Studies in musical irregularity

On February 29, the oddest day of any year, Risto Holopainen's new electronic piece Circular Golomb Rulers is released as a digital album as well as a limited edition CD.
The album cover depicts a circular Golomb ruler.
The album cover depicts a circular Golomb ruler.
Feb. 29, 2016 - PRLog -- The five pieces all explore the rhythmic irregularities produced with so called Golomb rulers. Briefly, the idea of a Golomb ruler is to have a small number of marks placed in such a way that they allow measuring a large number of distances between pairs of marks, and such that each measurable distance can only be measured between a particular pair of marks. This mathematical structure lies behind the construction of the rhythms in all five pieces as well as some of the melodic material.

Since Golomb rulers produce highly irregular patterns, they have been used elsewhere in an attempt to create "ugly" music and in studies of the perceptual complexity of rhythms. Here, however, several patterns of different length are repeated, constantly phasing out against each other. The result is somewhat complex, but not necessarily ugly music. The pieces have been realized with Eurorack analog modular and Csound.

The digital album includes program notes that explain everything, and the score so you can sing along. A very home-made CD-R edition of 12 copies have a hand-made lino print on its cover, also depicting a circular Golomb ruler.

Risto Holopainen
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Tags:Algorithmic, generative music
Location:Oslo - Norway
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