Listen to Newton’s Bad Apple

Isaac Newton was a complicated human. Though he revolutionized our understanding of the physical world with his laws of motion, he was obsessed with alchemy, Biblical prophecies, and King Solomon’s Temple. Was the founder of modern science an alchemist and magician? Perhaps. But that is not what we are here to discuss today!

I have been exploring the connection between music and Western esotericism, which happens to be a topic with a long and complicated history. Some of it is rooted in math, some in music theory, some in sacred geometry—I feel like I am still just dipping my toes into how they are related.

One of the major elements of this exploration has been resuming my relationship with the piano and keyboards, and exploring music through making music. This has been both frustrating and rewarding, but it is taking up enough of my time that I thought opening a Music category on the Arnemancy blog would be worthwhile. So here it is, and I present you with a song that I have shared on Soundcloud.

How I Made It

This song uses a pre-recorded drum loop and various samples, alongside music that I created and recorded using MIDI controllers. I am using REAPER as my digital audio workstation (DAW). This song was a piece I was experimenting with while working through ReaMix: Breaking the Barriers with REAPER by Geoffrey Francis. This is a wonderful book that approaches corrective action and spatial mixing and has really helped me understand some things.

The spoken word portion of the song is taken from Observations upon the Prophecies of Daniel, and the Apocalypse of St. John, a work of Isaac Newton’s that was published posthumously in 1733.

What’s the bad apple?

The bad apple in the title of the song meant a number of things to me as I was working on the song. Among them:

  1. Newton himself is kind of a “bad apple” in the history of science, since he reminds us all that physical science and occult philosophy are so strongly intertwined.
  2. Newton’s laws are kind of a “bad apple” in that they only work at low velocity. When you are dealing with velocities approaching the speed of light, you need to apply Lorentz transformations to make them work.
  3. There is a musical bad apple, as well, in that one of the instruments is playing in minor keys while the others play in major keys.

Please enjoy!

I hope you enjoy the song. I know it is not a masterpiece, and I have much left to learn, but I think it can be helpful to share the learning experience so that all of us can understand what it is like to learn, grow, and glimpse the mysteries of the universe in our craft and our art.

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