Rifts




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
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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
***

As both a musician and visual artist, I sometimes attempt to connect the two in some way. Music doesn't take up space but it can fill it. As an experiment, I have mapped minutes and seconds for each of the Rifts tracks to width and length as physical (not temporal) measurement (e.g. 3:22 is 3x22 inches, or 3000 x 22000 pixels as a digital file, or as a floor sculpture 3 x 22 feet (a real Rift a la Michael Heizer's Double Negative), or as a huge piano key. Smallest: "Craton Crossing", Largest: "Innuendi". "A Break in the Rain" and "Nevada Seaway" are the same "size".






















Rings Mapped to "Duration Color". The flat-key side definitely has a nice ensemble of colors!




RGB values mapped to Behr house paint colors:, derived from converting time to pixel dimensions, then to RGB/Hex. What you're seeing is time as a color. There are other ways of associating one value, for example determining the color of a room by its square footage, derived from a duration. For example, Cream's White Room is 4:58. Translated to pixel dimensions that would be 4000 x 58000 (232000000 total pixels). The hex value for that number is dd40a0, a pink color. RGB is 221,64,160. Converting those values to an interior house paint color would be P120-4M HEART BREAKER. Any song with that duration would result in these colors; It has nothing to do with Rifts. You can map anything to anything to achieve some result. It's a simple algorithm that drives creative decisions.

Craton Crossing: P140-7 NO MORE DRAMA
Waning Earth: PPU8-13 LEMON BALM
A Break in the Rain: P530-7D TANZANITE
Nevada Seaway: P530-7D TANZANITE
The Dark Segment: P430-4M KAUAI
A Ways Away: P430-4M KAUAI
The Full Earth: PPU15-05 NEW AGE BLUE
Naturally in Nature: MQ4-46 EARLY SPRING
Autolands: MQ4-26 COME SAIL AWAY
Eocene: P500-4M LIFE FORCE
Terranes: P560-6D JUST A FAIRYTALE
Innuendi: P100-6D CHAKRA



A matrix mapping time to physical dimensions:

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#2017 #universals #classificationofcolor