Synthgear & Ranjit Bhatnagar’s Mobieus Music
Friday, 12 June 2009
Moebius Music Box – Ranjit Bhatnagar
The excellent Synthgear blog doesn’t restrict itself to waxing over the latest modular synth modules but also has some nice articles on fringe aspects of musicality and sound generation. Take for example its posts on audio waveform jewelry, sound generating fish, or a very gorgeous Atari 400 mod.
It also points to a project by Ranjit Bhatnagar, the Moebius Music Box, an automatic music machine whose perforated roll exists upon our favourite paradoxical topological surface. The Moebius Strip as you know has some curious properties. A line drawn along the middle of the strip will meet back up with itself but at the “other side” and will be double the length of the original strip of paper. This single continuous curve demonstrates that the Moebius strip has only one surface.
Ranjit points out that ‘What you end up with is a tune that is played upside-down and backwards, and then just backwards, and then upside-down and backwards again. Over and over, forever’
One must resist attempting to imagine in an Hofstadter-esque manner what if the score played a version of Bach’s Endlessly Rising Canon, and more so why didn’t Escher incorporate this notion in his own Mobeius Strip drawings? A complete explanation of the interplay between exotic topology, ants and fugues is beyond the boundaries of this post, so we direct the reader, of course, to Douglas Hofstadter’s ‘Godel Escher, Bach’.
Ranjit Bhatnagar’s Moebius Music Box was constructed in a day as part of his Instrument-a-day project, a Flickr set of pictures of his ingenious audio contraptions can be found here.