How are the Harmony of the Spheres, Isaac Newton, and polyhythms connected? Strap in for a journey with musician Adam Neely.

A bass player – educator – composer, Adam has a series of his own called New Horizons in Music. For Ableton Loop in Berlin last November, he got to present one session of those ideas live to an enraptured crowd. Now, Ableton gives you a guest seat to that show.

If you’re a fan of polyrthms, you’ll like where this is going. But it takes an unexpected path, starting with Alexander Scriabin, the Russian composer who experienced a perceptual connection of color to sound, and Isaac Newton’s color science. That basic notion about spectrum links color, perception, and rhythm.

It’s a wild, Wikipedia click-hole saga through music history, psychoacoustics, proportions, and theory. Since proportion can apply to rhythm and pitch alike – and since rhythms eventually are themselves connected to pitch – you eventually get a kind of grand unifying theory of music and polyrhythm. Watch:

(Quite a few of you likely have seen this already, as it seems it’s already a hit!)

This is just the sort of adventurous thinking that filled the best talks at Ableton’s Loop event. In that way, Loop served not just as a gathering around a tool, but that explored the entire ecosystem of ideas around the Live user community. And that seems a great model for what music tech can be.

Of course, all of this required getting to Berlin, and even there attendance was limited. So, fortunately, Ableton have set up a minisite where they’re sharing content you can take in at your leisure. (I was actually in Berlin, and I missed this one, so it’s great having video available for me, too, before you get jealous!)

You can find a collection of resources from Loop at the Loop minisite, with more content added regularly:

For instance, you can jump to a selection of talks and Q&A:

And for more of Adam Neely’s New Horizons in Music, head to his YouTube channel:

For instance, here’s more on synesthesia:

I’m looking forward to taking in more.