Tag Archive: Einstein


I am always on the lookout for new metaphors to assist me to improvise jazz. My latest efforts have been in the area of quantum physics. Unfortunately, quantum physics has no direction, no aesthetics, and no love. It is strictly probabilistic and functional. Cubism, on the other hand, is an artistic and geometric concept which combines physics (planes, dimensions) with perspective, shape, and artistic creative energy. Besides, cubist art is my favorite form of art. While I’m attracted to 12-tone music, I’m a real novice at it and need to work more on treating it in terms of improvisation. Cubism might be a way to improvise from the perspective of shifting tonalities, rhythms, meter, scales, and atonality as a vehicle to effective, moving expression.

Let me sketch out some brief ideas. There is an interpretive structure to improvisation which is a form of spontaneous composition. What if we structure improv musically to include things from different perspectives to bring together objects as seen from different dimensions, utilizing elements of music assembled with an arc designed to hear something as a metaphor for visual things seen as if the musician were a cubist? What would the musician use in her attempt to create a sonic representation of different elements? What would some of those elements consist of?

  • Here’s a brief list of some of the ways musicians could approach the problem of creating music cubistically:
    • Texture
      • Continuum from rough to smooth
      • Granular and gritty to liquid and fluid
      • Layers reminiscent of geological layers as seen on the walls of a chasm or on mountainsides        
    • Rhythm
      • Continuum from classical and unaccented through all variations of popular rhythms including jazz swing and all forms of jazz historically beginning with 19th century forms into the present
      • Electronic jazz to electroacoustic
      • All forms of rock
        • Hip hop
        • Funk
        • Ska
        • Reggae
        • Metal
        • Blues
      • Rhythms of different cultures
        • Indian
        • African
        • Asian
        • Middle eastern
        • South American
        • Indigenous and tribal
    • Meter
      • Western meter used in jazz
        • 4/4
        • ¾
        • 6/8
        • 2/4
        • 9/8
    • Non-western meter
      • 5/4
      • 7/4
      • 11/4
      • 13/4
    • Chord changes
      • Complex bebop changes
      • Simple postbop changes
      • Drones
    • Musical notes
      • Continuum from tonal to atonal/12-tonal
      • Continuum of intervals from consonant to dissonant
        • Large intervals
        • Small intervals
        • Close intervals
        • Scalar intervals
          • Major
          • Minor
          • Whole tonal
          • International scales
            • Different ragas
            • Persian scales
            • Scales from a variety of folk musics used for example by Bartok, Tchaikovsky, Spanish, French, English, Celtic, German
    • Blues
      • Country blues
      • Funky blues
      • Bebop
      • Cool
      • Honky tonk
      • Roots
    • Emotion
      • Meditative
      • Warm and sweet
      • Soulful
      • Negative
        • Anger
        • Rage
        • Fury
        • Defensive
        • Reactive
        • Fear
      • Positive
        • Joy
        • Happy
        • Light
        • Fluttery
        • Warm
    • Abstract to primitive
    • Different instruments
      • Strings
      • Reeds
      • Brass
      • Percussion
      • Combinations of different instruments
        • Solo
        • Sections
    • Musical metaphors
      • Weather
        • Stormy
        • Rain
        • Wind
        • Sunny
        • Cold
        • Warm
        • Lightening
        • Thunder
      • Cosmic
      • Quantum
      • Cubist
    • Psychological
      • Jungian
        • Functions of personality
          • Thinking
          • Feeling
          • Sensation
          • Intuition
          • Judgment
          • Perception
        • Metaphysical
          • Unconscious
          • Collective unconscious
          • Myth structure
          • Alchemy
          • Dreaming
      • Freudian
        • Unconscious
        • Abreaction
        • Wish fulfillment
        • Sexual fulfillment

Flattening, deconstruction, rearrangement of perspective, elimination of depth, monochromatic color—all these typify cubist painting. Ultimately, abstraction from reality marks the demarcation of cubism from more representational art. But, as far as I can tell, performance art is less represented than sculpture, painting, collage, all visual art forms at least regarding cubist expression. In fact, aside from Merce Cunningham and his movement strategies which do not rely on programmatic notes or references to anything but movement, I cannot think of any performance art which relies on cubism to inform its realization. And, I’m not sure Merce, or John Cage for that matter, would agree with me.

