Chapter 31, Pages 415-926

for string octet and video


Performed by JACK Quartet & Spektral Quartet


Doyle Armbrust, viola

Clara Lyon, violin

Kevin McFarland, cello

Christopher Otto, violin

John Pickford Richards, viola

Russell Rolen, cello

Ari Streisfeld, violin

Austin Wulliman, violin

Elliott Program Center

Stanford University, CA

April 2, 2016

Chapter 31, pages 415-926 is a piece for string octet and video, which was inspired by the shape of a circle and the concept of infinity. It is said that the number known as Pi, which is believed to have an infinite non-repeating number of digits, could include all possible combinations of numbers, and that one could find all the history of the Universe in it. For example, looking through the infinite digits and converting numbers to ASCII text or bitmap information, one could find all the text ever written and all the images that ever existed. For this piece, specific series from Pi’s digits were extracted and filtered algorithmically in Max (Cycling '74), then applied in MaxScore to a series of one hundred chords devised by the composer in order to generate musical material. The same digits were used to determine the length of each video clip.


All the video material was shot in Northern California and represents a diversity of banal imagery. This reinforces the idea of Pi possibly encompassing the representation of everything in the Universe, even things or events that are usually overlooked, because they are in-between more important things or events.