Archive for the Week 2 Category

Desma week 2: Amazing Drumer

Posted in Week 2 on December 4, 2007 by ava3

So who knew there was a genre of music called math rock? Uniting all nerds who are music lovers, bringing together art and science.Many people fail to realize there might be a need to recombine art and science, or have a need for the third culture. The reason is because the world of art and science are already one. People need to put less effort into creating what already exists, and instead spend more energy on finding the similarities of science within art, and visa versa.Apperently, after researching, math rock is not a new concept. It has actually been around since the fifteenth century, but merely the name has been modernized from the 1980’s. Math Rock has the influence of progressive and alternative rock, but has a new style into it where it frequently incorporates asymmetrical time signatures such as 7/8, 11/8, or 13/8, or features constantly changing meters based on various groupings of 2 and 3. The complexity of numbers makes it sem mathematical, but also tends to leave the listener a bit lost in sonud, as if the music is ‘off’ meter. This is why the music is categorized as a type of Noise Music.If you guys were in class Wednesday, maybe you can relate to how I felt. Blown away by a twenty minute long song that seemed to keep changing over time, but was so rythmically “off beat,” or just seemingly fast, that it doesn’t seem like “real music. But because of structure, and use of rffs, and of course rythm, do not be so quick to judge, because it is definately music.


OLE Coordinate System

Posted in Week 2 on October 22, 2007 by gilk

This is so last week, but I remembered a media art software piece that is very Escher-esque. The explanation video is here, and the software is here (the software is Win only. )

This guy gets it

Posted in Week 2 on October 21, 2007 by gilk

Narek from Group C wrote about the validity of Math Rock in last week’s lecture. Very well versed, and gives good references. Check it out:


Narek Asadorian wrote @ October 14th, 2007 at 7:43 pm

This week’s guest lecture by Gil and the math rock demo by The Ruins further excited my interests in pursuing a technological music approach for my project ideas in this class. I can still hear the shocking operatic moans, dissonant guitar riffs and frantic fragmented drumming of Yoshida resounding in my head.

As a long time fan of American math rock and metal groups I was not as surprised by The Ruins’ sound as, many of my classmates may have been. As a guitar player myself, I always have had the utmost respect for the sheer technical ability of the guitarists in bands such as Meshuggah, Dillinger Escape Plan, and The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza. These extreme metal groups seem to show an obsession with breaking the public’s view of what music is and can be. While most consider 4/4 to be a normal time signature, math groups bring about the question that perhaps their compound polyrhythmic time signatures are more natural than anything else. Their chaotic and constantly changing rhythms bring a more human, stream-of-consciousness feel to the music. The rhythms in their songs are influenced by the very fractals that make nature and are the keys to the design of the world around us. Dillinger Escape Plan, once being known for rolling multiple dice when choosing time signatures, let randomness and statistics decide where the music goes. Their frequent use of dissonant chords and chromatic pseudo-jazz guitar lines makes it clear to the listener that they have no interest whatsoever in applying the already established and often cliché-sounding melodic system that humans have created.

Yoshida, when asked about the meaning of his music, replied in English “no meaning”. With the same idea, the Dillinger Escape Plan named one of their albums Calculating Infinity, which is impossible to do, showing that nothing is to be made of their music. In essence, math rock is art for the sake of art. The idea of what is art and what is not can be judged by the listener. Now, where does science play into all of this? By definition, science is an attempt by humans whether through imaginative thought or experimentation to understand the workings of the world around us. These math rock artists create a brand of music which reflects the ambiguity and fragmented behavior of nature and human thought. These interpretations make math rock groups scientists in their own field.

Math and Art, who would have thought..

Posted in Week 2 on October 16, 2007 by danaharris1

I have been a big fan of MC Escher ever since my middle school Math teacher showed us his drawings. It was great last Monday to be exposed to more art that math was used to create. I think the whole meshing of the arts and math is awesome because generally speaking, the two seem to be on totally different ends of the spectrum.

Looking at the Escher poster I have in my room ( it’s really cool to think about the fact that multiple calculations were needed to create such optical illusions.

However, the most interesting thing about last Monday’s lecture, to me, was the golden ratio. The fact that it can be found in nature all over the place, and has been used in so many famous works of art is particularly interesting, mainly because it suggests that we can mathematically identify a particular ratio that we innately seem to find aesthetically pleasing. The masks that are made up of the golden ratio—and applied to the worlds “best looking people” is also fascinating. It suggests that there is a deep-rooted—scientific and mathematics explication of what beauty is. That somehow this formula is implanted somewhere in the brain stem (the most primitive part of our brain,) and that we subconsciously revert back to this calculation when determining the beauty of an object.

