heavy metal

Happy 'Pi' Day

After the Burial Happy Pi Day, everyone (and Tau fans, don't worry, June 28th is coming)! To celebrate the endless fascination with the mathematical constant pi, we're revisiting After the Burial's mind-bending track "Pi (The Mercury God of Infinity)".

This song was written and recorded in a whirlwind, just days before their album was finished. With a touch of creative inspiration (and maybe a hangover or two), Justin and the band decided to incorporate pi itself into the music. Their idea? A complex breakdown where the kick drum plays each digit of pi as the sequence unfolds.

The intro to the song is deceptively simple, with a steady hi-hat on eighth notes and a snare drum hitting on beat three. But then comes the china cymbal, throwing a wrench into the groove with its unusual timing. Don't worry if it feels confusing at first – that's part of the song's charm!

Here's a breakdown of the breakdown (phew!):

The tempo is 120 beats per minute (bpm).
The china cymbal plays a repeating pattern that throws off the listener's sense of where the beat lands.
The key to understanding it lies in subdividing the beat into sixteenth notes.
Once you grasp the china cymbal's rhythm, it's time for the main attraction: the kick drum.

The band came up with a clever way to translate the digits of pi into a drum pattern. Here's the formula:

Start with the decimal point before the first number (pi starts with 3).
Move the decimal point that many places to the right and insert that many sixteenth note rests.
Use a single sixteenth note rest to separate any other digits you encounter.
For example, the first few digits of pi (3.14) become:

3(16th rest)1(16th rest)4(dotted-eighth)
This might seem complex at first, but it's a clever way to represent pi in music. The full formula even extends to 71 decimal places in the original song!

There's also a secret hidden within the song for eagle-eared listeners to discover. Can you find it?

Bonus: The band later re-recorded the song with the kick drum pattern extending to a whopping 110 decimal places. Check out the new version and see if you can decipher the even more intricate rhythm!

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Tags:  After the Burialpipi daytuaSumerian Records

    March 14, 2024

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