”The Art of Roughness” — An Original Composition

Photo by Lurm on Unsplash

Much of this new piece has existed solely in my head for years, but never fleshed out into a whole idea. One of the more interesting aspects of it, for me, is that the bass drone, arpeggiated motion, and melody can actually be performed fairly convincingly on the piano simultaneously (the bass via sostenuto / pedaling; the right-hand half of the 6/8 arpeggiated rhythm using the thumb, index, and middle fingers; and the melody using mainly the ring and 5th fingers). Much of this piece is written with that intention, although here it’s fleshed out into fuller expression via multiple instruments. I han’t had a specific title in mind for the piece, although my initial vision was cinematic in nature, specifically bringing to mind music that might be heard in Japanese anime sequences. But, as I looked for video to sync up with the music, there were naturally copyright concerns in that direction. Fortunately, I found this Creative Commons-licensed video (see my Youtube video description for a link to the original visual source) featuring the Mandelbrot set, which I thought a near-perfect fit. For that reason, I’ve entitled the piece “The Art of Roughness,” a term coined by the father of fractals, Benoit Mandelbrot, to describe, in many ways, the mathematics of order and chaos — an area of personal interest for many years. So, here’s “The Art of Roughness.” I recommend good, loud external speakers / headphones to appreciate the goblins lurking in the details.

About the Author: Jim Dee maintains his personal blog, “Hawthorne Crow,” and a web design blog called “Web Designer | Web Developer Magazine.” He also contributes to various Medium.com publications. You can reach him at: Jim [at] ArrayWebDevelopment.com.