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[October, 2011: Rhythmicon pages archived, no longer updated or maintained.]

The Rhythmicon The Rhythmicon: The Frame

My interest in the rhythmicon was sparked by the film, Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey, in which the rhythmicon is mentioned and briefly described. It was one of those delightful moments when a new world of possibilities opened before me. In a few days I had sketched, in very lose terms, the whole scenario of how to create a virtual rhythmicon and the concept of a series of works to be called Rhythmiconic Sections. The works would relate to one another in length as whole number multiples of a base unit, just as the rhythms and harmonics relate to one another in the rhythmicon. The first section would be the shortest, the next two times that length, the third three times the length of the first, etc., through 24 short works. Rhythmiconic Sections was completed in the fall of 2000 and was released commercially in 2002. I have continued to explore and use the rhythmicon as a conceptual framework for subsequent pieces, most recently in The Ancient Chinese Enclosing Game Compositional Matrix, an abstraction of the structural aspects of the rhythmicon.

Henry Cowell points out in his book, New Musical Resources, that the system he developed, which led to the creation of the rhythmicon, is based in the physics of sound. His use of the facts, however, constitutes an arbitrary compositional system. My use of the same facts, while borrowing from Cowell, focuses on the mechanical nature of the rhythmicon (the device) and the internal structure of the rhythmic patterns it produced, as well as the harmonic relationship among the tones. You will see that at many points my decisions are also arbitrary, guided by my musical and philosophical interests and an attempt to retain an internal consistency in my use of the rhythmicon for Rhythmiconic Sections.

<Background/Definition----------Virtual Rhythmicon>

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