## Samurai Stoner Rock – Tool’s Lateralus On Koto

Posted by frankie23Man, even my jaded soul fucking loves this. YouTube user radialaxis went and arranged Lateralus by Tool for an eight-piece koto group; this video is from their first performance. He also shares with us something I did *not* know; the song is actually partially based on the Fibonacci sequence, which means it’s related to the Golden Mean, which means that it is mathematically **beautiful**. See, now even if you don’t like Tool, you can blame liking this song on nature! Here’s a chunk of his very verbose write-up for the song, from the YouTube page:

The first 6 steps and the 15th step (6=1+5) of the Fibonacci sequence for the numbers 0 and 1 feature prominently in the structure of this piece:

(0-1) -1-2-3-5-8-13-21-34-55-89-144-233-377-610-987

This is reflected, for example, in the rhythm of the second section, 9/8-8/8-7/8, 987 being the 15th step of the sequence, as well as in the structure of the 3rd section. While the underlying rhythm of this section is 5/8 (the 6th step of the sequence is 5+8=13), the lead melody progresses back and forth through a series of phrases of length 0 to 13, again the first 6 steps of the sequence plus the root numbers, separated by pauses of length 1 to 5, the 1st 4 steps of the sequence. Together the melody phrases and rests form the image of 2 interlocking spirals. The lyrics of the song at this point also reflect the mathematical structure, the first words being ‘black then white,’ i.e. 0 and 1. The lyrics later in the song make use of extensive spiral imagery.

In my arrangement I tried to incorporate this element of the original composition as much as possible. There are 8 instruments in the group, 6 koto and 2 bass koto. The 6th step in the sequence is 13, which is the number of strings on a koto. The 2 bass kotos together have 34 strings, 34 being the 8th step of the sequence. In the first 9/8-8/8-7/8 section the 8 players are subdivided into 2 groups, one of 5 and one of 3. The groups play the 9/8/7 figure 3 times, with a variation in the 3rd iteration subdividing it into 3=2+1. The 2nd time through the 9-8-7 figure the groups themselves subdivide into smaller groups of 3+2 and 2+1 for 2 iterations before subdividing again in the 3rd iteration (3=2+1 again).

I just must say, thank you sir; this really made my god-damn week. Cheers!