Obviously, this view leaves little room for the fact that there are different kinds of beauty, but nonetheless, it’s still an interesting concept to consider. It’s also interesting to see how many places the golden ratio can be found—even the debate that one of the pyramids is based on the golden ratio. I think it’s important for us to be able to see that math really can be found all around us, especially when quite a few of us (myself included) tend to constantly ponder the point of taking so many years of math (I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve asked myself when I’m going to EVER need to use some of the things I learn in math.) It makes math a little bit more bearable, in the sense that it allows us to see that math can be used outside of the classroom—and in everyday life for those of us who do not plan on being engineers, bankers etc. I loved the lecture… And- I also thought it was awesome to have Gil mention Battles because I’ve liked them ever since I saw them open for the Icarus Line 3 years ago. They’re awesome, and they put on an amazing show.

Edit : Edit

Week 2: Courtney Tran

Posted in Week 2 on October 15, 2007 by bruintran

After one of our classmates went up and spoke about music in relation to the Fibonnaci sequence, and after seeing Yoshida perform math rock, I find that there is amaaaaaazing places to go, wonderous things to be made and done when math and art come together. It seems that mankind has come to the point where the embrace of this third culture will really save us all from the so-called approaching “end” of our genius. As  in the article, “On Creativity”, the end really is just a mark of a new beginning. I have never heard music like that before, and I have never figured that math could even be minutely related to created real, powerful, passionate music. It was wonderous!!! I was a little confused about non-euclidean geometry, but one thing I did pick up was that everything (for me) relates to that “On Creativity” article. If we find it impossible to fathom that there is a fourth dimension, if we would rather be more comfortable with the dimensions of art we presently work with normally, then we will never discover what else is out there. I definitely support these rebels (Lissitzky, Khlebinikov…) for helping us produce that beginning at the end. I also noticed that, much like math rock, the Theory of Relativity (scientific kind of stuff) was definitely making a connection to art itself (the fourth dimension), thereby, creating remarkable works. I was fascinated, and I definitely see why two cultures is robbing us of many possible riches in the progressing future of mankind. This was my biggest epiphany this week.

I love listening to music. And I find, that nature, art, and math (the Golden Ratio) create some pretty fascinating sounds that take music to a whole different level:

The Golden Ratio & Math Rock-Van Huynh

Posted in Week 2 on October 15, 2007 by vhuynh

Professor Vesna’s lecture discussing the golden ratio intrigued me. I have never understood what exactly it was or why it was used until it was mentioned. I understand that the golden ratio, approximately equal to 1.6180339887 is found in nature in which people believe is the measurement of things found that are divine, especially pleasing to the eye, or simply “beautiful.” Through browsing the web, I found and discovered that the golden ratio can be found in architecture, the human body, nature, animals, and practical things we use today.


In the article noted above, the author generalizes that people happen to be more attractive ad believe beauty is in “symmetrical and proportional” people and things, like Jessica Simpson. However, this observation is clearly an assumption of people today. In my opinion, I do not believe Jessica Simpson is beautiful due to the impression I have of her, superficial, ditsy, and absurd remarks. This defies the underlying interest of the golden ratio. I believe that beauty is skin-deep, where I find it in one’s personalities, strengths, and actions.

When I heard that Yoshida would be coming to perform for us on Wednesday, I was skeptical. I was wondering what exactly is math rock? Do bands just play guitar and sing about mathematical formulas? However, Yoshida’s performance amazed me. It really opened my eyes. I noticed the passion in Yoshida’s performance through the intense rhythms, and precise structure of the music, overall. I finally understood why it was called math rock. It was not because it consisted of lyrics relating to actual mathematics, but the music, itself, is so intricate and precise, using different time signatures from the norm, creating this new music. It was an exotic and trippy sound giving me this exotic feeling that I was in a circus house. I was urged to start a mosh pit in the room, but considering the size of the room, chairs, and people, I sat there in a sort of trance, listening to in the drumming, guitar playing, and emotional vibe Yoshida gave off. Having experienced this new type of music for myself really gave me a new appreciation for different music I have not heard of. I’ve learned that music isn’t in the glam, the sensual and sexual feelings, the conformity, but is about the actual made created by the musician, the artist.

During the session discussion, we were taught by T.A.’s John and Lis about fractals. This interested me because I have a fascination for intricate shapes and patterns. It urged me to browse the internet for some more examples and here are the few I came across and extremely liked:

Week 2-Unknown-Frank Nicholas

Posted in Week 2 on October 15, 2007 by franknicholas

Before taking this class I had heard about math rock through my friend. He told me they use math to make music, but I was confused and never really thought about it after that. But then we learned about it, and it is really interesting. It is amazing how music that uses so many different meters and breaks so many musical “rules” can sound so good. I like how the music is different. The beat is continually changing and is unpredictable, unlike most music where you will know exactly what is coming next.
I also found fractals very interesting. The whole self-similarity, and the parts replicating the whole is amazing to me. And they are definitely art, and are created from computer programs, so they are the perfect example of how art and technology come together. I was looking at different fractals online, and this ones my favorite.

I can’t explain why they are so cool looking, its weird. But thinking about repeating patterns and how a little piece of the fractal looks like the whole thing, and something that can go on forever like that is just amazing to me.