Max Cooper is a DJ who is also involved in mathematical modelling research on the evolution of networks of genes at University College London, a sci-art project combining evolutionary and music production algorithms.
According to Cooper:
The name comes from the English ‘Harmonic Series’, which describes the philosophy behind the track and the video [in the player above].The final video will be released really soon.
A harmonic series is an important mathematical and musical concept, describing a repeating pattern of changes to a string of numbers, so that each number on the string is a multiple or divisor of its neighbours.
These sorts of ‘infinite sets’ are used in maths to do things like calculating the number ? (pi), and describe a property of notes in music, which, in addition to their fundamental frequency, tend to have lots of higher (harmonic) frequencies that are divisors of the fundamental, and give each note an audible ‘richness’.
So the idea behind ‘Harmonisch Serie’ is that the human concept of what is musically (or artistically) beautiful; is often the result of mathematical properties that are understood at an unconscious level, giving us the feeling that we like the particular piece of music (or art).
That’s why chords sound pleasing or not to us in music, because we detect subconsciously how the different frequencies of the notes interact mathematically, finding those chords that fit nicely into one another (in terms of the ratios of frequencies) more pleasing – there’s a lot of complicated maths going on inside your head.