Haberdasher Puzzle: The 4 Pieces of Circles, Squares and Music
David: What’s the Haberdasher Puzzle?
Derek: It’s basically taking 4 pieces of a geometric shape and rearranging it from a triangle into a square. The same pieces that make a triangle can also make a square. You can cut an equilateral triangle in 4 pieces that can be rearranged to make a square.
David: What’s Haberdasher mean?
Derek: Shapes, cuts, refinement, old school, harmony and music. Did you mean the actual definition?
David: I meant what is it. How does it relate to music?
Derek: The flow of music in performance is consistent with the flow of the Haberdasher’s puzzle. The idea that all of the pieces would hinge, or connect with each other without breaking the flow during rearrangement. Like performance. The problem itself would have had to have been deeply considered before a conclusion could be drawn; I like that.
David: What is it about 3 vs 4?
David: Whatcha mean?
Derek: ¾ is in the feel of the waltz. Most pop music is in 4/4. ¾ is a bit more rare in the pop world, but equally satisfying.
David: There’s also an odds and evens quality to 3 vs. 4.
Derek: All bases covered. And it’s a four piece band: Samuel Hertig, Bass. David Walsh, Cajon and Percussion. michael michael, Percussion/Soundscape. Me, Guitar and Vocals.
David: Do you remember the moment you picked Haberdasher?
Derek: I don’t. I remember the timeframe, but I don’t remember the exact moment.
David: What was the timeframe?
Derek: My friend Eric and I formed a duo shortly after I moved to San Francisco, and we worked together for a few months, wrote some songs, played a show at El Rio in SF in The Mission District, and then amicably, by way of a gentlemanly handshake equipped with a slight, respectful nod, went our separate ways.
The experience of moving from start to finish through a project had a profound effect on me, and I immediately began thinking in my own direction. From there the word haberdasher popped into my head, and I liked the word (I’m into words. Bailiwick.).
David: What is it about the word?
Derek: It had a vintage feel. It drew out of me an association to the 1920’s for some reason, and I’ve always had an affinity for the 20’s, the odd, old timey words (ballyhoo!), the tense harmonies, the bounce of celebratory music, ragtime. So I was transported, not to a particular time and place, but to a kind of nostalgic sentiment. I like what it could mean in terms of lives lived and interactions had as people rolled in and out of some one location discussing the events of the day, life’s philosophies, life’s priorities, all while tailoring up, as it were, and “everyone” seemed to have worn a suit back then, so a Haberdasher was a busy individual.
Besides, it just rolls off the tongue, using the “B” as the windup, and the “D” as the launching point. HABERDASHER (link to instagram of vine of derek saying the word). Singular. Not plural. Not as a means of describing multiple participants. Just Haberdasher. It’s evocative to me. As it exists that way, the idea merges with the sentiment, and connotes this notion of singularity. Just another bubble of reality.