Lawrence Blatt | Fibonacci's Dream

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Folk: Fingerstyle New Age: Contemporary Instrumental Moods: Solo Instrumental
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Fibonacci's Dream

by Lawrence Blatt

Lawrence combines classical guitar and modern steel-string acoustic guitar techniques to create a unique sound that will stir the imagination.
Genre: Folk: Fingerstyle
Release Date: 

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1. Bern 'The Bear'
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1:38 $0.99
2. Una Vida (One Life)
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4:17 $0.99
3. In A Heartbeat
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2:00 $0.99
4. Fibonacci's Dream
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3:52 $0.99
5. I Remember When
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2:18 $0.99
6. I'm Leaving Now
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2:48 $0.99
7. Five Nights
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3:10 $0.99
8. Just Before Dawn
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3:41 $0.99
9. A Little More Sunshine
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3:08 $0.99
10. Catalina
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2:56 $0.99
11. Song For Chava
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2:58 $0.99
12. La Selva (The Rainforest)
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2:05 $0.99
13. Move Um Out
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2:47 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Fibonacci’s Dream:
Eclectic Modern Mathematical Compositions for the Acoustic Guitar
All compositions written by Lawrence M. Blatt
All instruments played by Lawrence M. Blatt
Recorded in San Francisco (Knob and Tube) and Healdsburg, California
Digital Recording, Mixing and Mastering by Gary Mankin (Knob & Tube)
Photographs by Clint Graves (www.clintgraves.com)

Prologue:

We are always counting. We count the millennium, the centuries, the decades, the years, the months, the weeks, the days and the hours, minutes and seconds of every moment of our lives. Throughout each day, we perform hundreds of calculations without even thinking about it. We also have an eternal clock that guides us through our day called our circadian rhythm. We know, albeit subconsciously, that our hearts are beating and if you sit quietly you can even feel the pulse of your life force. You have been counting all of your life and that rhythm defines you.

With all of this counting going on, I have realized that we are hard-wired for numbers. Numbers form the foundation of our physical world and it is the law of numbers, mathematics, which governs the universe. Many religions have also coveted numbers and have interlaced mathematics, wisdom and spirituality to help explain the mysteries of the world.

I recently began to think about music and numbers. On the surface of it, one can easily see that music and math are intertwined. We count measures and notes and we play scales that are varied by tones defined by whole and half step increments. But I began to wonder: “What makes some music sound beautiful and sweet and other music sound out of tune or not well arranged?” You really do not need musical training to know. Most of us can tell when a singer is out of pitch or when a melody is pleasing or not. I began to question if we are hard-wired to know “good” music from “bad”. As I thought about the concept of musical hard-wiring, I began to examine the work of Leonardo Fibonacci, the extraordinary 13th Century Italian mathematician.

During his life, Fibonacci traveled throughout the Mediterranean region and studied mathematics with several Arab scholars. By the age of 32, he published a book called “Liber Abaci” (Book of Calculation), and introduced Europeans to the use of Arabic numerals (the system we use today). In his book, Fibonacci explained the solution to the question of how fast a hypothetical population of rabbits could breed. The solution encompassed a derivation of a series of numbers that have far reaching implications to explain physical realities found throughout the universe. Assuming that there was one mating pair to start, Fibonacci calculated that each generation of rabbits would increase by the sum of the two preceding numbers of rabbits. Fibonacci derived a series of numbers using this formula.

0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89,……………….

Fibonacci further realized that these numbers could be expressed as a ratio, and he derived the calculation of Phi, “The Golden Ratio”. Expressed mathematically as:

1 +√5/2

The “Golden Ratio” is approximately equal to the number 1.618.

OK, I know what you are saying—what does all this have to do with art and music? The answer is: EVERYTHING!!!

Fibonacci ratios and numbers are found all over the natural world and in our every day lives. The petals of a Sunflower and the arrangement of seeds in a pinecone both contain Fibonacci numbers. The Golden Ratio is seen in the turns of a nautilus shell and the shape of cochlea inside our ears that both increase in size by a factor of 1.618 with every turn. The proportions of the human body are based on Phi and the Fibonacci number 5 and artists from Di Vinci to Seurat and Mondrian have utilized Fibonacci mathematics to improve the aesthetics of their artwork and designs.

