The Periodic Table Arranged for Guitar and Sampler
The full periodic table conveyed as a rhythmic developement.
Danish jazz guitarist and sound artist Tao Højgaard aka Mute State has newly released a thoroughly researched musical conversion of the periodic table. The conversion was made in close collaboration with biochemist Jacob Engelbrecht and offers not only an artistic interpretation of the periodic table, but also a detailed educational representation of the clockwork going on under the hood of every single atom.
The actual piece The Periodic Table Arranged for Guitar and Sampler is a chronological performance of the periodic table. A very detailed conversion which illustrates the continuous development from the simplest of atoms to the most complex. Though methodical precision has been a core value in the algorithm behind the conversion the piece is still a work of art on art´s own terms. A piece where the artist submerges him or herself in hard core scientific data reproduces it with poetry and aesthetic finesse, and in the process processing big existential questions of order, chaos and context.
The periodic table is a fascinating structure. It can be read in any direction and the more elaborated renditions offer information on everything from electronegativity to quantum numbers. From a musical point of view it quickly becomes apparent that many of the essential numbers in chemistry are the same as in music. 2, 8, and 32 are very important numbers and so are the uneven 3, 5, and 7. The systems behind chemistry and music share much more than numbers. Essential to them both is the tension between “balance” and “unbalance”. Chemistry is essentially the elements’ quest for obtaining balance either with it self (stability) or with it’s peers (ions or molecules) and music is in essence the interaction between tension and release via structured sound and silence.
Art and science inspire and complement each other. Historically numerous examples of deep relationships between artists and scientists can be found, often even embodied in the same person. It may be explained philosophically by the notion that science wants to find answers whereas art wants to find questions. With this notion in mind the album The Periodic Table Arranged for Guitar and Sampler also materializes in a fusion between a lecture and a live concert, a series of educational concerts at relevant universities and conferences world wide.