Archive for Gyorgy Ligeti


Posted in Music, The Universe and Stuff with tags , , , , , on May 23, 2013 by telescoper

I stumbled across this a while ago and, with my mind emptied by a day full of meetings, I thought I’d take the opportunity to post it today along with a couple of random connections that sprang into my mind when I saw it. The process by which 32 metronomes seem to synchronize themselves in the first video might look like magic at first glance, but it’s actually based on very simple physics…

And if you want to see an explanation of how it works with rather fewer metronomes, see

which brings me onto this remarkable piece of music by György Ligeti which is called Poème Symphonique and is written for 100 metronomes placed, hopefully, on a hard surface:

All this reminds me of the legendary Geordie darts commentator Sid Waddell, who once described the ebb-and-flow of a championship darts match in the following style…

the pendulum is swinging backwards and forwards, like a metronome…


Posted in Music with tags , on November 30, 2010 by telescoper

Off to Oxford for the rest of the day to give a talk, which is apparently either a colloquial seminar or a seminal colloquium. I haven’t worked out which. Anyway, I thought I’d leave you with a wonderful bit of music by the genius  that was György Ligeti. This piece, called Lontano, is one of the many works by this composer I have on my iPod so I’ll be listening to it again as the train speeds (?) through the snowy countryside taking me towards the dreaming spires..