Florentine Passacaglia. 2019

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Four hexadecimal quartets.


Each of these little tunes is made by transposing the hexadecimal colour information from reduced photographs into “music”.

I took 16 photographs I made in Florence and reduced them to 6x9 inches at one pixel per inch, which made a simple pattern of rectangles of colour. I sampled each of the hexadecimal values of these colours and wrote them down. I then converted each number or letter from the hexadecimal code into a musical note value, for the key of C major 1 is equal to C, 2 to D, 3 to E and so on. Having translated the codes into musical notes I played them with a little midi keyboard into Garageband to make midi tracks for each of them, so that I could control the tempo, velocity, instrument, basic compression...

The first track is made with all four photographic voices plotted as “Steinway Grand Piano”, in the key of C Major.

The second track is made with each photo plotted as a drum track, and with the # symbol of the hex code taken to infer a sharpened first value. The first voice is “Gritty Funk”, the second “Dub Smash”, the third “Boutique 808” and the fourth “Four on the Floor”. I picked these because they had amusing names.

The third track is made using four voices of “Wurlitzer Classic” and is in F Lydian. I always wanted to have a Fender Rhodes Piano, perhaps to make this song.

The fourth track has four voices - “Classic Female Ensemble”, “Harp”, “Classic Male Ensemble” and “Wedding Organ”. It was transcribed into D Minor.