Fragments of a Bohlen-Pierce Composition (Pt 11)

The piece is due this Friday, and of course, that means my computer had to die yesterday.

*shakes fist at deadline gremlins*

So I lost 5 hours of composing time. The good news is that I have a backup computer. It runs a bit slower, but I can move forward.

I appended another fragment to my outline. This section is inspired by two sources. The first is Mozart’s Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. I’ve had this piece on my mind ever since playing the “Lost in Nightmares” expansion mission for Resident Evil 5. The second is Khachaturian’s Gayane Ballet Suite, though it’s influence is perhaps subtle.

Have you ever seen Connections? I’m about to make a few.

The Gayane Ballet Suite was used in the film 2001: a space odyssey. The author, Arthur C. Clarke, “was the first to propose geostationary communications satellites.” John Pierce, of the Bohlen-Pierce scale, “arrived at the (same) idea independently and may have been the first to discuss unmanned communications satellites. ” (source)

Also in 2001, we hear HAL sing the tune Daisy Bell as he is dying. The film’s director, Stanley Kubrick, was visiting with Pierce at Bell Labs to get a sense of what a telephone booth in space would look like. Pierce used this opportunity to show him the computer music program, which included a synthetic vocal arrangement of Daisy Bell by Max Mathews, the father of computer music. Here’s a video of Mathews telling the story; Dr. Richard Boulanger is also in it.

Stanley Kubrick passed away on March 7th of 1999. The first day of the Bohlen-Pierce conference starts on March 7th. I originally heard of Kubrick’s passing around the corner and down the street from where Monday night’s event takes place. I was at a gathering at Elaine Walker‘s apartment, who has been a composer of Bohlen-Pierce music for years, and is presenting both music and a lecture at the Symposium.

Download: fragments_11.csd

4 thoughts on “Fragments of a Bohlen-Pierce Composition (Pt 11)

  1. I feel like I’m arriving at the Bohlen-Pierce party really late – – is there somewhere you can point me to on the web where I can find just audio of someone just playing the actual scale? Sounds stupid, I know. I’ve been trying to un-learn composition for only 30 years . . .