Program Notes

Circular Trance Surrounding The Second Pillar with The Highest Seventh Primal Cirrus, The Utmost Fundamental, and The Ekmeles Ending from Apparitions of The Four Pillars

11 XI 17


When I began studying rāga with La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela in 2005, my life was immediately changed forever.

Circular Trance... is a section, a facet, of Apparitions Of The Four Pillars, my ever-evolving work based on pure stacked harmonic relationships, and a series of related prime-number intervals that form the building blocks for an infinite number of compositions. In this case, The Second Pillar, the music is built around a stack of pure seventh harmonic relationships over an eternal 72hz fundamental.

As indebted as this work is to La Monte's pioneering sine wave compositions, Circular Trance... is also indelibly linked to my rāga studies with Young and Zazeela, and the profound respect they have for the rich traditions of classical Indian music.

For a number of years now I've been working to find ways to create a raga from the ground up, developing rules, scales, the whole package. This is the most complete realization of this work to date, and represents a strong step towards a fully realized raga performance that is also rooted in the 21st century. Circular Trance is structured in the same way as a traditional raga performance with an extended opening Alap section introducing each new pitch, followed by a bandish (composition) consisting of the traditional sections, augmented by selective harmony, an innovation of Young's to the classical Indian vernacular.

The text of the composition, in Sanskrit, is taken from a section of the Rig Veda that discusses creation, and highlights both music and the number seven.

सहस्तोमाः सहछन्दस आव्र्तः सहप्रमा रषयः सप्तदैव्याः |
पूर्वेषां पन्थामनुद्र्श्य धीरा अन्वालेभिरेरथ्यो न रश्मीन ||


Written to accompany the avant premiere of Circular Trance Surrounding The Second Pillar with The Highest Seventh Primal Cirrus, The Utmost Fundamental, and The Ekmeles Ending from Apparitions of The Four Pillars commissioned and performed by Ekmeles