Finally I had time this Saturday to engage with another junto.
I read the prompt just before my morning shower so I could ponder it there. For some reason the shower puts me in a very creative headspace.
After reading the prompt, to create a piece of music seeded from my local lottery numbers, I decided I would devise a formula in the shower, to turn the numbers into a musical prompt, before finding the numbers themselves.
My formula was as follows:
- The lowest number would be the time signature. That is, the number of beats per phrase.
- The second lowest number (modulo 7) would select one of the 7 modes of the major scale, by specifying the offset of the start of the mode from the start of the major scale. See below for detail.
- The third lowest number in the sequence (modulo 12) would give me the key, or tonic note. Starting at 0 = C and counting up by semitones.
- The entire sequence of numbers would give me the notes of my main musical phrase with 0 being the tonic note, counting along the determined scale. Of course this could give me a melody spanning many octaves, so I decided I would stick strictly to the note (ie. the original number modulo 7) and take the relative octaves as a hint.
Of course there were some risks here. A time signature of 0 or 1 would give me no useful time signature and a time sigature too high might be dificult to compose for. Also a weird mode could make things pretty spicy, and the melody could just be terrible. But what is a lottery without risks?!?
Would I strike the musical jackpot? or just add to my musicial debt of overwhelming, unfinished musical projects?..
And the numbers are:
34 28 22 42 45 10
(Australia, NSW Lotteries, Saturday Lotto, 05/05/2018)
My musical prize:
Time signature: 10 beats per bar
Mode: 22 mod 7 = 1 - Dorian
Key: 28 mod 12 = 4 - E
Notes (Octave): D(4), E(4), F#(3), E(6), A(6), A(1)
It took me a while to make sense of this melody and to get my head around 10 beat bars. Listening to the song you’ll hear a repeated 4 bar musical phrase at the begining, consisting of 12 notes. This in fact two versions of my lucky melody one after the other but using different octaves and timing in each version. After a while I add some varations which step outside my lucky melody but do stay in E Dorian.
The beat is programmed on an Elektron Machinedrum. The bassline and melody were programed into my octatrack and sent via midi to other gear. The two note bassline is an organ sound on my Nord Stage 2 Ex. The lead is my moog Mother-32 with me fidding the knobs throughout for a bit of variation. The moog is patched up to blend the sawtooth and pulse wave with audio rate lfo modulation on the pulse width that comes in to give it a more agressive sound in the second half of the track. Hope you enjoy!
– What is Modulo ? –
The modulo operation finds the remainder after dividing one number by another. In this case it is a way of making a large set of possible numbers wrap-around such that the result will fall within a smaller set of numbers. eg. 5 mod 3 = 2; 12 mod 3 = 0.
– Determining the mode –
The 7 modes of the major scale can be derived by starting a scale at any point in the major scale and following the intervals of the major scale from there. I used the second lowest number modulo 7 to make sure I got a number between 0 and 7 resulting in the respective mode below.
0 - Ionian
1 - Dorian
2 - Phrygian
3 - Lydian
4 - Mixolydian
5 - Aeolian
6 - Locrian