Much of musical theory follows Fibonacci mathematics. Musical scales are based on 8 notes and an Octave is separated by 12+ 1 tones (8 and 13 are Fibonacci numbers). The basic structure of a chord uses the Fibonacci sequence 1, 3 and 5. Many great composers from Mozart to Beethoven to Bob Dylan have either consciously or subconsciously applied Fibonacci mathematics to their music.

With Fibonacci math in hand, I set out to compose this series of recordings. I have tried to lace Fibonacci numbers and ratios in each composition. To hear the Fibonacci influence, look for phrases that are repeated in a Fibonacci sequence of numbers, melodies that follow tonal intervals separated by Fibonacci numbers and verses increasing in length by the Golden Ratio. As with my first album, Out of the Woodwork please try to listen to this album, at least once, in its entirety as the compositions are carefully ordered to take you on a journey of my musical and mathematical world. I hope you enjoy my music…and the math.


Compositions:

Bern “The Bear”
Time: 1:38
Tuning: DADGAD
Instrument(s): Furch Stanford Acoustic Guitar

Bern is the capital of Switzerland and the city is named after the bears that once roamed the mountains surrounding the city. If you go to Bern you can still see bears in display pits near the city center. It was on a recent visit to Bern that I wrote this song after visiting the bears.

Una Vida (One Life)
Time: 4:16
Tuning: Standard
Instrument(s): EVD Custom Acoustic Nylon-stringed Guitar: Breedlove Acoustic Bass; Charango, Various Percussion Instruments

If you live in California you cannot help but be influenced by the Latin world. Our architecture, the names of our cities, our food, culture and many of our people all have roots in Latin America. Una Vida (One Life) is a celebration of that influence and is a reminder of the fragility and uniqueness if each living soul. The last part of the piece is played on a charango, a South American 10-stringed instrument derived from the lute.


In a Heartbeat
Time: 2:00
Tuning: Drop-D
Instrument(s): EVD Custom Steel-String Acoustic Guitar, Breedlove Acoustic Bass

Life moves by so quickly. This composition, a short two minutes long, is a reminder that beautiful things can come and go “in a heartbeat”.

Fibonacci’s Dream
Time: 3:53
Tuning: Standard
Instrument(s): Wingert Parlor Acoustic Guitar, Breedlove Acoustic Bass, EVD Custom Steel-String Acoustic Guitar, Various Percussion Instruments

This composition is loaded with Fibonacci mathematics and was the first piece written for this album and the inspiration for the whole body of work. The middle section, utilizing a phased acoustic guitar, is called the “Dream Sequence” where Fibonacci congers up the solution to the rabbit breeding problem and the melody is played in a sequence of repeating Fibonacci numbered phrases.

I Remember When
Time: 2:20
Tuning: Hawaiian Taro-patch
Instrument(s): Wingert Parlor Acoustic Guitar, Breedlove Acoustic Bass, Nahenahe 8-string Ukulele, Yamaha electric piano

This piece was written on a trip to the Hawaiian island of Kauai. The reflective melody reminds me of places and people from the past.

I’m Leaving Now
Time: 2:48
Tuning: DADGAD
Instrument(s): EVD Custom Steel-String Acoustic Guitar

The one thing that is constant in life is that change will occur. With change comes challenges and with challenges new innovations can arise. It is sometimes necessary to leave a situation to allow for growth. This composition is about the turmoil of change and an ultimate decision to leave.

Five Nights
Time: 3:10
Tuning: Standard
Instrument(s): EVD Custom Steel-String Acoustic Guitar, Various Percussion Instruments

The 1981 Indiana University basketball team may have been one of the greatest teams of all time. Led by Isaiah Thomas, the team started the season poorly and did not function well together. Coach Bobby Night (yes- this is the guy that tossed the chair) pulled the team together and by the end of the year the five players functioned as a well-oiled machine that ended the season by winning the NCAA championship. This composition, which utilizes five melody lines, is a tribute to that team. See if you can hear how the “team” comes together in the end.

