Gamut, new works by Heather Gordon
Detail of a mapping of the three octave Bohlen Pierce just intonation intervals mapped in 13 degrees around a circle


Exhibition Dates: Friday, September 15, 2017 – Friday, October, 6, 2017

Opening 3rd Friday: September 15, 2017 from 6-9p

Location: Spectre Arts, 1004 Morning Glory Ave, Durham, NC 27701


gamut : the entire range of notes reachable by an instrument or voice

The works in Gamut are physical objects representing silent intervals that form the structure of our sound ocean. They are the result of a wide range of scientific research, intuitive knowledge, philosophical meanderings, and improvisation. I have given myself free reign to consider the nature of our sonic world over the course of seven months and accept as valid any object that chose to emerge. I have been testing the range of the instrument of my body and mind.

Prior work had me focused on dissecting the cognitive experience of iterations and the processes that create them. I was fumbling about looking for an underlying rule for our relationship to the experience of time. Now I’ve side-stepped into the territory of interval, those spaces in-between that allow us to see the iterative moments. I’m looking at the size of the silence in relation to the sound. The experience of our sound space seems determined by dimension and steps, ratios and integers, resonance and entrainment.

This work has been a journey into sound shapes. As I consider myself a map maker primarily, these works logically use the language of mathematics to describe my personal and individual experience of sound. I am wonder-struck at the way some resonating combinations can open up new spaces that feel physical in the sense they are biological, but remain temporary. Each one of these objects represents a marker, the moment of the interval. Each map is evidence of learning something, discarding something, shifting, reprioritizing, regulating, and predicting. These visual sound maps are observances forcing the collapse of infinite possibility into a singular crystalline experience with a sonic shape.

A coincidence of the purest ray serene
                 – Erv Wilson

SELECTED GAMUT WORKS (view a complete listing of these works)

Pythagorean Intonation 26 perfect fifths
Pythagorean intonation mapped as a series of 26 perfect fifths, 8-1/4″ diameter (2017), graphite and colored pencil on Yupo

Harry Partch’s 43-tone Genesis Scale (2017), 12″ diameter, graphite and red pencil on Yupo

Hindustani 22-Sruti Scale (2017), 12″ diameter, graphite and red pencil on Yupo

Hindustani 22 Sruit Scale as an origami pattern
Frequencies of the Equal-Tempered Scale (2017), 17″ x 16″, Hero #232 ink on bristol

Harry Partch’s 43-tone Genesis Scale (2017), 17″ x 16-3/4″, iron gall ink on Yupo

Frequencies of the Equal Tempered Scale (2017), 5.5″ x 5.5″, graphite on Yupo

Internal Structure of the 22-Sruti Scale (2017), 11″ x 11″, iron gall ink on Yupo

Frequencies of the Equal Temperament Scale
Ptolemy’s Syntonic Diatonic Scale (2017), 6″ x 6″, incised lines on panel

Frequencies of the Equal Tempered Scale (2017), 30″ x 30″, oil on canvas

Sisphus Scale
Sisyphean Scale (2017), 36″ x 48″, oil on panel