The Bohlen-Pierce Symposium
First symposium on the Bohlen-Pierce scale, Boston, March 7 – 9, 2010
ffitch: Universal Algebra

John ffitch: Universal Algebra

Algebraic forms have interested me since I was first introduced to them aged 9.  Recent fascination has been on the Henon equation and the complex patterns it makes.  The piece Universal Algebra uses samples from the HKUIST gamelan to highlight the patterns, with the Bohlen-Pierce scale providing a harmonic framework.  To this is added a few components of Jhaptaal (10 beats), and in deference to my tabla teacher, Tapan Roy, it ends with a Tihai.
The fixing of cultures, Chinese, Indian and Western is why I call it Universal, although properly this is the study of algebraic structures themselves, not examples.

John ffitch was born in 1945 in Yorkshire, and was educated at St John’s College, University of Cambridge, where he read Mathematics, and postgraduate Computing.  His 1971 Ph.D. was in thecreation of a computer algebra system and its application inrelativity and gravity wave research. He was joint winner of the Adams Prize in 1975.  After six years as a postdoctoral researcher insymbolic computation, with a sideline in solar-system astronomy,working with Professor R. A. Lyttleton, FRS, he spend a year at the University of Utah and eighteen months at Leeds before being appointed to his current post as Professor of Software Engineering at the University of Bath in 1980.  He has wide computational interests, having worked in LISP, parallelism, simulation, linguistics and compilation; he is also an executive director of the software company Codemist Ltd.

Following a chance encounter with Csound on the Internet about 1990 he revived his teenage interest in creating music, and for the last years has been a main maintainer and developer of Csound.  Encouraged by Richard Boulanger he also returned to composing, and encouraging others with a series of musical projects, such as the Door Project. He is also a bad tabla player.

Download sound files

The piece is 4 channel, and the file univeralA4.wav is the whole thing, and
are the four channels as mono files

There are stereo mixdowns as