SYNERGETICS

Thoughts and ideas

Besides the usual parameters for music such as scales, harmonies or rhythms, in this music the focal point is rather put on tone colours, pulse and articulations such as attack, sustain, decay and release as well as on gravitational and centrifugal forces of individual tone organisms and their respective stable or chaotic properties. As an inspirational source I made use of the pioneering work "Synergetics" by Buckminster Fuller.

Actually more than just a few lines would be needed in order to explain Buckminster Fuller`s person and work, particularly his opus magnum "Synergetics: Explorations in the Geometry of Thinking". So it remains unclear whether one should call him an architect, an inventor, an engineer, philosopher or a poet. Fuller`s articulations explore a no-man`s-land lying between all the chairs of this world. The passion for holistic correlations pervades all of Fuller`s writings and artefacts; it formed the impulse for working out an empirico-experimental geometry, which he called Synergetics.


Here, just a few of his ideas:

VECTOR:
THE UNIVERSE IS MADE OUT OF ENERGY.A GIVEN AMOUNT OF ENERGY GOING
IN A CERTAIN DIRECTION FOR A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF TIME IS CALLED A VECTOR.

TRIANGLE:
THE ONLY STABLE SHAPE OF VECTORS IS A TRIANGLE.

TETRAHEDRON:
THREE TRIANGLES AROUND EACH VERTEX EQUAL THE MINIMUM STABLE SYSTEM.

OCTAHEDRON:
4 TRIANGLES PER VERTEX .

ICOSAHEDRA:
5 TRIANGLES PER VERTEX MAXIMUM STABLE SYSTEM .

I have tried to integrate some of his theoretical considerations into my compositional procedure. Here, just a simple example as to the stability of chords and their reversals. Let`s take as an example the base position of a Cmaj7 chord, a very primitive chord, which sounds ugly, dissonant and unstable in this reversal. If we take the reversal G H E C instead, we will notice a far richer chord, not arranged in thirds, which sounds far less dissonant, in spite of a flat 9 interval.

I have chosen the following subject areas of Fuller`s for being set to music:
01. Omnitopology
02. Triangular Geodesics Transformational Projection
03. Absolute Space Growth
04. Dymaxion Comprehensive
05. Standard Cube (truncated)
06. Tube Convergence
07. Zenith Constancy of Radial Coordination
08. Tetrahelix
09. Energy Event
10. Interference Domains of Structural Systems
11. Frame of Reference

These designations will are also the titles of the compositions. The approach of the individual compositions is an intuitive one, such as you get while looking at a picture, apart from taking into account his philosophical reflections.

THE GUITAR SOUND
The sound of the jazz guitar (e-guitar) has extremely changed in all the years of its existence. Be it because the instrument - compared to other ones - is still relatively young or because the sound is partly produced by electronic means. So initially, a so-called "clean sound" was the thing to do, which allowed itself to be distorted with new technologies such as Marshall Amps, and which found a new artistic expression in the person of the e-guitar milestone, Jimi Hendrix. The mono signal was changed to a stereo signal in order to impart to the sound more breadth and space. This sound was made accessible to a larger public by Pat Metheny.

I make use of the so-called distorted sound in order to achieve more sustain so as to have a fuller breadth of expression such as with wind and string instruments. However, the most fascinating harmony instrument is - and remains for me - the piano. I have also been greatly interested in the pedals and the technique of their handling, through which the tones allow themselves to merge into one another. In the case of modern grand pianos, even three pedals are used, of which the third one makes only those tones sound uninterruptedly which have been pressed. I very much wanted to open up these sound possibilities for the guitar. With the help of the electronic equipment and also the pedals, which influence such factors as attack, sustain, decay and release, it is possible for me to produce this sound. Moreover, I also try to work with a sort of doubler effect which causes a movement of the sound in space.

The starting point in some of the pieces was singing as a "melody instrument". So I did not start out from the craftmanlike, guitarristic possibilities, but from a singable melody.

SYNERGETICS VOL. 2
Universe is the aggregate of all humanity`s
consciously apprehended and communicated
nonsimultaneous and only partially overlappingexperiences

Buckminster FullerRichard Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983) did not only appear as an architect of geodetical dome buildings, but also as the creator of other individualistic ideas in architecture and design. They were all embedded in his concept of a "synergetic geometry" with which he tried to implement structural principles of nature into technical projects and buildings. For my own part, I have tried to translate some of his ideas into my music.

The older Fuller became, the more he was interested in sharpening our perception of the earth as a rotating sphere. Above and below for him were no adequate coordinates in cosmic space. In his spheric thinking, the more adequate categories are in and out, concave and convex.

Gravitation (concave) and centrifugal force (convex) in sounds.

A modulation means a movement in space. By way of example, a modulation from C major to Eb major is equivalent to gravitation or, to use another symbolic term, darkening. It is recommendable to compare the two keys starting from a common tone, say C. Then for C major cionic and for Eb major caeolian, we would have a minor scale with a small sixth. E goes to E, H goes to Bb and A goes to Ab. An example of centrifugual force would be C to G major, being equivalent to C ionian to C lydian. F goes to F-sharp. Of course, it is possible to counterbalance gravitation by the countermovement of the voices, to use just one example. However, this does not alter the fact that the tone material changes in the sense mentioned above.

Rhythm as a way of dividing time Rhythm is the most important way of dividing time. Time is never structured through a single rhythm, but by a multitude of simultaneous rhythmic movements (e.g., the simultaneous motion of different celestial bodies) which can form among themselves a complex system of resonance relations. Tempo, time, harmonic and melodic rhythm as well as accents are all factors determining the complete sound structure and the resonance of rhythmics. Colour is a sensory stimulus produced by rhythms vibrating at a rate of about 500 billion oscillations per second. In my compositions, all these rhythmic factors are closely related to keys and their modulations.


STYLE

Gothic and Nu-Metal
In the music of the Gothic period as one element among others of the Gothic art style that spread from France in the 12th century, a dynamism was to be found which led to larger polyphonic forms. By way of example, the "Organa" of the school of Notre-Dame in Paris may be mentioned here - extensive sound figures created by the masters Leoninus (around 1180 AD) and Perotinus (around 1200 AD). A contemporative representative of this art form is Arvo Pärt, whose works, such as his "Te Deum", were strongly influenced by these composers.

The most striking interval in Gothic music was the fourth and the fifth. In the succeeding style era, the fourth was considered as a tension tone that had to be resolved. It is for this reason that the Gothic music of that period appears as rather modern since the fourth was thought to be a consonant which did not have to be resolved. In contrast to that, the third was considered to be a tension tone in the Gothic era. It is interesting to note how strongly the hearing impression changes from epoch to epoch. At any rate, the step "back" to the fourth/fifth intervals is a redeeming alternative to the third-dominated times of the classical period and of the pop music of the seventies up to the present day. In Nu-Metal, it is exactly these fourths and fifths in the guitar reefs dominating the whole music that have an invigorating sound quality. In order to create these moods in an optimal manner, the low E string must be tuned down by a whole tone. In the second part of Synergetics, I have tried to let these tendencies flow into my compositions.

CONTACT - LASZLO SPIRO

ST.GALLEN - SWITZERLAND - i@laszlospiro.com