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Circular Harmonics

"You mean crop circles are rock and roll"
 Julian Cope

Inspired by the work of Gerald Hawkins and our conversations on musical theory, I felt there was an important link between music and crop circles. Combining the two, I developed some computer software that could convert crop circle images into musical notes to see what 'tunes' were composed by them.


When I first heard of this Hawkin's, I became intrigued, strongly believing that he may indeed be onto something. He had already contacted me to comment on my three dimensional geometrical analysis, and I was now becoming intrigued by the 'musical link' being interested in this aspect of research myself.

One day, whilst working in my capacity as a computer programmer, I discovered a program for the Acorn Archimedes range of computers which could take a scanned photograph and 'play' it as a sequence of tones, or harmonic scales. I decided to experiment with some crop circle photographs to see what tones were produced. I decided to initially try with a scanned aerial photograph of the famous Mandlebrot formation which appeared in Cambridge in 1991. I loaded it into the computer programme and started it running. What came out of my speakers quite surprised me. It wasn't exactly music, but it was certainly not objectionable. In fact it sounded almost like some of the 'new age' music tapes you can buy. After a few moments, the tones become almost hypnotic and I was sure they may be beneficial to meditation. Perhaps it could be a way to communicate with the circle makers....

I decided to develop my own computer software based upon this initial idea, and to take it a step further and be able to not only geometrically analyse and 'measure' the formations but also 'play' them as music using a set of basic musical rules.

Circular Harmonics

Over the years this software has developed and can now perform quite complex analysis and synthesis of musical tones and harmonics based either on the actual 'pixels' in the image or on the physical ratios of the circles and elements within the formation itself. Being initially surprised (and impressed) with the results, I decided to 'sample' some more formations as well as a computer generated image of the actual Mandlebrot set. I recorded the output from this initial experimentation onto audio tape and subsequently mastered an audio CD.

Entitled "Circular Harmonics", it consists of four audio tracks 'composed' from the 1991 Mandlebrot formation, a mathematical image of the Mandlebrot set, the first 1994 Galaxy formation which appeared along the Avebury Avenue and the 1994 Oliver's Castle formation which appeared in the punchbowl near Devizes.

Please feel free to contact me if you are interested in obtaining a copy for your own research, meditation or healing purposes.

Some short samples can be downloaded in MP3 format below.

A 31 second sample of track 1 - The Mandlebrot formation of 1991
A 60 second sample of track 2 - A computer generated Mandlebrot image
A 45 second sample of track 3 - The 1994 Galaxy formation in Avebury Avenue
A 41 second sample of track 4 - The 1994 Oliver's Castle formation


Due to some very positive feedback from listeners, I went on to produce a second volume (audio tape or CD available), specifically for meditation and healing purposes. Circular Harmonics II contains music composed from just two formations - the 1996 'DNA' formation in East Field, Alton Barnes and the 1996 'Treble Julia' formation at Avebury Trusloe. Each composition lasts approx 30 minutes and is less experimental and more meditational. I hope to upload some MP3 samples of this volume in the near future.

As both volumes are intended for research purposes, I welcome feedback from people who have obtained interesting results from their use. If a particular application is worthy of further research, I will provide details on this website.

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