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New Mexico PBS documentary explores relationship between music, math

Music and math.

The two go hand in hand.

The latest TV production from New Mexico PBS delves into the relationship between the two.

“The Majesty of Music and Math” is a multimedia television production that explores an inspiring symphony of the relationship between music and mathematics.

The event is the result of a collaboration among New Mexico PBS, Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra and the Santa Fe Institute.

It will premiere at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 6, on New Mexico PBS, Channel 5.1.

Franz Joachim, General Manager & CEO, New Mexico PBS, says that the station has a long history of top-notch documen-tary production, but that “The Majesty of Music and Math” is a smaller, more intimate process.

“Working with so many partners, while invigorating, was certainly challenging. But the most challenging and difficult task was securing the various rights required to perform and broadcast the music and then distribute the music nationally,” Joachim says. “Music rights are really hard and expensive. You have to secure the rights to perform the music. You have to secure the rights to broadcast the music. You need the rights from the copyright holder and from the person who arranged the music. We were lucky to have folks at PBS advising us, and we secured the services of a very good law firm to search out and secure these rights. ”

New Mexico viewers will see familiar faces and settings during the broadcast. The event was filmed at the Lensic Performing Arts Center in Santa Fe. The Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra was conducted by Guillermo Figueroa, and Santa Fe Institute’s Cris Moore explains the math and science part.

Joachim says the concept of music and math being so related is not new.

“So when I saw how Cris Moore at the institute and the folks at the symphony put that concept into something you could see and hear, it had a huge impact on me,” he says. “You know, it’s one thing to hear a Bach contrapunctus and marvel at its complexity, but when you see a representation of how he flipped, stretched and inverted a piece of music, and then combined all these versions into a grander piece, it’s really quite mind-bending. And then to relate that to the complexity of fractals, how you can “zoom in” on Bach’s score and see themes within themes, well, for me it was an epiphany.”

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