I cannot find any musical representation of cubism aside from visual art utilizing musical instruments and musicians playing them. No composers I have discovered attempted using cubism as a source of inspiration. No musical forms appear to consciously utilize cubist principles. I have asked others to comment on cubist principles of music—no one answers.

How is it, then, that I can hear cubism almost every time I listen to free jazz? I can hear planes, dimensions, interacting perspectives, dissonance, complex rhythm, different musical schools, colors, and emotion all coming together in different performances of small, medium, and large ensembles made up of every musical instrument whether western, non-western, found objects, electronic, or uniquely made by an individual. In fact, I have been attempting to understand improvisation from so many different perspectives that my abstraction of these arguments has become a cubist expression all by itself! Lately I’ve been considering physics—Einsteinian and quantum, string theory and quantum chromodynamics—as springboards for hypothesis generation. The overarching issue for me is “where do all the notes come from?” 

My personal experience of improvisation lies in the sense that when I abandon myself to the process they come from somewhere other than my conscious decision to play particular notes. Personal example:  for years I have considered myself to be a poor player of chord changes. I get stuck on playing specific notes in a chord and can’t think quickly enough to make the changes. If the changes are simpler and I can think quickly enough, I lose something in terms of inventiveness. It is only once I have warmed up to a musical structure (a tune for the uninitiated) can I let go enough to have some fun. It is faster than thought. If it is a tune with chord changes and I let go I find new and inventive ways to play the changes. The danger for me is repetitiveness. I can start to play everything the same so different tunes begin to sound the same.  That is why I am now on the lookout for a way to structure improvisation and composition which will guide me when I take off. For a while I conceived of playing a solo as riding a wave as if the music was a wave and I was surfing it. I have also tried to expand meter by using Indian raga time such as the Tin Tal—a 16 measure segment in 4/4. If instead of 16 4/4 measures I think of it as one long measure in 4/4 the entire structure opens up. My latest infatuation has been the idea I got from string theory of superposition. That is quantum physics for allowing notes to appear by a process of probability. I also borrowed Feynman’s concept of the subatomic particle being in every potential place and speed until it appears—the wave again—when the wave crashes, or as physicists put it, when the quantum wave function collapses. This all felt soulless and didn’t allow for the spiritual or emotional to enter into the equation. Plus, there is no aesthetic I know of that doesn’t allow for human intervention—even Dali relied on the unconscious and its predilections to “determine” his dada.

Many different aspects of experience have gone into my lifetime of composition. I have borrowed from the Kabbalah, quantum physics, and jazz to compose a 12-movement piece I performed in 2019 entitled Qabbala::Entanglement. I have used the Torah and poetry to compose a double string quartet with double SATB chorus entitled Abyss. And I have played with Finale, a music software program, to write pieces that were suggestive but not totally specific about what the musical structure was. I am looking for the next muse to my music. Perhaps it will be cubism.

there is that period of time stretching from the moment of death to reincarnation.

we lie / stand / breathe / hold our breaths / while waiting / the old ones / the new ones / the barely born > we shudder as shutters are removed > it begins with a suddenness like a QUAKE then romps merrily into simplicity / classical solos & head(s) lilting loping a non-frag-mental journey of intervals into playful decisive solos that erupt instantly ferociously without warning >

StartFragment   EndFragment > ERG (one unit of applied energy) > there is no shortage of ERGs or urges in this music & one of Michael Moss’ goals is to not just theorize but to figure out how to apply that applied energy… within & without restrictions… bound by yet beyond CATEGORIES & BOUNDARIES…in a sense creating a new category of categories.

