Peace for Triple Piano

Here’s what I’ve been working on for the past 10 weeks:

It’s a spherical video in a mathematically triplified space with symmetry in space-time, in collaboration with mathematician Henry Segerman. You can learn more about that in our very cool making-of video:

The spherical video was SO DIFFICULT to get working, with all the editing and sound stuff. But the making-of was so much fun because I was back in my wheelhouse, explaining the very cool concepts that made us so determined to do this project.

I mean check out this hand-made space-time diagram made by sewing together video frames in stereographic projection:

Screen Shot 2018-02-21 at 1.53.15 PM

I am SO INTO space/time symmetries, something I’ve only lightly touched on in videos before (see “Folding Space-Time”, and of course “Doodle Music”, oh and “Möbius Music Box”), but I’ve done quite a bit of research on the topic (one of my first math papers was classifying symmetry groups in musical space-time, as distinct from the set of groups in 2 dimensions of space, and though it never made it into a paper I did a bunch of followup work on 3 and 4d space-time groups, especially as applied to video and dance, so I was SO READY for this when Henry suggested a triplified piano piece).

Doing a video or series that goes deeper into these sorts of topics has been somewhere on my to-do list for 10 years. Of course videos take time and the list is always growing, but when Henry visited two years ago and showed me his spherical video tripling technique and we tried it on the piano, I knew we had to do this!

I haven’t focused exclusively on a “long” project like this in a while (yes, 10 weeks is long in internet time), and I’ll admit I was a little nervous doing this while newly crowdfunding and still a little underfunded. Me and Henry know it’s interesting, but will the coolness of the math come through to others? What if the video just doesn’t come out good, or everything explodes last minute? Either way, will my patrons think it was worth 10 weeks of their support?

I trusted on average they would, but the part of me still traumatized by having been a starving artist and then having funding promised and pulled away so many times by so many people over so many years still says “I’ll believe it when I see it.”

…To which the first part of me replies “Fine, I’ll show you, people have your back!” So, let me be the first to tell myself “I told you so.”

It’s awesome not depending on any one person’s tastes, and also not on everyone’s tastes on the entire internet, but a large group of folks who all care for their own individual reasons. This means it’s ok if people come and go as their interest waxes and wanes; this means a new kind of audience creates itself around my work instead of me speaking to a pre-existing one defined by other institutions. Evolving work (and thus evolving audience) is essential for my mission to lift the human spirit by expanding our ability to think, see, and feel.

It also helps that my Patrons are so kind and enthusiastic :)

So, things are going pretty well. Come check out the Patreon if you haven’t already: Thank you for making all of this possible, and for all your trust and patience :D

Next up: Pi day video!