Serendipity: Tesla, Chaos In Boxes

Serendipity: Tesla, Chaos In Boxes 

Yesterday a very nerdy and awesome article showed up in my news feed: apparently, someone recently discovered a long-lost drawing made by Tesla, labelled “Map To Multiplication.” A quick glance at the diagram showed a circular diagram with star shapes on it. This was a very dramatic moment for me, full of anticipation and a mixture of emotional confusion. Here’s Tesla’s diagram:

^ Tesla’s “Map To Multiplication” ^

Why did I panic? Because in 2008 I published a book called “Chaos In Boxes: twisted adventures in music theory,” and one of my proudest achievements in that book was my discovery and creation of the “Times-Table Mirror.” Sometimes I call it the “Multiplication Mirror” for the sake of alliteration. When I say I “discovered” it, I really do mean that it came into being under my very own eyes and pencil and brain, never before seen by myself or anyone else …that I know of (and I still remain skeptical of my own originality in terms of worldwide historical unprecedence, since this thing I invented is just too obvious… how could it not be common knowledge already?). My “Times-Table Mirror” entails 9 small and simple circular diagrams with star shapes, plus one larger diagram that ties them all together. Here’s what the final diagram looks like, just to give you a quick idea:

^ “Times-Table Mirror” from my book “Chaos In Boxes” ^

So when this Tesla thing came along yesterday, I figured, “This is probably the same as what I came up with,” and my first thought was A) little old me and my big little discovery will be rendered totally irrelevant by mister bigshot famous math rebel. Who am I? Nobody. After this, nobody would even believe that I came up with this on my own, they’ll say I just copied Tesla. Even though I found mine was published in 2008 and this other thing only came along yesterday (2015). NNNNOOOOOO!!!! It’s my idea. Mine!

But then I realized that, B) for one of my discoveries to be considered important and smart enough for Tesla-philes to be gaga on it would only serve to increase the notability of my Times-Table Mirror. I could feel oh-so-smart about having discovered the same idea as Tesla, on my own, separately, without his help or influence. I’m not even going to mention the idea of channeling, LOL.

It was a perceptual transformation that only took a few seconds, thankfully. Swimming in a glass half-full is better than drowning in one that’s half-empty.

Of course, my thinking is probably marred by egocentricity, especially considering that I’m very low-level when it comes to math and hardly any competition for the likes of a legend. I’m just a musician who likes to dabble in mathy stuff whenever I feel like it. But what the hell… it is what it is. This is my blog/book/whatever and I’ve felt less foolish for way stupider feats.

So, anyway, as it turns out, after looking a little closer at Tesla’s diagram, it is actually not as similar to mine as I had A) feared or B) hoped. My Times-Table Mirror is much simpler and less far-reaching. If this sounds unimpressive, let’s remember that most people hate math and totally suck at it, by their own admission. My level of contribution to the math world is the type of thing that’s pretty easy to relate to. In fact, I really (still) believe that the Times-Table Mirror should be taught in Elementary schools. Or College. Whatever. It’s missing from everywhere so it’s needed everywhere. A true mathematician could dismiss my Times-Table Mirror as being shallow or primitive but no-one could deny its beauty!

When I looked at Tesla’s “Map To Multiplication” I noticed a few differences from my Times-Table Mirror:

  1. My “Times-Table Mirror” is based on digital roots and therefore only goes up to the number 9. Tesla’s “Map To Multiplication” is based on the number 12 and extends outward 12 levels to 144. This results in a completely different bunch of shapes associated with each times-table. For example, the number 3 and the number 6 both create a Triangle in my Times-Table Mirror, whereas Tesla’s Map To Multiplication results in a Square shape for all multiples of 3 (including 9).
  2. I chose to display each times-table on its own circle, for a total of 9 diagrams, plus one “macro-view” circle which shows the symmetrical relationship of all the individual diagrams to each other. Simple and easy to look at. With Tesla’s system, all of the times-tables and their shapes are conveyed on one diagram. Thoroughly detailed but a little messy-looking in comparison.
  3. Tesla’s Map To Multiplication conveys prime number principles, which are not included whatsoever in my Times-Table Mirror.