 

there is commerce & then there is commencement > where composer/pianist Moss’ journey begins & ends yet doesn’t > there is sudden abruptness / sweet finicky melodic fiddling / but one thing there isn’t > accidents > there are no accidents > oh possibly a mishap here or there > or a well planned accidental collision as things increase / decrease & coalesce / swing from one tempo to the next / at times like “thunderbolts connecting heaven to earth” (as real as they are symbolic) &/or vice verse-a within the freedom of expression that so binds the Accidental Orchestra together \ no blindfolds / heaps of classic servings of jazz all cooking together to form a stew of extremes / tastes varying yet always complimenting / all forms / small slices of kitsch blending with huge portions of irony & seriousness \ a BRIDGE toward the TREE OF LIFE > spanning centuries / moments / seconds / near fatal fates coupled with THE STREAMING MIND OF (a) GOD which may or may not exist / consume / exume \ angels devils wizards they are all here > merry > at times dark tricksters & what Moss refers to as DEATHEATERS – from its very inception we are pulled into a world | perceptions conceived / formulations > dark entities always made lighter by the precarious yet sure footed approach to SOUND > here is prime territory / prime real estate / prime cuts / primal instincts / scored / untethered / unadulterated (un)harmonious \ tabla-d and tabled like time inside outside of itself \ like gourmet magic dragons tailing fires / that never drag on } vintage symbiotic symbols / music not called in  farmed out or  for rent > revealing the prospects of its own vitalized future > heated impassioned intelligent witty / MOVING / never catering to tastes though ever so tasteful / the good life intertwined with heartache and imminent possibilities of our impossible yet inevitable ends / dancing along until theory itself is refueled then runs out of STEAM / a g(h)as(t) or a gasp / where theory itself runs smack into reality i.e. the emotional subtext & texture of BEING / upheaval thru controlled filtering \ cycles of birth & rebirth / a world of (im)precise ever changing voicings toppling upon itself as quickly as it reforms (A CIRCLE constantly consuming itself in its own infiniteness) > OVERDRIVE of the other whirld > dissonant /assonant / accented alternating registers / syntactical structures < instilling grateful foremost mechanism / magnetism / over time sh(r)edding itself then re-organ(ic)izing… beyond labels > what MOSS’ goal as composer/ /author of his own life’s work symbolizes / to promote his ideas with as little hindrance as possible yet to allow for the individual artists to always shine through > how things fit & work & sometimes don’t work within this puzzle / finding musicians who are top notch who like to work together to remain individual while creating the WHOLE > it’s not so much about complications within the compositional framework but straight ahead rhythms that repeatedly find their way inside the sections / tri-tones – way of making sounds that do not resolve…or for that matter dissolve… what delineates the past leads toward the future toward death & to what happens afterward if you happen to be lucky enough to reach that THROWN OF GOLD… where things might be rosy / foggy / GO(l)D-like yet where NO THING is ever quite RESOLVED… where hope & less than hope is always kept alive where the question is the answer… where “don’t hold your breath” means breathe a bit more > there is a renaissance coming whether we see it or not there is always minute second-by-corpuscular second renewal where the Moss writes his ideas within this seemingly unsafe sanctuary of the resolute idea of NO RESOLVE…where illness & rejuvenation are always at odds where music is the healing force hinting always at “intuition & creativity”… “a sense of urgency”…“fluctuating colors shades textures”…”shifting mirrors of distorted reality…pre-psychological mythical tradition… mysterious…foreboding…but ultimately ecstatic… pregnant with possibility… establishing a disturbing atmosphere…” where the music takes you over. where the spirit that is within us & beyond always hovers amongst us. the soul. heroic. quantum. contrapuntal. inspiring. unconscious. where one should take chances but never leap before one looks…never fail to see where one is walking / MOVING \ venturing into … tho contradicting myself as i so often do… LEAPS OF FAITH can oft result in amazing results… as MOSS & the ACCIDENTAL ORCHESTRA more often than not have proven…tripping over a curb can definitely have its rewards. So “challenge your ears…”   get into “an arc of melody”… (a kind of Noah’s ARK)…venture into the music & therefore into “…another state” of BEING.

