Approximating Perfection

by Bere Farno



Third in a series of performances of "Some Versions of Pastoral". This is waypoint 49.73508,13.39022,1895,3,23,1

This piece is an algorithmic composition reflecting potential futures in the universe from a point and place in time: un morceau en forme de la fumée de cigare you might say. The composition uses Bode's Law and the Julia set.

The three tracks can be seen as extracts of a longer (much, much longer - 10,000 hours long) piece, which ran all year in 1993. I restarted it after it was over following particular points in space and time in honour of people whose thinking led to the piece. The tracks have their birth dates and locations as their starting parameters - waypoints in a culture's life.

This was an attempt (successful I think) to make a modern musique d'ameublement. It was in a room in the house with moderately large speakers, and ran for a thousand hours. It was (following Cage's insights) an attempt to make a music of changes, and to have something that reflected the cosmos musically at each point in time. Music to dwell within and ignore while doing other things.

The piece was written as a program in RAVEL, an AV manipulation language written by Jim Binkley in 1988, sending MIDI commands to a Kurzweil K2000. It began as as CSOUND project that I never got to sound right. The secret to making it working musically lay in using the VAST architecture of the K2000 to make low sounds percussive and high notes into overtones of others. As it turned out, the patch took months to get right, while the algorithm remained unchanged from the first. It seemed appropriate somehow - adapting how one met unchangeable circumstances rather than "kicking against the pricks".


released October 21, 2015




Ivodne Galatea Nedlands, Australia

Principally playing original compositions of an ambient nature on the Hohner Guitaret as well as other thumb pianos/finger harps/lamellophones.
Interested in orchestration using field recordings, per the great John Cage's suggestions (1937).
The pieces are all pataphysical book reviews. They consist of musical essays on books of the same title that haven't been written, but should have.
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