Member Since: 7/1/2005
Total Mixes: 104
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Other Mixes By abangaku

CD | Rock - Prog-Rock/Art Rock
CD | Theme - Narrative
CD | Mixed Genre
CD | Rock - Prog-Rock/Art Rock

Magnificent Sevens

Artist Song
They Might Be Giants  Hello Radio  
Robert Wyatt  Sight Of The Wind  
Bill Bruford's Earthworks  The Emperor's New Clothes  
Caravan  Love To Love You (And Tonight Pigs Will Fly)  
Yes  Lightning Strikes  
Sting  I Was Brought To My Senses  
The Grateful Dead  Estimated Prophet 
Soft Machine  As Long As He Lies Perfectly Still  
Pink Floyd  Money  
Jewels And Binoculars  Cold Irons Bound 
Christy Moore  Biko Drum  
Peter Gabriel  Solsbury Hill 


Seven: its reputation, numerologically, is that of a magical or mystical number, and while it’s possible that many numbers really do have personalities of their own, seven, i.e. septuple meter, has for a long time also been, for me, a fascinating musical foundation. Here I’m presenting a clutch of musical pieces (which I actually finished mixing this past April) that are primarily or entirely in 7/4 or 7/8 time, a criterion I don’t think I’ve ever seen the likes of before in either a mix or an official album, with Dave Brubeck’s album Time Out coming the closest. (Let me know if you know of any other examples!)

Most of these pieces are at least rockish, with a couple of jazz instrumentals (tracks 3 and 10) thrown in. Track 10 is actually a cover of a Bob Dylan song that wasn’t originally in septuple meter, but that was seamlessly converted to such by one of the most thrillingly unexpected bands I’ve seen live in concert (at the unfortunately now defunct Cornelia Street Café), the all-jazz, all-Dylan Jewels And Binoculars. Prog rock seems like the best genre to unite these pieces into a whole with, even though there are plenty of individual pieces I wouldn’t call prog.

The picture I chose for the cover is of a figure-eight knot created from seven metallic struts or “sticks” (it’s the Steel Figure-Eight Stick Knot from the mathgrrl designs page on Shapeways). As you may know, I have some background in mathematics, and the figure-eight knot is the only mathematical knot with a stick number of seven: that is, it can be formed from seven struts connected end-to-end in a loop, but no fewer number. I was contemplating the figure-eight stick knot a few years ago when I started to compose my own piece in septuple meter, an ostinato in honor of Ben Folds and (singer of tracks 2 and 8 here) Robert Wyatt, which I called “Just Like Quiet Wyatt Did”. Not included on this mix!

Total time: 53:42.
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