My Little Grundgestalts

Here I describe the algorithmic music I call "Grundgestalts"

When I was young I read a lot of Edgar Allan Poe's Tales, including “A Descent into the Maelström”, a short story in which “a man recounts how he survived a shipwreck and a whirlpool” (Wikipedia). As often was the case with Poe's work, the tale impressed me very much.

By Harry Clarke – Printed in Edgar Allan Poe's Tales of Mystery and Imagination, 1919., Public Domain, Link

When I wrote this little Grundgestalt, the music told me of Poe's tale — therefore it was only natural to give it the same title.

The orchestration is distorted guitar and uduhachi flute in unison, double bass, and drums.

The song is on peertube and funkwhale.

© Eidon (Eidon@tutanota.com). All rights reserved. desrever sgnorw llA

Les Fleurs du Mal is a story that never leaves me — on the contrary, it doesn’t let me go away — une histoire qui ne me délivre pas. Though I don’t think this is bad. I am attracted to those thoughts, to those people …

So I decided to watch Mais ne nous délivrez pas du mal (Don't Deliver us From Evil), which Oshimi explained was an inspiration to his Aku no Hana; a 1970-1971 film by Joël Séria.

At the same time, I created such a slightly obsessive music. After all, obsessions are the main characters of these stories. Obsessions — such as light for the moth, or darkness for those attracted to it.

Or like Aku no Hana to me.

A transitive closure of sources of inspiration! Baudelaire → Mais ne nous délivrez pas du mal → Aku no Hana...

A significant source of inspiration: Les Chants de Maldoror.


Now, I don't want to spoil the experience of the movie or the manga, though there is an event I need to highlight here; the one that closes the first part of Aku no Hana and is at the very end of Mais ne nous délivrez pas du mal (Don't Deliver us From Evil). Yes, the same event takes place, although it concludes very differently. This is the pivotal scene in both works:


Where does fiction end, and where does reality begin? Sometimes the boundaries between those domains are very blurred. Have a look at the Wikipedia page on the real-life event that inspired the movie: the so-called “Parker–Hulme murder case”.


If you want to follow the whole story of Les Fleurs du Mal, it’s here on PeerTube

On FunkWhale it is here:

This frame from Mais ne nous délivrez pas du mal brought my mind to a recent reading, the 20th Century Boys manga


And if you would like to contact me, please do so on Mastodon at @Eidon@octodon.social or @Eidon@mastodon.bida.im.

I recently joined Guresuke (@guresuke@shpposter.club) in a metal project called MATHEMORPHOSIS

Long Winter Our first song, “Long Winter”, was written by Guresuke-san. Its lyrics evoke in me the spirit of recent days of social segregation — the reign of Camus' Absurd. The above link points to song and lyrics.

Bygone Days Our second song, “Bygone Days”, focuses on a different types of absurd — the one that sometimes we face in the course of our daily activities.

The gods had condemned Sisyphus to ceaselessly rolling a rock to the top of a mountain, whence the stone would fall back of its own weight. They had thought with some reason that there is no more dreadful punishment than futile and hopeless labor. (Albert Camus, The Myth of Sysiphus)

Nightfall Here, I want to spend a few words about our latest work, “Nightfall”. It tells of apocalyptic scenarios, of a humanity that has made a mistake too many and is one step away from extinction; at the end of the game, to put it with Beckett. But it’s also a song that tells of hope; of a different relationship between man and the World Ecosystem. Of a new rebirth, a new Humanity — definition and never again oxymoron.

Writing the lyrics for this song was a great experience to me. Guresuke-san offered me a detailed idea of the theme of the song; in a sense, the concept was already written down in music. Also the melodies were there, and I just put the words that I felt would express best that musical concept. A little magic took place when my mind went, by association, to beloved play “Endgame”. I opened again Beckett's book and found there the words that Ham says at the beginning of the play:

All is absolute

Suddenly I realized that those words expressed perfectly and exactly what I wanted to say with the lyrics. And that they matched metrically the chorus of Nightfall... I could not but quote them there...


I always liked early Genesis songs that were structured into parts — “Get 'em Out By Friday”, as an example. This led me to have parts in our latest song: Narrator, the Government, and then the Chorus. The latter plays the same role as in ancient Greek Theatre: “a homogeneous, non-individualised group of performers, who comment with a collective voice on the dramatic action” (wiki).

“Homogeneous, non-individualised” means that the Chorus wore the same mask. The ancient Greek for mask is πρόσωπον (pronounced as “prosopon”), which later became persona, Latin for person, possibly also through the Etruscan phersu. So the person is the mask, the non-person, if they passively accept all decisions without questioning its ethical significance.

As you may know, Fred Hoyle co-wrote a beautiful novel called “A for Andromeda”, in which a very special message coming from the cosmos is received through a radiotelescope leading to a number of surprising events. I have often been thinking about that book because of my current experience with algorithmic music. In short, I'm cuurently experiencing a puzzling variant of a Turing test, in which I know that my interlocutor is artificial and I have to tell whether their messages may be considered, to some extent, “more than artificial.”

I'm talking of tracks such as the ones I called Kwaidan, Mantra, ReLIFE, and several others. These tracks were produced by very simple seeds, interpreted as pack of cards that simulate a game. All the notes are actually the states of the game as it is played. What emerges from those so simple seeds is a truly unexpected complexity — a complexity that is making me reflect on my limited way of understanding intelligence and evolution. I see now more clearly — or I should better say I hear — that the infinite variety of random and not-so-random combinations occasionally result in something that is smart-by-pure-chance; something that, because of its superior “smartness,” is naturally propelled to the next stages of the evolutionary path. All this makes me think of biological evolution in a different way: as an algorithmic, living composition.

Herewith I invite you to perform the above mentioned Turing test variant yourself, and listen to those messages — messages that come not from the cosmos, as in Hoyle's book, but rather from the domain of mathematical ideas...

Here they are!