Mathematical Variations – Marcel Dupre Variations on Noel No 20 on MIDI Harpsichord. Much better version of this exist but I wanted to highlight the math in the variations (or the algorithms) as it’s visual.
Timothy Fugmann Thank you for tagging me on the wonderful performance in the way it should be done. Interestingly for contrast, while we both appreciate this piece, your appreciation leans more towards the nuances of the organ installation and performance – the authenticity and realness of it.
For me, while that is also a part of my appreciation, what grabbed me about this piece so many years ago was the mathematical nature of it. I like pieces with variations-on-a-theme and while people rave about Bach (which is great and he really got the ball rolling), by the time Dupre comes along in the 1920s, the art of doing variations had expanded in novel ways. Here for example you can hear the influence of American jazz in the piece.
But it’s the way he goes about that impresses me. In some variations he doesn’t play the melody at all but rather dances around it. I wanted to see this visually and thankfully someone had created a MIDI of it, which I set to Harpsichord. Why Harpsichord when it’s a pipe organ piece (and best placed on original equipment)? I wanted to highlight the mathematical / algorithmic nature of variation.
I even eliminated the viewing of levels and show just the way the different parts interplay. This is an approximation of ‘how i see music at times : like a multihead sewing or weaving machine stitching or weaving together the notes into patterns, or like synchronized swimmers in a 1940s production with neon hoops and stuff.