‘DO GEESE SEE GOD’ – THE SOUND OF A PALINDROME

geese

“All aspects of sound are considered part of a single, unified musical time; everything can be reduced to the arrangement of pulses, and in electronic music, composition extends to the composition of the sounds themselves.” Karl Heinz Stockhausen (1928-2007)

With Stockhausen in mind I decided to experiment with the palindrome, DO GEESE SEE GOD, exploring what I could do with it in terms of sound designed through organised structure.

What he (Stockhausen) did was to use a method of writing music whereby the composer creates a tone-row. The tone-row is simply the 12 notes of the chromatic scale.  The composer then puts them in an order where no note is repeated until all are played.  I thought I’d apply these rules to DO GEESE SEE GOD.

In 1952 Stockhausen used this technique when composing ‘Etude’ – the earliest work of electroacoustic tape music composed by him and built around a 6×6 number square.   I have applied his rules with DO GEESE SEE GOD to try out this technique on the palindrome.  I won’t bore you with the formula for fear you might understandably glaze over. Other than that, the final piece had to work in sound as it did as words did on paper.

Here it is. Please remember this is the art of sound, not regular music.

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30 comments

      1. I posted one a few months back. I can imagine the effort you put into it. I did too and then i was happy when I got it right

  1. Word palindromes are fascinating, amazing that you can write music using a technique like this. Wonderful title, and really interesting to listen to George, escepcially knowing it was based on a formula of sort, quite cool. As I listened, I pictured these poor geese from your image above waddling about in a group, searching the sky for their version of god. (Possibly an airplane.) We hope you’re having an enjoyable day. ~ M & R

    1. Geese on an airplane reminds me of just how lazy pigeons have become. They rarely use their wings anymore. I can imagine them sitting on top of drones to get about on. Sound art is weird though, more of a painting than a video. This should be an enjoyable day. My new invention is near completion. A brand new product plug-in sort of thing. Have a great day M & R in a place where the sun shines.

      1. You’re making think of rats with useless wings, those lazy pigeons. Congratulations on the new product plug-in sort of thing! Thank you, definitely enjoying the sun shine. I hope you’ve gotten a bit of a break from the cold weather. ~ M & R

      2. Geese on an airplane. The Boggles: Wonder what Wesley Snipes might say? Animation? A children’s book of newart? This trap you have dug – like some others encountered following Yassy’s crumbtrail will keep me off my inebriations and lenghten the time ‘twixt chores. Thanks!

  2. Well, you certainly continue to surprise. Brilliant title and experimentation. I’m wondering if that is why you are so creative. You are not afraid to produce a piece like this based on a formula.

    1. Thanks. The only problem with experimenting is that the results are sometimes odd. I back to posting regular stuff next post. I did enjoy creating this. Using music like this it is possible to create a common language. A language without a purpose now but who knows, one day perhaps.

  3. Well…this…yes? hmm. you know, maybe it’s the wine talking, but this seems a very Peter Gabriel thing to do. He was quite an experimenter, too, and not afraid of pushing limits…back in the day, anyway.

    1. I did one on Guy Fawkes night and at a football match but am not sure readers of WordPress (not that I am criticizing them) are ready for it yet. You might be, but they are both really weird beyond average weird. I’d love to set up the football one at a stadium before a match to confuse the crowd.

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