Just Before Dawn
Time: 3:40
Tuning: DADGAD
Instrument(s): John How Custom Steel-String Acoustic Guitar

As the old saying goes: “Sleep on it and things will become more clear in the morning.” In thinking about this album, one morning, just before dawn, after eight hours of sleep, the concept became crystallized and I had a true understanding of where I wanted to take the music. This piece was written in that moment.

A Little More Sunshine
Time: 3:09
Tuning: DADGAD
Instrument(s): Stanford Acoustic Guitar, Breedlove Acoustic Bass, Various Percussion Instruments

This composition evolved from an improvisation during a live performance of “Under the Sun” a piece from my first album Out of the Woodwork. Although this composition remains true to the original melody and phrasing, it has a slightly more jazzy feel and sound.

Catalina
Time: 2:57
Tuning: Drop-D
Instrument(s): Furch Stanford Acoustic Guitar

Santa Catalina Island is one of the eight islands that make up the California Channel Islands. The island was once owned by William Wrigley Jr., and he developed tile and pottery works there during the 1920’s. Catalina tile can now be found throughout the State of California adorning public buildings, churches and private homes. The tile often forms complex geometric patterns that can only be observed when several pieces are strung together and viewed from a distant vantage point. This composition evokes similar complex musical patterns as several guitars play different parts that unify to become the whole.

Song for Chava
Time: 3:00
Tuning: Standard
Instrument(s): Wingert Parlor Acoustic Guitar; Breedlove Acoustic Bass, Charango, Ronroco, 1890 Ditson Mandolin, Various Percussion Instruments

This composition is a gift for my daughter on her 13th birthday and is reminiscent of our Eastern European Heritage.

La Selva (The Rainforest)
Time: 2:04
Tuning: Standard Ronroco
Instrument(s): Ronroco, Various South-American Percussion Instruments

This composition is played on a ronroco, a South American stringed instrument that is related to the charango. This composition is a tribute La Selva, the Rainforest. I hope that it will serve as a reminder to the beauty and importance of the world’s rainforests, which are now in significant danger due to over forestation and pollution from fossil fuel exhaust.

Move Um Out
Time: 2:50
Tuning: DADGAD
Instrument(s): EVD Custom Steel-String Acoustic Guitar, Various Percussion Instruments

All of us have been affected by the terrible turmoil the world is now facing. If you live in the U.S., you may have known someone who died on 9-11-01 or you may have a family member or friend who is involved in the military service. Strangely though, all of this is quite removed from our everyday lives and our only true link to all the chaos is the footage on the news or a video on Youtube. This composition, “Move Um Out” is a reminder of the senselessness of war as the piece ends, metaphorically, in disarray.

Acknowledgements and other stuff

Thanks to Elyse, Zack and Zoe for allowing me the time away for recording sessions. Thanks to Gary Mankin of Knob & Tube for taking the time out of his busy schedule to record, mix and master this album and for helping me to get all of the instrument parts working in unison. Thanks to Kathy Wingert, Edward Dick, John How, and Frederick Furch for making my beautiful guitars. Thanks to all of you for listening to my music. If you would like to learn more about me please visit my website at http://www.lawrenceblatt.com or send me an email at Lawrence@lawrenceblatt.com

LB

Also available from Lawrence Blatt:
Out of the Woodwork


Reviews


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Kathy Parsons

Math & Music!
The full title of Lawrence Blatt’s second release of original solo guitar pieces is “Fibonacci’s Dream: Eclectic Modern Mathematical Compositions for the Acoustic Guitar.” And just who was Fibonacci? He is considered to be the greatest mathematician of the middle ages and introduced Europeans to the Arabic numerals that we use today. He also discovered the “Golden Ratio” that appears everywhere in the natural world. Intrigued with his findings, Blatt set out to use the Fibonacci numbers in his compositions for this album, exploring the relationships of the numbers in music. We have all heard about how closely math is tied to music, but it’s usually more the logic and patterns that are found in music that are considered related to math, so Blatt’s experiment and and exploration were coming at this relationship from a little different angle. I think it’s very interesting that rather than sounding academic and sterile, Blatt’s mathematical musings are colorful, accessible, melodic, and a real pleasure to listen to (I also really liked his previous release, “Out of the Woodwork”). Blatt recorded several of these pieces in layers, playing a variety of guitars and accompanying instruments (mostly percussive). His handmade guitars have a beautiful sound, and he explains in the the liner notes which guitars were used and how he tuned them.

