π Symphony is a piece which explores the relationship between the number “PI”, its relationship to music , and as a metaphor for one of the virtues in life. I originally conceptualized the idea to use the 10 million digits of π from the provided data set and map them to musical scales, with the idea that theoretically, since π is a mathematical constant with a start point however no end point, every song that contains the notes I map it to would eventually be played out if it was mapped indefinitely. I later did a search for existing artist interpretations of π and music. This piece was inspired by Michael Blake’s what Pi sounds like and aSongScout’s Song from π. For my piece I wanted to focus on simply π mapped to the basic keys in the major pentatonic scales in order to state that the focus is on the tones mapped to π and nothing else fancy.
How it works (continued):
Originally planned to play all the 10 million notes of the first 10 million digits of π using the major and minor scales mapped to the first 10 notes, this idea was later revised thanks to the help of David Bouchard to instead map it to a pentatonic scale (which contains 5 notes) x 2 octaves which then provide 10 notes, which would thus be able to be mapped to the 10 possible digits that are contained in π. Minim was used for the sound generator in the sketch, keeping it simple by using the “note delay, note duration, note tone” parameters. The tab named “ifmapping” contains the if statement that maps the character notes (in the tab “Notes”, referenced in the “note tone” parameter) to the current digit of PI. The speed of which PI is counting is set by a counter, which along with the note duration parameter can be controlled by keys pressed. The interface was designed so that every possible current note of each key major would be seen at all times, to reinforce the message of the piece – that every possibility of our past and current lives are in front of us, if we take the time and initiative to consider them.