Decompositions, 2014

The Decompositions project aims to build musical scales linked to the destruction of pure notes. During my own (cursory) musical training, I became interested in how music is structured on fixed points of a scale, and not the spaces in between these notes. 

By taking a tuning fork, a device that produces an exact musical value, and corroding it in hydrochloric acid, it compromises its tonal purity, forcing the note to skew as it breaks down. 

I used three tuning forks of different tonal value - A, C and E. Placing them in a concentrated acidic solution, they were measured once a week, to record changes in their frequency (and the subsequent note they produced).

Some weeks, these changes were minor, maybe 1 or 2 Hz different. Other weeks the difference was much greater, as much as 191 Hz. The result is a scale linked to the destruction of each of these objects.

I now invite any composers or artists to download and use these 'broken notes' in their own works, as a way for the scales to move through the world and encounter different people and applications. Use them to compose your own tracks and soundscapes, and link me what you've done so I can feature it on this page, and gather a collection of how this idea has been used. You can use the notes for entire compositions, or have them in the mix with other components - I'm keen to see how far people can take it!

Use the contact form on this website to link me your work, or if you want to chat about the project or any ideas! 

 

The notes are available for download here ('Download' tab -> 'Download as .zip') *

 

* The notes are divided in folders based on which fork produced the notes. The file name contains the frequency in Hz, the fork it came from, and the date recorded. (For example, '440 - AJul12.wav'). The files are 10 seconds long each and '.wav' format.

 

Andrew Collingwood - Flow Thesis

 

Ash Tower