And some similarities:

  1. Both systems reveal dualities possessing opposing polarity in clockwise-ness. For example: in the Times-Table Mirror, the 3x-table is a clockwise Triangle and the 6x-table is a counter-clockwise Triangle. In the Map To Multiplication, the 5x-table and the 7x-table are opposite in their clock-direction; and other mirrored pairs exist as well (some of them not mentioned but easy to find), for example, 2 and 10, 3 and 9, 11 and 13…
  2. In the Times-Table Mirror, the 9x-table is an anomaly because it holds a special position as the “mirror centre” as well as being the only instance of a non-star shape, since any multiple of 9 has a digital root of 9 (eg. 9 x 4 = 36 and 3 + 6 = 9). The Map To Multiplication also possesses somewhat of an anomaly: the 6x-table produces a vertical line through the entire system. Furthermore, the 12x-table produces a vertical line on the top half of the diagram only.

All in all, it seems to me that, despite the surface similarities (times-tables becoming stars on circles), the two systems are more different than they are the same: mine reveals the symmetry of digital roots and mod-9 (and closes in itself), whereas Tesla’s is tied to Primes and expands without limit through a 12-web.

^ getting ready to make a video about my favourite Chapter from “Chaos In Boxes” ^

So, once I’d had time to breathe a sigh of relief of having maintained some sense of originality and relevance, I felt like the time was ripe to get productive and stop procrastinating about making my next “instructional/sales” video for “Chaos In Boxes.” I would, of course, choose “Times-Table Mirror” to celebrate all the hubbub. Before I got very far with making the video, I became extremely distracted/inspired to instead go rummaging through all my old notebooks containing the old scribbled napkins and whatnot from when I was still writing the book (it took almost 6 years to write). In those heaps of papers were also a bunch of markups from my publisher/editor. That was a lot of fun and brought back lots of memories.

Then something a little cosmic happened. I know the idea about “synchronicities are always happening, it’s just a question of which ones you notice,” BUT… after being up ’til wee hours looking at the old construction bits for the book, I received an email from my publisher in the morning! The timing was extremely serendipitous, if you ask me.

The Universe is magic, yo!

If you want to read about the entire Times-Table Mirror procedure, you can check out this free preview pdf from the book or watch the video on YouTube which only took about 10 hours to upload. Or, buy the book and read it! Or all of the above, LOL.


End of this report.




Burly Q, Q-Carbon


Burly Q

Kamloops Burlesque staged their 60th show last night at The Blue Grotto, with music provided by The Sassy Gents, my duo with Justin Bentley. It’s always a blast, although quite honestly I’m usually a little distracted by guitaristic concerns so I end up missing half the show. We play instrumental double-guitar acoustic versions of various awesome tunes. Last night, for the Christmas theme, sly dogs that we are, we incorporated some Star Wars tunes into the mix – by meshing the Darth Vader theme with Good King Wenceslas, for example. After all, the new Star Wars movie is definitely stealing some of the spotlight from Xmas this year. We also played a couple of Stone Temple Pilot tunes, in tribute. I’ve recently discovered that I love playing slide guitar. The burlesque performers are all so friendly and the audience is so appreciative, it’s really nice to be part of this.


A while back, I wrote a book about music and numbers and stuff. It’s called “Chaos In Boxes: twisted adventures in music theory” and it was published in 2008 by a Canadian micro-publisher called Produce Press, who created beautifully handmade Limited Editions. Since then it has expanded into the Print-On-Demand format, e-Book format and e-Book with audio format. “Chaos In Boxes” is a healthy mix of seriousness and absurdity.

