07 June 2011

"Seaside Canon"

3quarksdaily | Julia Galef | A crab canon for Douglas Hofstadter

Seaside Canon, for Douglas Hofstadter

by Julia Galef

The ocean was still.
In an empty sky, two gulls turned lazy arcs, and
their keening cries echoed
off the cliff and disappeared into the sea.
When the child, scrambling up the rocks, slipped
too far from her parents' reach,
they called to her. She was already
so high, but those distant peaks beyond --
they called to her. She was already
too far from her parents' reach
when the child, scrambling up the rocks, slipped
off the cliff and disappeared into the sea.
Their keening cries echoed
in an empty sky. Two gulls turned lazy arcs, and
the ocean was still.
Just wonderful.

This is actually the second time in under a week someone has reminded me of Hofstadter and Bach and the canon form. I went to a practice talk last week by a guy who had developed a genetic algorithm system for composing canons around a given theme. I don't really have the music background to really grok it, but it was solid work.

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