International music sensation Yo-Yo Ma sent happy postage to Willa Anderson 15 PR and Andrew Yon BArch 16 after the cellist got an earful of one of their Foundation Studies Spatial Dynamics (3D) projects.
In response to an assignment from Professor Gareth Jones that asked students to imagine time outside the visual realm, Anderson and Yon rearranged Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1 into an invented scale based on the Fibonacci series, a sequence of mathematical integers.
“The Fibonacci music and its accompanying theory were first conceived after studies were created in an attempt to compose music that was entirely derived from a mathematical function,” reads Anderson’s blog. “The scale breaks from preconceived notions of music and creates an unfamiliar auditory experience.”
Jones loved the recording so much that he sent it to the famous cellist himself (who plays a popular rendition of the suite’s prelude).
And then, months later, a letter arrived:
Dear Willa and Andrew,
Congratulations on taking a fascinating idea and turning it into an eerie recreation of Bach’s First Cello Suite. I have always been fascinated with Bach’s inclusion of the Fibonacci Series in the structure of his compositions, but this is the first time I have heard it at the scalar level. Both of you obviously possess unfettered imaginations, a quality that I so admire in RISD students. Once again, congratulations.
With warmest wishes,
The students were thrilled to hear from the famed virtuoso. “I’m just so happy, not only to have my professor think that my work is worthy of sending to someone like Yo-Yo Ma, but to then be recognized by him,” writes Anderson. “Just, wow.”
See Anderson’s blog to listen to a recording of Cello Suite No. 1 rearranged into the Fibonacci Scale.