The Apples in Stereo’s Robert Schneider Pursues Graduate Study in Mathematics
(Decatur, Georgia): Robert Schneider—The Apples in stereo bandleader, Elephant 6 co-founder and influential record producer/engineer (Neutral Milk Hotel, Olivia Tremor Control, Beulah)—enters the PhD program in Mathematics at Emory University, to study under world-class number theorist Ken Ono.
Schneider obtained his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Kentucky in May, having studied mathematics for a number of years while simultaneously producing ambitious indie records and touring the world. In recent years he has devised a “Non-Pythagorean” musical scale based on logarithms used on The Apples in stereo albums New Magnetic Wonder (2007) and Travellers in Space and Time (2010), composed a score based on prime numbers for a stage play by mathematician Andrew Granville, experimented with a mind-controlled synthesizer of his own invention, created a board game Al-Jabar based on group theory with fellow UK student Cyrus Hettle, spoken at numerous mathematics conferences and universities, and engaged in other math and science related projects.
“I realized the beauty of mathematics in my studio while repairing a sixteen-track tape machine, with schematic diagrams spread around me on the floor,” says Schneider. “I came across Ohm’s Law in a book on electronics, the equation that describes the flow of electricity in circuits, and it blew my mind. Somehow, this simple equation was responsible for the things I found most magical in life—electric guitars, analog synthesizers, stereophonic sound and the joy of making music with my friends.
“To me, my interest in mathematics feels similar to my interest in music: exploring beautiful patterns and ideas beyond the reach of words. Of course, I won’t stop writing songs, recording and playing shows, but I feel a deep need to immerse myself in the mysteries of number theory. Ken Ono is one of the most exciting, creative mathematicians in the whole world and I can’t wait to stretch my imagination under his guidance.”
Robert Schneider, the mind behind one of indie-rock’s seminal music groups, The Apples in stereo, will be releasing his debut children’s music album under the character name Robbert Bobbert for the Little Monster Records label on January 20th, 2009.
The Apples in stereo performed on The Colbert Report, last night, August 4th, 2008 and you can check out the video from the performance (and the whole episode) by clicking on this link:
It was an amazing night – one that the band will never forget!! Very exciting stuff!! Stay tuned as the show will undoubtedly put up more stuff from this great night shortly that will reveal some cool surprises.
In this exclusive video for Listening Post, Schneider discusses the brawl, in which he appears while performing a cover of the 1949 bluegrass standard “Foggy Mountain Breakdown.” As Schneider explains, The Love Guru‘s music supervisor contacted The Apples in Stereo‘s management about covering the classic, after finding out that Meyers was a fan of the band. Schneider was asked to upgrade the Flatt and Scruggs tune, which he describes as “‘Louie Louie’ for bluegrass,” with the backing of traditional Kentucky bluegrassers The McKendrees. Meyers then asked him to perform it in the film, and score a bonus cameo. Continue reading “Exclusive Video: Love Guru Breaks Apples in Stereo’s Glasses”