“Bern ‘The Bear’” begins the exploration. Composed while on a trip to Switzerland, the title refers to the capital’sbeing named for the bears that used to roam the area. Short in duration, it is a warm and inviting prelude. “Una Vida (One Life)” celebrates the influence of the Latin culture on California life. Lively and rhythmic, it’s a delight! “In a Heartbeat” is a sweet and gentle reminder of how quickly beautiful things can come and go. The title track is full of Fibonacci’s math and was the first piece written for the album. There is nothing mechanical-sounding about the piece, so just sit back and enjoy it! “I Remember When” is a soothing, graceful daydream. “Five Nights” was inspired by the 1981 Indiana University basketball team. Utilizing five melody lines that represent the five players on the team, it all comes together at the end - another really interesting concept piece that is also a lovely piece of music. “A Little More Sunshine” evolved from “Under the Sun” from the first album. True to the original melody and phrasing, this version feels a little more jazzy. “Song For Chava” was composed as a gift for Blatt’s daughter’s thirteenth birthday. Reminiscent of the family’s Eastern European heritage, it is a bit more exotic, but very smooth and warm. “La Selva (The Rainforest)” is a lively, rhythmic reminder of the importance of the world’s rain forests and how quickly they are disappearing. “Move Um Out” is a reflection on the turmoil in the world today and the senselessness of war. Darkly poignant, its quiet voice has a strong emotional impact - especially when chaos erupts at the end.

“Fibonacci’s Dream” is another outstanding CD from Lawrence Blatt. Fascinating musically as well as mathematically, I think you’ll really enjoy this if you like finger-picking guitar. Recommended!

clint Graves

In the moment....

clint Graves

In the moment....
Mr. Blatt's music allows me to enter a peaceful place in my mind, that I rarely get to experience!
Thank you and Happy Holiday's

Ryan

Fibonacci's Dream
LAWRENCE BLATT
FIBONACCI’S DREAM

If you like great finger-picking acoustic guitarists, you will want to check out Lawrence Blatt who is quickly becoming one of the best of the newcomers to the field. His first album, OUT OF THE WOODWORK, came out in 2007 and showed he had the stuff. Now his new CD, FIBONACCI’S DREAM, proves he really can deliver the goods.

Even though his background materials say that he tries to play the entire tune through in a single take when he is in the recording studio, his sound is fairly flawless, probably because of his longtime classical background (as a violinist) which tends to force a musician towards perfectionism. All the material is original instrumental music. Some of the tunes simply feature Blatt playing a single guitar, and a few have just the one guitar with a little percussion in the background. But some of the other compositions feature several layered instruments. Regardless, Blatt often uses his fingers to pick both a rhythm part and a lead melody part at the same time. And where he joins the upper echelon is when he occasionally plays lead, rhythm and bass all at the same time on one guitar. When he does overdub a second guitar, there is a nice interplay between the two instruments utilizing counter-melodies or back-and-forth rhythm trade-offs. He has great technique playing quietly one moment and crackling with energy the next.

Blatt plays all of the instruments -- both steel-string and nylon-string acoustic guitars, acoustic bass, an Hawaiian 8-string ukulele, a 128-year-old bowl-back mandolin, two small South American 10-string guitars (a charango and a ronroco), piano (on one tune) and ethnic percussion. His style bridges many genres including new age, neo-classical, folk and world music with subtle, hinted-at elements including Latin, Mid-Eastern, jazz, bluegrass, Hawaiian and pop-rock. My favorite track is “Five Nights” (played as solo guitar).

The album title comes from Blatt using some math formulas from an ancient mathematician in creating the music. That sounds like a bunch of mumbo-jumbo. The important thing is his melodies and his playing. He’s the real deal. Definitely check out this incredibly talented and adventurous acoustic guitarist.