Music and cryptography may not have got along together too well, in the context of the Digital Rights Management Schemes, but they certainly seem to have reconciled in alto-saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa's album "The Codebook". The album, is named after the well-known book on cryptography, "The Code Book" authored by the acclaimed science writer, Simon Singh.
The clueless, would probably appreciate the pieces in the album as 'normal' jazz music. They only seem too normal to feature on an album titled "Codebook"! The saxophonist has entwined music, mathematics and cryptography to concoct a unique treat to the ear. The track, "The Decider", for example, has its musical elements formulated from a mathematical series of related numbers called the Fibonacci series. Cryptography finds haven in the tracks "Frontburner" and "Play it Again Sam" where the original tune was rendered into a new one by enciphering it with cryptographic hashes. "Play it Again Sam" also includes a dash of Morse Code, with the instruments spelling out Rudresh's name. To add to the fun and frolic, Rudresh also uses the Atbash Cipher, a Biblical Hebrew Cipher in "Play it Again like Sam". While cryptography was used to formulate the crux of the music, at certain places where cryptography seemed to mar the music, Rudresh took the liberty of bringing the music back on track to sound good. Cryptography taken to new heights!
Here's the track "Play It Again Like Sam". The sequence of dots and dashes
.-. ..- -.. .-. . ... ....
(that's "Rudresh" in Morse Code) occur in the song. Try to spot them!
The audio sample contains clips from the original track. Used with permission.
- S C Phillips Morse Code
- Image: Rudresh with Sax by Vidura Barrios.
- http://www.rudreshm.com/ (Press section)