Friday, October 19, 2012

Math, physics, music, Vijay Iyer

Our traditio for this Friday that finds autumn in full swing here along the Wasatch Front is the Vijay Iyer Trio playing "questions of agency."

You've never heard of Vijay? Check out his recent Bullseye interview, or his new album Accelerando.

To get an idea of where Vijay is coming from, you can you read the article he wrote for the U.K.'s Guardian, which was published almost exactly two years ago, "Strength in numbers: How Fibonacci taught us how to swing." Here is an excerpt: "Fibonacci was a 13th-century Italian mathematician who brought the Indian-Arabic number system to Europe. He also wrote about this set of numbers that now bears his name. I became intrigued by these numbers some years ago, and have used them to structure much of my work ever since.

"The Fibonacci sequence begins: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144 and continues from there. Each number in the sequence is the sum of the previous two numbers, and it continues ad infinitum. If you look at the ratios of two successive Fibonacci numbers, and keep going up the sequence, you get: 1, 2, 1.5, 1.667, 1.6, 1.625, 1.615, 1.619, 1.618 … As you go up the sequence, this ratio gets closer and closer to a famous irrational number called the "golden ratio": 1.6180339887."

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