^ cover for my book “Chaos In Boxes” ^

Well, an interesting article showed up very recently in my Facebook feed, concerning the discovery of a new phase of Carbon called Q-Carbon! This relates to one of the Appendices in “Chaos In Boxes,” where I drew a parallel between the 2 then-known phases of Carbon (Graphite and Diamond) and the digital roots of certain Solfeggio frequencies, which alternate from 6 to 3 and back again when subjected to octave transpositions. Out of the 6 Solfeggio Tones (which are completely unrelated to the Major Scale, btw), only 4 of them are subject to this transformation. The other two frequencies maintain their digital root of 9, since 9 times any number still has digits adding up to 9.

^ digital root oscillations in the Solfeggio Tones thru octave transposition ^

I decided that the oscillating digital roots imply two different phases of the tones Re, Mi, Sol, and La, and correspond perfectly to carbon’s two phases, which are Diamond and Graphite. The non-transforming Tones (Ut and Fa) were not able to fit into the analogy of Carbon allotropes, as they had nothing to correspond to…

Until now, that is!

Ut and Fa correspond to Q-Carbon. Voila! A bonus concept for this new element of my metaphor, pretty as a picture, is stability. Solfeggio Tones Ut and Fa are more steadfast than Re, Mi, Sol and La in their non-reaction to octave transpositions, since their digital roots remain unaltered when their frequencies are subjected to octave-transposition (ie. division or multiplication by 2). Well, this newfound Q-Carbon is harder than diamonds! Very stable, wouldn’t you say? How appropriate.

Another point of parallel is magnetism. Apparently, Q-Carbon is ferromagnetic. Since Re, Mi, Sol and La oscillate whereas Ut and Fa do not, it seems to me that Ut and Fa serve as some sort of rotational axis about which the other tones orbit. In my mind, gravitational pull is akin to magnetic attraction and therefore Q-Carbon’s correlation to Ut and Fa at the centre position of the metaphoric Trinity is reasonable.

So: Ut and Fa (transposed or not) correspond to Q-Carbon. Re, Mi, Sol and La correspond to Diamond (untransposed) and Graphite (when transposed by any odd number of octaves).

Q.E.D., mo-fo’s!

P.S. If you’re in the Vernon area, “Chaos In Boxes” is now available at Record City Kelectibles!

End of report.


Melophoria 4, Photo Miscellany

Melophoria 4

Last night was the 4th instalment of Melophoria at Barnacle Records, with a ton of vinyl frenzy including Saucy eL, DJ Cuppa Pint, solo-uno-mono-man, Todd Bar, TaBby Cat, Rareandinexpensive, and DJ Don Rugs (that’s me).

^ photo by Iksnalybok, edited by SL ^

Here’s my set list, just so you know what you missed (unless you were there):

Andrew Lloyd Webber – Variations 11-15
The Quintet of the Hot Club of France – I Got Rhythm
Roger Whittaker – Finnish Whistler
The Ukuleles of Halifax – Plaisir D’Amour
Claude Denjean (MOOG!) – Lay Lady Lay
The Original Wiestaler Schuhplattler – Almtanz (Yodeling In The Alps)
Duane Eddy – Bali Ha’i
Carlos Santana & Mahavishnu John Mc Laughlin – A Love Supreme
Squarepusher – Boneville Occident

In case you haven’t noticed, I get a lot of my vinyl from the thrift store dollar bins! That’s the way I roll. Case in point:

^ I’m sure you’ve seen this many times in the dollar bins, I know I have ^

Also, Rónan found one of my most favourite albums ever, Squarepusher’s “Go! Spastic,” so I couldn’t resist throwing down some classic IDM to transition into Melaina’s set. Gonna buy that vinyl, no matter that it’s all scratched.

^ photo by Iksnalybok, edited by SL ^

The P.A.T. (portable art trailer) was also on-site so the people could get their art on… I learned how to do my first printy thingy whatever-it’s-called:

^ popped my printing press cherry ^

Fun stuff. I also did this ink drawing, which is pretty much the same drawing I always make:

^ flying away into the sunset ^

Good times!


Photo Miscellany

On an unrelated topic, here are a few of my photos from earlier in the week:

^ musky beanish smooth porcelain ^


^ sparklenesses ^
^ reckon ^
^ well well ^
^ turning tables ^


End of this report.