Pentatonic Permutations

THU September 8, 2016 - MON September 12, 2016, 10AM - 7:30 PM
First Floor/Gallery
Pentatonic Permutations Benjamin Heidersberger Alchemists Festival 2016Credit: Chris Schauer

Benjamin Heidersberger

“Listen and you may find that you are silence yourself.”

Pentatonic Permutations is an algorithmic piano composition by Benjamin Heidersberger that started 14 billion years ago and will continue another 16 trillion years, tagging every moment of time. After the last permutation the piece will stop.

Pentatonic scales of prime number length are constantly phase shifting, creating narrations; fragments of melodies appear and disappear. Out of 66 possible scales 1-4-2-3-2 was selected.

In the installation eight speakers spatialize sampled Steinway pianos coming from a laptop with a multichannel output. A computer program creates the algorithmic composition as midi events, which are played by a software synthesizer using Linux.

Pentatonic Permutations is also a portable paperback-size player converting time to music. It receives time from radio waves and synchronizes a high-precision clock so all players will play the same part of the composition wherever they are. An edition of 100 pieces is for sale.