greg davis - primes cd

release date: 06/01/09
300 copies

(with a special limited edition of 25 copies with 5 5"x5" signed and numbered artist's prints by jeff davis)
silk-screened cardboard ecopak
artwork by jeff davis

these pieces grew out of my research and interest in just intonation
and prime numbers. during my explorations, i came across some
interesting prime number sets and wondered what they would sound 
like. i constructed these pieces using sine wave generators in max/msp.
i chose a base frequency (fundamental) for each piece and multiplied that
number by each of the prime numbers in a given set to determine the
harmonics / partials / overtones. most of the overtones were transposed down
several octaves to fit within a comfortable 2-3 octave range. this became
my “scale” or harmonic zone for each piece. i related the panning and metronome
speed of each overtone to its frequency. rhythmically, each sine tone / frequency
followed its own 3 beat cycle which created overlapping
prime number rhythmic patterns.
beat 1 = base frequency for that given overtone
beat 2 = an octave higher
beat 3 = silence (rest)
the lower overtones had faster rhythmic cycles and the higher overtones
had slower rhythmic cycles. this was a way for me to relate the rhythm
to the prime number sets and integrate it with the harmony while still
retaining a musical texture that was interesting to me. i used a simple stereo delay
to blur the rhythmic texture to create more of a slowly
shifting, patterned harmonic cloud.

these pieces are dedicated to james tenney (1934-2006).
they are an acknowledgment of his extraordinary work with
alternate tuning systems and just intonation.
his musical life should be an inspiration to us all.


1. minimal
2. happy
3. palindromic
4. lucky
5. pythagorean

buy physical

(out of print)

buy digital


(320 kbps DRM free mp3 album zip file)