The Da Vinci Coda

by Peter Kirn

Cezanne never gets attention like this. Yes, a musician and “computer engineer” (take note: even in 2007, using computers can make stuff way more science-y) has somehow made Leonardo da Vinci’s “Last Supper” into a musical score. You have to see loaves of bread and arbitrary points on the Apostle’s bodies as notes. And you have to draw your own staff over top of it to make it work. Oh, and read the whole thing backwards. (Something this far removed from the painting HAS to be a conspiracy. News flash: master painter Leonardo had a painstaking sense of mathematical proportion. Draw five equally-spaced lines on top of his painting, connect the dots so they line up with triadic harmony, and you, too, can find hidden “codes.”)

Leonardo painting has coded ‘soundtrack’: Musician interpreted symbolic Christian theology as musical clues

I have to admit, the result in itself is kind of cool and amazing, a weird form of composition involving extracting music from paintings, like seeing rabbits in clouds or Jesus in toast or watching static on your TV until you see the exact molecular composition of Gatorade. It doesn’t seem to have anything to do with Da Vinci, poor guy. (Wonder why no one is interested with all the ingenious stuff he did that was out in the open?) But it is nothing if not interesting.

Wait until you see how I’ve turned “Nude Descending a Staircase” into Sgt. Pepper.

  • PetitZozo

    Hahaha… Oh boy… Just plain ridiculous. And that things ended up everywhere on the news. I'm not sure sure if I should laugh or cry.

  • http://axiom-crux.net axiom-crux

    I agree at the rediculousness, where can we hear the composition? it doesn't look like its that good by the score on their pic. good way to get attention though..

  • _object.session

    "cool and amazing . . like seeing rabbits in clouds" is a *great* way of describing this sort of thing. there can be a beauty in someone cloud-gazing, but once you think you see jesus, you're just nuts.

    this specific example is just hilarious . . basically the "code" is that he placed many objects along a single line which is the table top.

  • http://www.shuriken.se Johan Larsby

    This reminds me of that guy that made music from chewing-gums on the pavement. but he made the rules before he tried to make music from it.

  • http://una-love.com Michael Una

    An interesting project. Too bad the media wants to turn it into a ridiculous "Da Vinci Code"-type of conspiracy.

    With the right reporting, this could be a good article about the innovative advances and approaches of the current digital music/data processing zeitgeist.

    Sigh.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    Sorry, Mike. You need a pop tie-in. But you'll love my new interactive Gossip Girl-sichord!

    I agree, Johan, the chewing gum scores were better:

    http://createdigitalmusic.com/2006/09/05/music-sc

    Anyone found a link with video for the music? I'm sure it's … uh … chordal. (Note this article suggests using a pipe organ sound and describes how slow it is. Where's the tempo indication in the painting, I wonder?)

  • http://homemadenoize.blogspot.com/ Kubton

    This kind of junk history is a big trend now. I predict that this will not be the end of it. The notes will unlock some other mystery. Some Bible passage will meld perfectly with the music or maybe if you play them on some creepy Goonies like pipe organ tucked away in the Vatican a secret chamber will open revealing Da Vinci's very Renaissance looking cold fusion device. I should write a book…Dan Brown look out.

    I am sure if this was done with Jackson Pollack it would sound like Beat era Jazz.

  • http://www.bing.com/ Bubbie

    If I were a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, now I’d say “Kowuabgna, dude!”

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