Blotted Science - 'Cretaceous Chasm' in 12-Tone Fragments

In 2007, I introduced the 'Circle Of 12 Tones’ writing system that was used by Blotted Science to write the majority of our debut album ‘The Machinations Of Dementia’. On this year’s release 'The Animation Of Entomology’, I wanted to write with another 12-tone system, but use it exclusively on the recordings. I’ve been mentioning this ’12-Tones In Fragmented Rows’ system in interviews and it seems that even non-musicians are interested in it, so I put together this video to give listeners some insight on how it all works...

This “fragmented rows” 12 tone system uses groups of notes (unlike Schoenberg’s “matrix, inversion, retrograde, etc…” 12-tone system), all which are consecutive on the clock. I just recently learned that the composer Peter Schat (1935-2003) also arranged the 12 tones on a continuous “clock”, so this system that I’m using may have some similarities to what he used to write 12-tone pieces. I'm not really sure. In any case, this ‘fragmented rows” system is MUCH simpler than the system(s) used by Schoenberg, Berg, Stravinsky, Bartok, or Schat, etc… All I’m doing here is sectioning off groups of notes into various set combinations, then I have the freedom to do whatever I want with the notes.

Speaking of simplicity, I thought it would be best to break this all down into its most basic theoretical form, and play examples of its use. I chose to post the basic guitar tracks to ‘Cretaceous Chasm’ because it is the simplest song on the EP and is the easiest to grasp theoretically. The song will also appear first on my upcoming gtr instructional DVD 'Dissecting Bugs', where I will go in-depth with all of the 12 tone theory, and play all guitar parts on all songs from the EP. Things do get a bit complicated when melodies and solos are laid on top of the note groups, but we’ll get to all of that good stuff on the DVD.

Since these 12-tone songs do not really have a key, what I call the “key” is simply the arrangement of the notes on the clock. What determined the “key” for ‘Cretaceous Chasm’ is I wanted every possible note group to have extreme dissonance, so I paired up m2s on the entire clock…. E F, A# B, F# G, Eb D, A G#, Db C.

For those of you who want to play along, here are the transcriptions/tabs.

All songs on the EP were recorded on a 7 string tuned A E A D G B E. If you do not have a 7 string, and want to play the rhythm parts, just string/tune up your gtr A E A D G B and play the bottom 6 strings. (The only rhythm tune in the song that uses all 7 strings is the intro, so just relocate the first two notes to the G and B strings). To play the leads and melodies just use your normal tuning.