Saturday, January 29, 2005

The Beauty of the Digitally Rendered Idea

Carter Scholz: 8 Pieces. Posted by Hello

This music exists in a peculiar cerebral cavity that is filled with ideas that resonate with many of my own regarding intonation and algorithmic structure. Carter Scholz has carefully crafted eight electronic gems that sparkle with austere beauty.

My personal favorite is the opening work: "Lattice," which begins with unison tones and then expands the harmonic content to include just intervals of increasing and decreasing complexity before working back to unisons again. It's a great idea for exploring harmonic territory using the lattice-based conceptual model of just intonation. The clarity of the execution of this formal idea allows one to perceive exactly how these interval classes sound as they are sonically exposed.

"Rhythmicon" is another example of a clean formal study featuring the first seventeen partials of the overtone series mapped to meters from 1/8 to 17/8. Again, the end result is a sonic offering for the perceptive and curious mind to experience some fundamental qualities of harmony and time.

8 Pieces makes for great headphone music. It's more than a little startling to hear someone else working with ideas that are so native to my own sensibilities and obsessions. This is one disc that I'll have to come back to time and again.

I understand that Carter Scholz is also a Hugo and Nebula nominated science fiction author. I'll have to check his writings out as well. He clearly has a knack for working through some interesting ideas that could have some great cross-application for speculative fiction.

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