While I was curating “New Music Against The Grain” at Slackspace I wanted to do an electronic version of Lauren Redheads’ “Straight Line Music” as the small ensemble version that she had uploaded sounded very interesting.
Original version of Straight Line Music:
Straight Line Music is a text score in a version for Organ and Singers or as an open arrangement. I followed the open arrangement which calls for one instrument to play a rising chromatic line and for other instruments to follow when the current note being played is within the range of a particular instrument and then be silent when the note is no longer within the range of the instrument. The piece ends when all instruments have played all possible notes.
In electronic music there are no hard and fast ranges, however many synth patches only sound good within certain ranges, tha same often applies to treated samples so I took a set of 8 sounds and limited them to certain ranges. I played the lead synth with a bass patch that I edited to sound more organ-like and played the line by hand, inadvertently speeding up at one point, which I left in deliberately, so when all the other parts followed, it would sound far less like one sound source doing several voices (which of course it was, since all synths were softsynths running on my laptop). I stopped at point at which the sound lost quality.
I then added the other synths following the previous one, by ear and had them all start and stop at points which I thought were the true range of the patch, One sample wouldn’t easily sustain so it had it repeat its note for its duration, something which would happen naturally if playing a percussive instrument, for example. The completed piece was premiered at New Music Against The Grain, with the composer present.
You can here my version here:-