After reading Marcus Du Sautoy’s brilliant book Music of the Primes a while ago, I decided to try a little composition based on primes. It’s called Panic, because that’s what it represented to one of the first people who listened to it – but I’m not clear if they meant as in trying to escape the noise or just the feeling it invoked and I decided not to ask.
It’s based on an arbitrary but consistent set of simple rules applied to the first 60 prime numbers (61 notes don’t fit into equal bars (should have used a lead in note, grrr). For example the pitch of the RH notes is P mod 13 (the rest in bar 3 is P=13) and the duration is P mod 3. The LH tritone figure roots are based on a combination of the RH mod values.
Played by the computer in finale PrintMusic with a TruePianos piano VST, here’s what it looks like:-
And here’s what it sounds like:-