The Open Book (2009)

Once I started teaching again, I stepped out of my comfort zone and did something a little different for this collection: it is based mainly on improvisational themes supplemented and cleaned up via MIDI post-processing. The title came from that which was in the way when I went to work on it. In an interesting twist, I had recently had an inspiration for the artwork: a page from Archimedes’ Palimpsest. When I wrote a paper for one of my math classes on Archimedes, I found that the Palimpsest changed hands in the 90’s — and that the new (anonymous) owner handed it over to researchers for imaging with the intent that the document be made public on the web. I realized then at this was as close as I would ever come to being able to use a multi-millennia old primary source for a research paper. Thus, this set of pieces took on the name “The Open Book” as inspired by the opening of the Palimpsest to the public. The cover art was my own attempt at hiding one set of text underneath another. The three instruments used are three synthesizers each of which uses a completely different approach to creating sound: The Alesis A6 Andromeda may have digital controls, but the signal path is all analog (subtractive synthesis); the Yamaha SY77 is a revolutionary digital synthesizer using FM synthesis (frequency modulation) combined with small-scale sample playback; and the Kawai K5000s builds sounds through additive synthesis.

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