 

dalachinsky nyc 2017

WAVE/PARTICLE :: UNCERTAINTY=POSITION/MOMENTUM

In Einstein’s 1917 paper The Quantum Theory of Radiation, photons stimulate the emission of photons by striking and being absorbed by molecules and by raising energy to the point at which new photons are emitted, thus lowering the energy (coincidentally, the theory behind the MASER, LASER, and quantum entanglement) by utilizing the equivalence of mass and energy (e=mc2). This posits the existence of the light quantum, radical since photons were not recognized as yet by the physics community, hence the title. Einstein felt his theory had a weakness—he really wanted there to be a “union with wave theory” and found this to be the greatest weakness of the quantum theory of radiation. He is searching for something but cannot reach it. He knows there must be something about this that explains particle-wave duality but cannot come up with it utilizing the level of experimental knowledge of the time, and cannot therefore arrive at ways to experimentally verify what he intuitively “knows” is true.

Now (2014), a hundred years later, the gap is closed. New work (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/24/quantum-physics-easier-to-understand_n_6370570.html) suggests wave and particle duality are the equivalent of Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle in which there is a relative duality between position and momentum. That is, like particles vs. waves, position and momentum can only be measured separately—if one measures a particle’s position one can no longer measure it’s momentum–but are really identical.   Vice versa if one measures its position and knows where it is, how fast it is going can no longer be measured. This article states that they are relative—two sides of the same coin.  To put it bluntly, momentum and position are relative, just as space and time are relative and particle and wave are relative.

The equivalence principle founds much of Einstein’s later work and led to the generalization of the Special Theory of Relativity. It took from 1905 until 1916 to attain this goal in the Theory of General Relativity, which forced physics to relativize space and time. Now the principle of equivalence leads to a further relativisation—particle and wave are now relative not only to each other but to position and momentum. It took a century but Einstein was proven right again. What interests me is the implication that there might be a bridge here between quantum theory and relativity theory.

The implications of equivalence can immediately be applied to cryptology. What simple mathematical formula describes this four-part harmony between matter, energy, where that matter is, and how fast it is moving? With so many variables, we should be able to avoid anyone hacking into and stealing records of our credit cards because they are encrypted on so many levels. For me—leaving cryptologists to the Turing test—I ask the question: what simple mathematical formula describes this four-part harmony?            I sense we are approaching unity—the nexus of Einstein’s model of a macro universe and the Copenhagen school quantum theory of Bohr, Heisenberg, Pauli, and Schrödinger. This nexus fascinates me because I do not believe Einstein would have predicted it and neither would Heisenberg. This may throw light on whether or not Schrödinger’s cat is alive or dead.

Einstein’s quest for a unified theory extends: Kaluza-Klein theory adds a 5th dimension, string theory adds six more to that, and still there is no experimental proof that there is a 5th or an 11th dimension. The first—Kaluza-Klein— disappointed Einstein secondary to lack of data, and the second—string theory/M theory—disappoints a couple of generations of string theorists. What if the results of the classical double-slit experiment—the essential paradigm of particle-wave interaction—represent Einstein’s idea that both wave-particle and uncertainty theory are relative to one another? Well, they are, but only if measuring momentum or position are flip sides of the coin of the principle of uncertainty and there is an equivalence between this and wave-particle theory.

I visualize a multidimensional propagating wave whose particle manifestation can be measured either as velocity or position. It’s like one of the Star Trek movies came to life and you can beam up Captain Kirk. Add to this the relativity of space and time and I see the Tardis ripping through the fabric of the elegant universe.

Too bad the article I read skims the finding because, even though I AM NO MATHEMATICIAN, I’D LIKE TO SEE SOME FORMULAE. THE NEXT STEP IS THE FORMALIZATION OF THESE EQUIVALENCIES SO AS TO MAKE PREDICTIONS. THAT’S when the pedal hits the metal!

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