Fractal Music

This is simply an accounting of a happy accident.

I recently started listening to Philip Glass. He’s a minimalist classical composer who has very different style compared to some of his more famous compatriots (think John Williams). Either way, I’ve never thought any of his pieces were great enough to consider listening to repeatedly as they were somewhat monotonous. “Glassworks” is one of his older compositions and I had the second movement on Youtube. The title is “Floe”, and while listening I hit the new tab button twice. Two more of the same song were then playing. I was about to close them both, but I noticed that it actually sounded as though it were one song still. I stopped one of the tabs and fast-forwarded the music two minutes in. It was still perfectly synced. No matter where you open other tabs there is never an offbeat. Try this with any other song Pop, Rock, Gospel, Country; and it will be quickly become a garbled mess. I then opened more tabs… five simultaneous versions of the same song offset in time perfectly intertwined/mixing with no offbeats. It’s the closest thing to an auditory fractal as I’ve ever heard.

Start with two tabs open and offset them by any time you want, put over-ear headphones on to block out all other sound. Three tabs is my personal sweet spot. Four if I have caffeine. One note is have it playing relatively softly, otherwise it quickly becomes overwhelming.