Thursday, 11 May 2017

deceptive cadence

The always marvellous Nag on the Lake brings us a pleasant performance of the first digits of the mathematical constant π composed for piano by David Macdonald in the key of A minor.
The music is underscored with a series of factoids about the number, including the supposition that every possible sequence of numbers—a string of perfectly consecutive numbers, lottery winners, one’s past and future cell phone numbers—is contained in the infinite series but it’s never proven until calculated out, many argue. That piece of knowledge made me recall that I’ve encountered this quandary before—formalised as the Kate Bush Conjecture, wherein the singer on a 2005 album sings π to seventy-eight decimal places before skipping ahead to the one hundred thirty-seventh. The theory was advanced, arguing that that sequence would be found somewhere within the number, just not at the beginning. Infinite yet non-random, π is suspected to have that property though it remains unproven.