The Free Circle open
Specifications Edition of 25
A book in two parts
Part one - Six circular panels (8.5 in. dia.) with (4 color) illustrations printed with hand-cut polycarbonate plates rotated around a central axis in a different position for each color. Center freehand text and cover printed from polymer plates.
Part two - Two circular panels (8.5 in. dia.) with text and circluar staff illustration and cover printed from polymer plates with Music CD and companion video DVD.
Printed on the Luminice Press on Mowhawk Superfine Cover smooth. Covers are Classic Linen. Tyvek hinged accordion binding that opens to display all panels in a 25.5 in. dia. circle
Copies are in private collections
Permanent collection -
Swarthmore College McCabe Library, Special Collections
The Free Circle by Thomas Parker Williams is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
The Circle of Fifths illustrates the relationships of all of the major and relative minor scales in even-tempered music. All possible key signatures are produced by moving through the circle with each scale starting a perfect fifth or seven semitones above the previous scale.
The Free Circle is a musical composition that has six improvised solo passages performed
by the artist with an electronic wind instrument and alto saxophone over a pattern of perfect fifths
in all possible key signatures. Each solo passes through at least four key signatures arranged
Major no. 1 (4 bars) Relative Minor no. 1 (8 bars) Major no. 1 (4 bars)
Major no. 2 (4 bars) Relative Minor no. 2 (8 bars) Major no. 2 (4 bars)
The musical structure of the composition is illustrated by the chart with the bass clefs indicating the rolling pattern of fifths in the major and minor key signatures and the treble clef indicating the sustained harmony notes that are played serially, in any order, to make each sixteen-bar pattern.
The solos are illustrated as shapes and colors, relating to the instrument choice as well as the lightness or
darkness that I assigned to the key signatures. There are colors for each solo demonstrating major and relative
minor keys. Each of the six solo panels has a central text area identifying the key signatures of the solos.
Book 2 open