Erv Wilson’s Organic Scales

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Many of Erv Wilson’s scales are self-propagating like an organic or botanical entity. The scale tree is self-propagating. The coprime grid is self-propagating. The scales of Mount Meru (Pascal’s Triangle) are self-propagating. (See Erv Wilson Diagrams) This characteristic of Erv Wilson’s work distinguishes it from Harry Partch or Joseph Yasser.

His scales resemble fractals in many ways although they are not exactly fractals. The musical scales are fractal-like in the sense that they repeat over and over out to infinity. Fractals also occur in growing plants.

How is Erv Wilson’s Work Different from Others in the Microtonal Field?

Erv Wilson’s work is different from others in the microtonal field who have also made contributions by virtue of its organic nature.

Erv Wilson describes himself as the product of a primitive agricultural hunting and gathering lifestyle. The feeling of freedom and an insistence on being free is integral to the way Erv views music and the world. He was free to wander out through the meadows and the forests and the rivers and the valleys and gather pretty flowers and beautiful butterflies and listen to the sound of the wind blowing through the pine trees. It’s being born out in the open nature that shaped his musical perspective. As Erv says, if you are born, stuck or stranded in the city you end up with the city sounds embedded in your brain.

The CoPrime Grid

The CoPrime Grid is a truly astonishing thing. Erv Wilson didn’t make it, but he stumbled across it and applied it uniquely to generate musical scales. He describes it as like finding a strain or mine of musical diamonds.

This film and music was created by Stephen James Taylor. The music was written using ratios from the CoPrime Grid.

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Stephen James Taylor has had a full time career for the last 30 years writing music for film and TV as well as the concert hall. His style is an eclectic blend of many elements. He has been helping introduce Transcendent Tonality, (via the application of much of Ervin Wilson's material), into the lexicon of film music since the early 90's. He is just now getting around to releasing his first solo album in 2013.

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