Gamma Monk and The Semitones


Listen to
Gamma Monk

(a new version of
Gamma Monk is featured on my Gammatar album)

One night I had a dream of myself playing B*** M*** by T********* M*** on my Opal
Chameleon tuned to Carlos Gamma with an Omnisphere’s guitar sound.

I had to fulfill this dream and this is the result!

I purposely omit title and composer of the song that inspired me to see if someone recognizes it. It’s an easy one for a jazz buff even though my song does not follow neither the structure nor the mood of the original one.

Trying to replicate a chromatic melody written in
12tET on the Chameleon, set to Carlos Gamma, is not easy.

The note layout I have used is the same of my previous pieces (
Gamma Elegy, Glorious Guitars and Chameleons in the sun).

The Gamma note closest to a tempered semitone equals 3 Gamma steps (35.09 * 3 = 105.27 cents) and, as you can see on the following picture, it takes a large leap to play such a small interval either going east (red arrow) or west (blue arrow).

Moving horizontally (with this layout) you go plus or minus 2 Gamma steps (each step) and moving northwest or southeast plus or minus 9 Gamma steps (again, each step) so, in order to find the note that is 3 steps away, if you move east you go 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 - 9 = 3
and if you move west - 2 - 2 - 2 + 9 = 3

n20ne11semitone

Is that enough to discourage you trying out Carlos Gamma? That’s the trade-off to have perfect fifths, major and minor thirds next to each other.

Using Carlos Gamma with an Halberstadt keyboard it would be the opposite: the following picture shows the first 4 chords of the theme as they appear with standard notation. See if you can play them on a regular keyboard with your right hand while playing the arpeggio with the left!

GammaMonk4Chords

I played that in real time on my Chameleon: LEFT hand playing chords, RIGHT hand playing the arpeggio!
That is possible playing a two-dimensional keyboard where pitches go from low to high moving either way: left/right or up/down.


Peter Davies commented:
Beautiful piece, so spacious and out-door sounding! I'd love to see you play it in real time on your Chameleon - well worth videoing! smiley-smile