The Bohlen-Pierce Symposium
First symposium on the Bohlen-Pierce scale, Boston, March 7 – 9, 2010
Boulanger: I Know of No Geometry

Richard Boulanger: I Know of No Geometry (1990 revised 2010)

- for solo Radio Baton and Csound5
Richard Boulanger – Mathews Radio Baton
1. Introduction to Geometry
2. Fractal Geomentry
3. Euclidean Geometry
4. Geometric Solution
This was one of the first compositions composed in the Bohlen-Pierce scale.
It is dedicated to John Pierce – the grandfather of computer music and one of the co-inventors/co-discovers of this remarkable tuning system. It’s four movements showcase the evocative and melancholy harmonies and timbres and the sweet
melodies that John personally revealed to me when he introduced me to his remarkable tuning system and invited me to compose in it.   To return his special gift of friendship and encouragement, this work humbly tries to reveal some of the tuning’s inherent beauty, and to channel some of John’s radiant and nurturing spirit.
The piece is performed on a Radio Baton – a wireless 3D MIDI controller developed by Max Mathews – the father of computer music.  Max was a great friend of John Pierce (he introduced us to each other) and he and I have collaborated and performed together for years now. I am quite proud of the fact that the radio baton that I am playing tonight is model # 1 and is named: “The Boulanger”.  It uses two radio transmitters – tuned to 38K and 50K; I move these two ‚Äúbatons‚Äù over a tabletop (actually an FM receiving antennae) to register beats, activate triggers, and to transmit continuous MIDI controller messages.  The program that interprets these gestures, written by Max Mathews, is called “The Conductor Program”.  I like to think of it as an expressive, real-time, step-sequencer.  The notated score is converted into ASCII and written in a text file consisting of letters for notes and dots for durations.
The 2010 version of the composition features a new 4-channel Csound orchestration.