University of Chicago
In My Studio
Tell us about a concept, theory, or topic you have explored simply because it sparked your intellectual curiosity. Why do you find it intriguing? How do you want to further explore it?
My backyard is my studio, and the lush, green grass is my stool.
With one powerful strum, my surroundings come to life: a gust of wind emerges; birds sing in harmony; dandelions dance in unison to my tune, frolicking through the sky. As I sway my head to the music that I create with my fingers, my mind begins to wonder, as if it too is dancing to my beat.
C with an f# in the bass.
The moment I play this chord my world, my concerto, pauses. My mind shifts from a state of wonder to a state of inquiry: why does the “C” chord that I’ve just played sound nothing like the beautiful, crisp “C” I played moments before? With my guitar in hand and my witch-like nails subconsciously strumming the strings as I contemplate the mistake I’ve just made, I come to the realization that I am no longer making sound—I am making noise.
If it weren’t for my failure to imitate jazzmasters like Pat Metheny by improvising, I would have never been made aware of the relationship between two polar opposite worlds: numerology and music. Numbers establish the relationship between space and music. It was through this concept that Pythagoras configured a musical system based on ratios, stating that musical intervals are determined by the pitch and distance...
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