The Genius of J.S. Bach’s “Crab Canon” Visualized on a Möbius Strip

The enigmatic Canon 1 à 2 from J. S. Bach’s Musical Offering (1747), The manuscript depicts a single musical sequence that is to be played front to back and back to front.
Video by Jos Leys ( and Xantox ( )

The most impressive of Johann Sebastian Bach’s pieces, musicophiles may have told you, will knock you over with their ingeniousness, or at least their sheer complexity.

If you process things more visually than you do aurally, pay attention to the video above, a visualization of the piece by mathematical image-maker Jos Leys. You can follow the score, note for note, and then watch as the piece reverses itself, running back across the staff in the other direction. So far, so easy, but another layer appears: Bach wrote the piece to then be played simultaneously backwards as well as forwards. But prepare yourself for the mind-blowing coup de grâce when Leys shows us at a stroke just what the impossible shape of the Möbius strip has to do with the form of this “crab canon,” meaning a canon made of two complementary, reversed musical lines.



John William Coltrane, also known as “Trane”

Celebrating John Coltrane’s birthday (September 23, 1926 – ∞  )


John Coltrane’s masterwork, A Love Supreme, was only played once in live concert. This portion is the only surviving film of that 1965 performance.

Listen McCoy Tyner talking genuinely about his experiences with his late friend and mentor John Coltrane in the Traneumentary (Episode 32)

The Creators Project | Origin by UVA + Scanner

At the 2011 Creators Project New York event, United Visual Artists’ massive LED sculpture Origin attracted spectators like insects to bright light.

Set in the foreground of the Brooklyn Bridge, the artwork was continuously engaged with its environment through the buzzing dialogue between the visual light and sound.

On March 17-18 the Creators project will be kicking off on the West Coast at Fort Mason, San Francisco, CA

I have BATTLES in my life

Although all three members of Brooklyn’s Battles have the kind of past that makes for impressive “formerly of…” notes in reviews and show announcements, they have long since surpassed their previous involvement with acts like Tomahawk, Helmet or Don Caballero. The experimental chaos and technical proficiency they bring to the battleground are clear to see, but starting with their first EP they’ve been pushing each other to take their noisy leanings into places that are as fun as they are baffling. Even their real live bursts of breakcore drumming don’t come across as jazzy bragging. They sound more like time traveling androids with a heavy metal past tackling Steve Reich’s ideas of minimalism, coming from some era where pop hits are made of pitch shifted vocal gibberish, soaring melodies and puzzling rhythms. This is a band that is so instrumentally tricked out that even the departure of their main vocalist could break the momentum.

Ice Cream is featured in their latest album “My Machines” out on WARP

Matana Roberts – i stand, i suffer, we soar.

i stand. i suffer. we soar.

where i end, they begin.

can you hear me?

i speak memory i shout her-his-story, i envision our dreams. come with me.

this work. a culmination of spooks, spirits, memory. can not literalize it really. it’s my twisted memory, my twisted spooks, my twisted spirits, in some ways my lore, not yours.

lets’s make a list

memphis, mississippi, new orleans, africa, ireland, france, england, scotland, etc etc etc choctaw, cherokee chicksaw. acadian/canadian. amerikkkan. so many other things most likely smashed/crashed in between. can you hear me?mystery of collective memories, some heard but never seen. ashland, mitchum, halsted, 95th street. some seen, but never heard. some whispered, some screamed. hop hip. can you hear me? chicago? jacqueline faye jones. a migration of a gypsy people. searching. can you hear me? 55th Garfield. 97th. low-e. beale street. long ways to go. east st luis, south side, 125, west side,  eyes open wide. a barbeque. a long syllabic refrain. acceptance of a difference not chosen. red, tada, the black and green, jones, the laying down of arms. on our backs, bat israel.davis. stepping on/over/onwards. trails of tears, a light, long run. a long light sob. cold blood. warm blood. the kindness. wondering. hughes. lorde, emma. ntozake. bell. shabazz, scott, kings. queens.

Matana Roberts – Coin Coin Chapter One: Gens de couleur libres

Matana (m(a)-ta-na\) Roberts; internationally documented, chicago born saxophonist/improviser/ composer/sound conceptualist; working in various mediums of  performance inquiry; has created alongside visionary experimentalists of this time period in various areas of improvisation, dance, poetry, visual art, theater; as a saxophonist, documented on sound recordings as collaborator, side woman and leader. some recent work focused on the place/problem of memory/tradition as recognized, deciphered, deconstructed, interrogated through radical modes of sound communication, alternative styles of musical notation, and multi genres of improvisation.

