Caspar René Hirschfeld


Instrumentation: Electronics
Length (h:m:s): 00:52:22
Format: 12,5×14 cm
Weight: 102 g
Kreuzberg Records / KR10186
EAN: 4018262261868


How does 3,14159… sound?
The non-cyclical, infinite sequence of digits of p symbolises the non-repeatable flow of life, the uniqueness of every combination of circumstances, every living being, every experience, every moment. Formulas might be able to approximately describe or explain such relationships, but they can neither convey concepts such as time or infinity nor make them tangible. This is reserved for the arts and, in a different way, for spirituality.

But can numbers even “sound”? At least since Pythagoras we have known about the indissoluble connection between number and sound, proportion and harmony.

This composition is structurally based entirely on p. It uses both p as a proportion in the large form and the internal structure, as well as the sequence of digits itself (up to the 5,400th decimal place), whereby the whole number 3 takes on a special position and forms the musical basis, so to speak. Consequently, this keynote, the lowest note of the work, sounds with 31.4 Hz.

Since p is a natural constant, the composition does not use our Western, artificially equalized tuning system, but rather the natural overtone series as sound material.

First and foremost, however, the work attempts to musically formulate the question as to the nature of transcendence, even infinity, and aims to lead the listener to their own, non-everyday perception. In this context, there are also references – in the form of modified and distorted quotes – to composers of the past whose work is particularly close to this theme, as well as to the traditional Indian Raga Shree and text quotations from Giordano Bruno and Nikolaus von Kues.

C. René Hirschfeld