Fractal Music was a collaboration between Martha Ritchey and myself. I was introduced to fractals by a coworker at Tower Records, Gene Williams, in the mid 90s. Gene had discovered a free-ware fractal generation software called Fractint that ran out of DOS. Gene helped Martha and me with the fractal portion of my 1994 multimedia composition, Expansions.
Following Expansions, Martha and I spent several years on a Fractal Bender: I wrote mathematics for the program and created huge libraries of highly perturbed fractals. Martha shifted through my mathematical explorations and organized them and assigned color palettes that suited the images.
We used the Fractals for all kinds of things. They were part of the video element of Expansions. We created Videographic Scores that were essentially density maps - slow moving amorphious motion to change happening so fast you could barely track it visually. These scores were interpreted a number of times by Leap of Faith and other ensembles. We created long video mixes that could be projected during live performance (see side bar). We established a live video-mix technology with multiple computers and mixed fractals at Avalon to the music of widely known DJs like Mixmaster Morris and DJ Sneak. We also did chill rooms at a couple of large raves.
Of long term importance - the resulting library of over 5000 fractal images form the source material for all of the Evil Clown packaging and promotional materials.
Martha is a brilliant pianist who was playing less as our collaboration continued and she changed her creative work over to fractals and computers more generally. Early in our friendship we did a whole bunch of sessions playing jazz standards, but pretty out... I have recordings of these sets on cassette tapes which I have digitized. The quality is not as good as my usual standard for Evil Clown but at some point I may make an album or two from these sessions.
Working with the fractals had an profound impact on Martha's thinking about systems of improvisation in keyboard technique. She spent a lot of time developing complex very fast two handed patterns on the keyboard in her tiny apartment and filling up a big notebook with ideas about the theory supporting the technique.
Together, we then created 2 albums worth of duets featuring me on horns and Martha on fractal piano which have been released as Fractal Trance Ensemble - The Julia Set, and The Mandelbrot Set.
We also created a Videographic Score for a 2 hour long 5 movement work entitled Fractal Suite No.1. by the Free Trance Ensemble We interpreted this score with Thom Jones, a crazy goth pal of mine from Tower who played gadgets and electronics and created a Video Tape with the score and interpretation together.
PEK - 27 June 2015
Fractal Slideshows (Click to Start)
Free Trance Ensemble CDs
On Leap of Faith: "Alien yet familiar, bizarre yet completely fascinating. Expanding, contracting, erupting, settling down, always as one force..." - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
On Metal Chaos Ensemble: "... using unique strategies to yield densely active and eerily surreal music, an incredible excursion through experimental improvisation." - Squidco website staff
Fractal Trance Ensemble CDs
Fractal Movies (no sound)