Recamán’s Recursion

Performed by the King of Denmark ensemble at the RAM Sound & Vision Festival (2020)

Programme Note

The subject of this work is centred around the unusual properties of the mathematical sequence discovered by Bernard Recamán. The simple “always back, if not forward” rules, when placed in a recursive mathematical sequence, causes an interesting mathematical pattern that produces both order and randomness. This sequence is often depicted using semicircle connections between each term of the sequence, which significantly visually impacted the construction of this composition.

The work utilises cyclical micro- and macro-form structures placed within a 24-EDO system all to evoke a sense of wonderous mystery that exists between what can be considered pattern versus chaos.

Recamán’s Sequence (first 1000 terms); displayed using circular geometry.

Dedication, Awards & Acknowledgements

Recamán’s Recursion was commissioned by the Royal Academy of Music for the 2020 Sound & Vision festival.


Detuned Violin, Detuned Cello, Horn, Percussion (Marimba + Triangle), Piano


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The music of composer Conrad Asman (b. 1996) has gained international recognition as being “innovative and cutting edge” (Chorosynthesis) and spans a wide emotional range from “heart-rending” (The Esoterics), to “fun and festive” (Creative Feel). His works have been performed in Africa, Asia, Europe and America in venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and the Jinji Lake Concert Arena. Engagements with ensembles such as the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra, the Esoterics singers, the CHROMA ensemble and the Cape Town Youth Choir have led to his work winning multiple major awards, scholarships and commissions worldwide.