Prime Cycles 2 (Fast Version)

from by Ben Harper

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One of a series of pieces consisting of a drone in each MIDI channel, subjected to a cyclical pattern of controller changes; the ratio of lengths of the cycles in each channel is made up of prime numbers to delay repetition of coinciding cycles. I haven’t worked out how long it would take for the overall pattern of interlocking cycles to repeat, but this version doesn’t come close. In this piece, the volume of each drone fades in and out from minimum to maximum and back in regular cycles. The drones are tuned to a scale of prime ratios approximating a Phrygian scale (19/17, 13/11, 31/23, 3/2, 5/3, 31/17, 2/1) and a perfect fifth higher. This is the fast version of the piece, which plays up the harmonic changes; another version plays through the same number of cycles in a little over an hour, allowing more psychoacoustic phenomena to emerge.

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from Aimless, released March 24, 2015

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