Hexadic System

Some works referred to in this article: Chasny's The Hexadic System, Arbeau's Orchesography & Agrippa's Occult Philosophy.

The Hexadic System is an approach to composition devised by guitarist Ben Chasny (Six Organs of Admittance, Rangda, Comets on Fire). While Ben keeps his own Hexadic resource page, I wanted to use this page to gather together some of my work with the system, which is spread across a few different sites. I highly recommend Ben’s Hexadic System book and card deck, along with the two albums of music – all available here. Fingers crossed there will be a third album, too!

Exploring the Hexadic System was the first of my blogs, mainly concentrating on the ‘triadic movements’ game, detailed in the book.

Tradition and Innovation: Speculative Music and the Hexadic System explores more closely the system’s intellectual links to speculative music and esoteric philosophy.

Thinking in Script: Mechanisms and Logic – this is quite a technical text, written for a book on computer-assisted composition. I use a computer model of the Hexadic System to demonstrate the transferral of a complex compositional system into a scripting language.

My page on Ben’s site gives a bit more detail about how I adapted his system for keyboard music.

Finally, you can listen to and download Sorath, a collection of my own Hexadic pieces, here:


And the title track of Hawthonn’s Sea-Spiral Spirit uses the triadic game in its opening and closing sections:

Hexadic figure, squares and sigils for the 'Sorath' study.

Hexadic figure, squares and sigils for the ‘Sorath’ study.