – ambient mush – is down to another Awakenings stalwart, Jez Creek. The mush is created by a delay Jez likes (the DD20), plus a RC-505 looper. Here it’s fed with the Blofeld and also some prepared Minimoog noises, all given the ‘broken timestretch’ treatment.

The album is dedicated to the memory of Oliver Sacks for reasons that may or may not be apparent.

There’s an excellent story on NPR that helps make the connection between this track and Oliver Sacks, to whose memory it is dedicated. All about earworms… 🙂

INTO THE SEQUENCE – Sequentia Legenda – EXTENDED (2016)

«With this collaboration between Tommy [Betzler] and myself, we wanted to share our passion for Berlin School music with listeners and pay tribute to a musical movement that has still bright days ahead of it.» 

Laurent Schieber (Sequentia Legenda)

Strange Symbols of Some Kind – Bing Satellites – Perpetual Motion (2016)

Tales from a newly refurbished studio:
Most of my synths and other music equipment has been gathering dust for 18 months or so. I finally got a chance to put my studio back together. These recordings along with Twilight Sessions volume 20 come from the first sessions in my newly rewired studio. 


The set up was brand new with some new toys to play with. This music is a selection of live improvised experiments: me working out what can be done with this set up. 


And for those inevitable questions about what I hardware / software I used, please refer to this page all about my studio, Mission Control or something. 


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