Solo piano improvisations in the Lydian mode for all 12 keys, following the circle of fifths.

The purpose of the exercise was to see what I could do manually as an improvisation using a constraint (the Lydian Mode), then create an algorithm to do the same thing.

Musical improvisation is one of the highest forms of free will. It will show what is pure free will, simply playing anything on the piano for example. Someone who knows how to play will make some kind of coherent music. Someone who has hardly touched a piano may play on the black keys. The acid test is whether it has musical value. AI could be used to do the same thing and would sound like music, as it has a basic instruction.

In contrast, the programming to do the same thing seems completely unrewarding. Even though my piano skills are mediocre, and my implicit knowledge of music well-developed, the music that is human-made is good enough for me. If a non-musician can do it better, I am relieved that a non-artist can make visual art.

The 'colors' inherent in keys does emerge, at least from the standpoint of a player. In terms of modes, they are not created equal on a keyboard. Ease of fingering makes certain musical possibilities, unlike a guitar in standard tuning that will sound mostly the same, except for chords with an E in the bass. On the piano, there are 12 notes that can function that way.

The pieces are sequenced for pressing on vinyl, Side A for flat keys, Side B for sharp keys.

View the album booklet
View the album artwork

As would be mapped on an LP:
  • B6. F Lydian (Innermost Ring): Naturally in Nature
  • B5. C Lydian: Waning Earth
  • B4. G Lydian: Nevada Seaway
  • B3. D Lydian: A Break In the Rain
  • B2. A Lydian: Eocene
  • B1. E Lydian (Outermost Ring): Craton Crossing
  • A6. Cb (B) Lydian (Innermost Ring): Terranes
  • A5. Gb (F#) Lydian: Autolands
  • A4. Db Lydian: The Dark Segment
  • A3. Ab Lydian: A Ways Away
  • A2. Eb Lydian: Innuendi
  • A1. Bb Lydian (Outermost Ring): The Full Earth

#2017 #universals #classificationofcolor