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Bumper Music – For the Downwinders

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This is a work in progress… Today’s segment is 34 seconds.

Starting in 1944, the Hanford Reservation in central Washington produced Plutonium for nuclear weapons, including producing the components for the legendary “Big Boy” atomic bomb that was dropped on Nagasaki on August 9, 1945, to hasten the surrender of the Japanese and end World War II. It continued to do this for many years to support the cold war arms race.

Because of the war-time rush, the Hanford plutonium plants processed the irradiated fuel without allowing the radioactivity enough time to decay. For still unknown reasons, Hanford kept processing this very radioactive fuel even after Japan surrendered. As a result, vast quantities of pollution, especially iodine-131, were discharged into the air. In 1945 alone, more than a half million curies of Iodine-131 were released. The accident at Three Mile Island was estimated to have released about 20 curies. People were exposed to the airborne radiation by breathing the air and consuming certain foods, especially milk from goats or cows that grazed on contaminated vegetation.

Those who lived “downwind” of the plant have been seeking compensation for their losses, including cancers and related injuries. Those who claim harm have taken their case to trial, starting this week in Spokane, WA. Their case is based on the alleged negligence of the federal contractors. Because I am so glad that I and my children are not forced to speak Japanese today, I have enormous sympathy for the victims of this tragedy.

Articles about the situation: Here

Bumper Music for Today – from an Idea of Christopher Bailey

This is based on an idea of Christopher Bailey – compose something for his least liked chord, the C-G-C# triad. He asked if there is a tuning that could be based on this, and several theoreticians came up with some ideas. Mine is that the Partch Tonality Diamond, taken to the 15 limit, has many instances that approach this triad. Here’s a graph of the C overtones using Sagittal notation.
The Finger Piano uses several different chords from this list. The Alto Flute plays whatever makes sense.

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Bumper Music for Today

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This is an excerpt from the piece called Subduction Zone, which is available from the SoundClick web site. Go there and search for Subduction Zone to hear the whole song. Liner Notes are available here. Today’s bumper music is the last 60 seconds or so of the piece. Enjoy!

Bumper Music for today

Today’s work is 46 seconds of modulations between the keys of:

  • F 4/3 minor: F 4/3, G 16/11, A 8/5, B 16/9, C 1/1, D 8/7
  • A 8/5 major: A 8/5, B 9/5, C 1/1, D 11/10, E 6/5, G 7/5
  • C 1/1 major: C 1/1, D 9/8, E 5/4, F 11/8, G 3/2, B 7/4
  • A 5/3 minor: A 5/3, B 20/11, C 1/1, D 10/9, E 5/4, F 10/7

There are lots of notes in common between these keys, but some that are just a bit off. For example, the F 4/3 minor includes A 8/5 as the minor third, which is the root of the next scale.

But the B 16/9 in F is altered to B 9/5 in A. This is a ratio of 81:80. The B has to move this amount when I modulate from F to A, an almost inperceptible change. There are others as well. Note the move of B 9/5 in A major, to B 7/4 in C major. This is a move of 35:36. And also B 20/11 in A minor to B 16/9 in F minor, a move of 44:45. The melody will exploit these changes, when I get around to writing it.

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Bumper Music

More in the key of F 4/3 minor. This is a just intonation scale, with the following ratios:

  • F 4/3 – the root of the scale
  • G 16/11 – a very sour second
  • A 8/5 – a nice solid just minor third – very say
  • B 16/9 – a standard fourth, 4/3 above the root
  • C 1/1 – a standard fifth, 3/2 above the root
  • D 8/7 – a sour sixth or seventh, depending on the leading tones

I added some cowbell, in honor of the pod daddy…

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Bumper Music for today

Today’s entry is a unison pattern, but the octaves change a lot. It’s in a variety of time signatures, switching from 6 beats of one duration to 9 beats of a faster duration every other measure. It makes for the feeling of being stuck in a washing machine. Thanks to the use of Csound as a generating tool, no one misses a beat. Lots of cymbols adds to the chaotic feeling. Some glissandi.

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What happened to Tim Madden’s Podcast logos?