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Program Note


for cello and piano

by Reginald Bain

The German novelist Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) once said that architecture is "frozen music." In architecture, a frieze refers to a horizontal band of decorative images found along the top of a wall that are usually a set of variations on a single theme. Commissioned by cellist Bob Jesselson and pianist Charles Fugo on the thirtieth anniversary of the Jesselson/Fugo Duo, Frieze (2011) explores musical analogues of mathematical frieze groups, symmetric line patterns on a two-dimensional surface that infinitely repeat in a single direction. These patterns are mapped into the pitch and time domains to create gestures that serve as the basis of the work.

Maori Kowhaiwhai pattern in the Ngaru style
Credit: Math & The Art of M.C. Escher

I. Molecular Presentation 0:40
II. Mosaic 1:45
III. Constructed Resonance 1:40
IV. Identity 2:25
V. Lattice 1:36
VI. Jump 1:13
VII. Translation 1:00
D U R A T I O N : 10:19


Campbell, MacGregor. "Frieze and Wallpaper Groups," in MATHematics Illuminated. {Annenberg/Learner}

Anneke Bart and Bryan Clair, Math and the Art of M. C. Escher. {euler.slu.edu}

Updated: January 26, 2016