Says Matana: “COIN COIN is a compositional sound language, that I have been developing since 2006. My initial interest in creating this work came from my childhood fascination with ghosts, spirits, spooks, and the faint traces of what they leave behind. I have a deep interest in old, antique objects of human existence, mostly because of the variety of story that can be created, factual or not, from the possibility of their being. This project is a combination of those interests as well as my delight in musical communication , ritual adornment, and the genealogical 20th century history of Africans in America. In some instances I am using information that I have gleaned from research into my own ancestral history, as inspiration and area of creative consideration. The musical root of much of this work also stems from my continued attraction/repulsion to certain aspects of the American Jazz tradition(s) which I am deeply involved with as an alto saxophonist.”

In 2008, the success of her leader debut, *The Chicago Project* (Central Control International), led critics to call Roberts “one to watch” (Kevin Legencre, *Jazzwise*) and “an eloquent, dramatic, tone warping free jazz artist right out of Ayler’s anti bop tradition.” (John Fordham, *London Guardian*) She has also recorded as a side woman on recordings with a large smattering of influential post rock ensembles such as Godspeed You Black Emperor, TV on the Radio, Savath and Savalas, and Thee Silver Mount Zion.


Buy here

Finn Peters – Butterflies Remixes EP

Finn Peters is one of the leading flute and sax players in the UK today. A musician born and bred, he has dedicated his life to perfecting his art. He comes from a family of musicians, which can be traced back to the 1600s and started playing the flute aged five. Fortunate to be surrounded by famous musicians as he grew up, he decided on a career in music and has been studying ever since. After spending his teens practicing non-stop, he studied musicology at Durham University, then completed a post-graduate course atThe Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

His widescreen approach to composition and improvisation comes from working with some of the last decade’s most progressive artists. Moving to London in 1994 exposed Finn to many disparate musical styles, from which he has created an individual and genre-spanning musical language. He has traveled the world as a much-in-demand session player and has continued to learn about music from around the globe. This explorative nature has lead him to work with such pioneers as Frederick Rzewski, Giovanni Hidalgo, DJ Spinna, Sam Rivers and Sa-Ra creative partners, to name a few. All the while he has been developing his own productions, writing and playing and forging a new musical alloy from this melting pot of traditions.

Besides working on upwards of 80 recordings for other artists, Finn has released a number of his own recordings. The two Dr Seus EPs, released on his own imprint, Mantella records, were played in clubs across Europe by high profile tastemakers such as Gilles Peterson and Mr Scruff. Two tracks for Club Brasil, Joyce covers ‘Femenina’ and ‘Aldeia de Ogum’, were championed by DJs in the know like Rainer Truby and charted all over the world as well as getting extensive amounts of airplay. Two co-productions with ‘The Deal’ for Trip do Brasil were also club-land favourites. Finally his most recent album before Su-ling, entitled “Bansuri” pushed his name further into the limelight.

Fellow musicians and critics alike have consistently praised Finn’s work. In 1999 his achievements were recognised when he won the London Young Jazz musician award. The collaboration with Bembe Segue, “The Birds” was nominated for track of the year 2005 in the BBC Radio 1 Worldwide award. He has been described by Straight no Chaser magazine as being “the blazing definition of a seriously heavy player” and by Jazzwise as being “head and shoulders above his peers.” Su-Ling, his debut release for Babel records, is receiving a great deal of airplay on BBC Radio 1,2,3 and 1xtra. The way in which, what is essentially a jazz album, sits comfortably along-side hip-hop, world and classical music illustrates the fact that people are starting to understand the open-minded philosophy of a musician working at the peak of his creative powers.

Butterflies Remixed

Finn Peters’ Butterflies Remixed EP is out today! The ethereal beauty of Finn’s Accidental debut, Butterflies, has been sonically dissected and interpreted by the cream of London’s remixers, and is downloadable from iTunes and all other great digital platforms now.

Remixes come from: Yee-King/Matthew Herbert/2 Banks of 4/Kwes and Skinzi.

Sun Ra – A Joyful Noise (1980)

This video represents a good range of Sun Ra’s many musical moods. Ra was among the first person of any musical genre to use electronic keyboards. Here, the venerable titan of the jazz avantgarde performs tunes including “Astro Black,” “Calling Planet Earth,” “Organ Solo,” “We Travel the Spaceways,” “Ankh,” and other seriocomic chants and jingles.
1980 – director: Robert Mugge


Some call me Mr. Ra… others call me Mr. Ry… you can call me MYSTERY