Gorge Letchworth State Park

Amid Flock and Flume
flute and computer-generated tape

Robert Morris

Program Notes

Amid Flock and Flume for flute and computer-generated tape was written during the summer of 1986. The tape was realized in the Eastman Digital Electronic Music Studio that fall and completed in early February of 1987. Of the six computer compositions I have made in the Eastman studio, this is the most complex in form, texture, and realization, often involving the mixing of up to 24 tracks of sound.

As the title suggests, I hear Flume... as a metaphorical journey for the flute amid an environment of sonic partners to within vast planes of musical space. This exploratory scenario was implemented by composing the piece's various processes of change so that each follows its roughly independent course, rarely coinciding with another except at major points of articulation. For instance, while the flute rests or punctuates, other sounds flow on, and vice versa; as one set of lines come to cadence, other continuities are launched; even the rate of change of the changes in tempo, timbre, and density are independent and overlapped. The effect is one of simultaneous motion at different speeds, in the way one views a landscape from a train: the ties speeding by below are a blur; the houses and farms nearby pass quickly; more distant objects slide by leisurely; the remote mountains stand still.