Here you will find materials, links to related/inspirational ideas/people and downloadable charts for help working with the Hexadic System. This page is a work in progress. I will also be posting other people’s experiments with the system on the Hexadic Sonic Explorations page. As others begin exploring different areas of the system and add on to it, those ideas and writings will be added to these pages.
You can pick up the book of the Hexadic System at Drag City.
These charts were created by Dan Osborn at Drag City for the creation of the Hexadic System book. Click to enlarge and download to use for your own templates.
Blank Hexadic Figure
Blank Square of the Sun
Blank Fretboard Diagrams (Large. For maping cards onto fretboard)
Blank Fretboard Diagrams (Small. For marking scales, hexachords, notes, etc)
I will be posting links to essays and other materials on the internet that share a similar space to the Hexadic System. These areas will be of interest to people wanting to explore various avenues of the system – whether hermetic, compositional, philosophical or purely aesthetic. Some are friends, some are essays or videos that I came across over the past few years that I feel are related in some way to the Hexadic System.
One man doing work that far exceeds the world of Hexadic is Phil Legard. Phil is a senior lecturer with School of Film, Music and Performing Arts at Leeds Beckett University. He has written many wonderful papers and presentations that exist in the space where hermetism, composition and imagination overlap. Both his wordpress and his tumblr are filled with inspirational images and research into related areas. His writings on people like Josef Hauer and David Dunn are beautiful rabbit holes to jump into. Besides that, Phil is a sublime musician. I can’t recommend his Angelystor release enough.
For those looking to explore the worlds of speculative music, the works of Joscelyn Godwin are a must. Godwin is a professor of music at Colgate University and was a huge influence on the Six Organs release The Manifestation way back in 1999. Among his essential books are Harmonies of Heaven and Earth, Harmony Of The Spheres, and Music, Mysticism and Magic. A few of his essays can be found online here.
Equally as influential on the Hexadic System were those ideas that counter the authoritative/Platonic/Pythagorean worldview. To fire shots straight into such tyranny we would look toward Aristoxenus (did Tony Conrad ever mention Aristoxenus?). Though there has been some criticism of the math and calculations in her book, Greek Reflections On The Nature Of Music by the late Flora R. Levin is a must read to move toward a more phenomenological approach to interval construction. In my view, this phenomenological approach allows the use of guitar (with it’s equal temperament) to create a middle way and opens up paths to freedom. One of the best movies I’ve seen to show the path of the middle way is Béla Tarr’s Werckmeister Harmonies (though he claimed it didn’t have any deeper meaning than a story about a guy walking around a town, which is a bit disingenuous). The opening scene, though not an example of this theory, is so beautiful it’s worth putting on this page –
*Note – see Joscelyn Godwin, Harmonies of Heaven and Earth, pg 172, for information of Andreas Werkmeister’s cosmology.
Though not specifically about composition or purely Hermetic ideas, this blog by Joshua Levi Ian has been great reading for ideas about Jacob Böhme. Considering Webern’s affinity with Böhme, there is a relationship here, but I’d have to say you might have to make your own connections in terms of the Hexadic System (and those with an aversion toward talk of corporeality, Heidegger, etc may want to stay away.) For me, I find Joshua’s writing exciting and inspirational. Place Joshua’s writings in an outer orbit, but close enough to have a gravitational pull on Hexadic.
A very good article on combinatorial procedures in composition, poetry and mysticism by Janet Zweig is here.
An interesting essay by Johann Hasler concerning generating pitch materials from magic sigils is here.
For those not familiar with Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa, his works are online here.
Nice paper by Wouter J Hanegraaff on Webern’s use of esotericism here (Thank you, David Metcalfe, for pointing me in the direction of that one). Actually, all of Hanegraaff’s papers are worth checking out.
Since Toward a “Ratio”nal Aesthetic by Faruq Z. Bey was a huge influence on the Hexadic System, and since I can’t find any links to his writings online, here are a couple videos of his music with Griot Galaxy –
These five Conversations between John Cage and Morton Feldman took place on WBAI, New York City, July 1966 – January 1967. I find these talks to be both entertaining (I laugh a lot when listening to them) and inspirational, not just in terms of making music, but in terms of living. I recommend these conversations to everyone I know.
I will place more links to papers, videos and images as time goes by. Please check back.