These experiments explore the tempi at which we perceive intervallic content as rhythm (beats/pulses) rather than retaining any harmonic/vertical meaning.
Close Proximity – Test 1
Arranging/displacing the (ascending) 8 PC’s of Oct (0,1) across 8 octaves
with maximum displacement, as follows:
||: A0, Bb7, C1, C#6, Eb2, E5, F#3 G4, :||
The BPM is then consecutively increased (doubled) from 60 -> 1920.
Please listen to the example below before continuing reading.
To my ear; measure 1 (60 BPM) sounds disparate with an almost random pitch choice. Measure 2 (120 BPM) quantifies and qualifies measure 1, while also drawing attention to the closing & closest pitches F# & G. Measure 3 (240 BPM) brings a further focus to the last 2 pitches (F# & G). Measure 4 (480 BPM) retains a remnant of any harmonic qualities before becoming rhythm orientated from 960 BPM onward.
Close Proximity – Test 2
Using 480 BPM, and here juxtaposing the 8 PC’s in alternating contained & dispersed octaves, as follows:
Although sounding potentially meaningful (musical), the rhythmic arpeggiated repetitions sound too mechanical & contrived.
Close Proximity – Test 3
By slowing the tempi to 360 BPM (within the potential range of expert human performance), and altering the direction and repetition of various elements, we are able to here this piece differently.
We can now (a) conceive of human hands being at work, (b) perhaps relate this to an auditory memory, and consequently (c) assume that meaning is involved… and maybe it is!
NB: Auditory Gestalten References:
( http://www.scholarpedia.org/article/Gestalt_principles#Auditory_Gestalten )