There are multiple holidays going down right now. On one side you have Pi Day and on the other you have the nemesis of Valentine’s Day – Steak and a BJ day. Both of which are awesome in their own right.

But today, we’ve come here for the sake of 3.1415926535897932384626433832795028841971693993751058209749445923078

164062862089986280348253421170679821480865132823066470938446095505822

317253594081284811174502841027019385211055596446229489549303819644288

109756659334461284756482337867831652712019091456485669234603486104543

266482133936072602491412737245870066063155881748815209209628292540917

153643678925903600113305305488204665213841469519415116094330572703657

595919530921861173819326117931051185480744623799627495673518857527248

912279381830119491298336733624406566430860213949463952247371907021798

609437027705392171762931767523846748184676694051320005681271452635…..

Three years ago was an extra special Pi Day. Why you ask? Well, look at the numbers above and realize that today is 3/14/15. Furthermore, at 26 minutes and 53 seconds after 9 AM, we will pass a date and time represented by the first 10 digits of π! Once in a lifetime, as they say.

It was also the last and third version of “Pi” that After The Burial will likely ever release. And what better way to celebrate than with the three renditions of After The Burial’s “Pi (The Mercury God Of Infinity)”?

R.I.P. Justin Lowe

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And here’s how it was done:

Pi was written and recorded only a few days before the completion of the Master copy, at around 10 am, with a couple of serious hangovers. Justin and I had talked about having a classical guitar intro into some sort of heavier riffage, but we weren’t quite sure what that was exactly going to be.

We remembered back to a few weeks prior, when we were throwing around an idea of using the mathematical constant Pi, and incorporating it into some sort of complex breakdown pattern where the kick drum corresponded to each number as the figure progressed. Kinda creating the ultimate mind boggler of a riff. The complexity of the intro is often overheard, because it’s hard to discern what is actually going on within the track, UNTIL NOW!!!

Here’s a breakdown of the….um, breakdown, in the intro to our album, “Pi: The Mercury God Of Infinity”

The actual tempo is 120 beats per minute (bpm). You can hear this by listening for the closed hi-hat that is panned left: it is playing constant eighth-notes.

The snare is on beat three in 4/4 time at 120 bpm.

A crash cymbal accents beat one of the first measure in 4/4. It is repeated every four measures.

Now this is where it gets tricky: the china cymbal.

It’s hard to feel the breakdown in Pi at 120 bpm, and this is mostly due to the china cymbal, which is playing a 4 over 3 (4/3) dotted-eighth note ostinato that begins on the “E” of one.

Confused?

Check it out: A quarter note is equal to one beat in 4/4 time, but so are two eighth notes, or 4 sixteenth notes. It’s all about subdividing note values.

When you count a measure of 4/4 in quarter notes, it’s: 1, 2, 3, 4.

When counting in eighth notes, it’s: 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +. (a plus sign refers to the spoken count “and” ex. “One and two and three and four and”)

When counting in sixteenths, it’s: 1 E + A 2 E + A 3 E + A 4 E + A. (Spoken: “One e and a two e and a three e and a four e and a)

So when I say the china starts on the “E” of one, I’m referring to the spoken counting value assigned to the second 16th note in a quarter note duration.

A dotted eighth note is a duration of three 16th notes, an ostinato is a persistently repeated pattern. Basically, the china plays on the bold-capitalized letters:

one E and a TWO e and A three e AND a four E and a ONE e and A etc.

Starting to get it? Cool.

At last, the reason Pi is what it is: the Double-bass pattern.

The formula of Pi for the kick drum was pretty far fetched at first, but seemed to work well once the track was finished. The numbers and rests in the formula translate to 16th notes on the kick drum, and 16th note rests. There is no kick drum beats where there are snare drums. Sooo, here it is:

With the decimal point BEFORE the number, and starting with the first number, move that many decimal points to the right and insert that many 16th note rests. Use one 16th note rest to divide the numbers you passed (when applicable). Continue on throughout the rest of the figure. No repeats.

So basically for the first step, you’d place the point (pt) before the first number, three: (pt)3.14159265

Next you jump the decimal three points to the right: 3.14(pt)159265

That’s where you insert three 16th rests, and insert one 16th note rest between the other numbers you passed: 3(16th rest)1(16th rest)4(dotted-eighth)159265

Now, your decimal lies in between the 4 and the 1. So, following the formula, you move one point to the right of the 1 and insert one 16th note rest. There are no numbers to separate with single 16th rests, so you move onto the next number, which is 5, and follow the same instructions.

That’s all there is to it! The formula extends out to 71 decimal points

Oh, and by the way…there’s an extra special secret buried within the song that will be up to YOU to figure out :)

Enjoy.

-Trent