Notes for "Particles"


I was working on trying to get as much movement and sound as possible from one single keyboard key, and got to the notion of elementary particles.

Just One Quark  This was made from holding down just one note for the entire piece, but the variety came from all the different controllers, such as the filter cutoff, resonance, reverb, etc.  I based the sound on one of my nephew Stryde’s car sounds as a grain wave, and then two wavetable oscillators--one a simple sine wave multiplied by 6 and tuned a bit off, and the other from the meadowlark song.  [This made me think that John Cage would enjoy this--the notion that I was not controlling any of the sounds that would emerge.  BUT, unlike Cage, if a sound did appear that I didn’t like, I worked to get rid of it...]

Leptons  I made a synth with three oscillators forming a nice cluster, then added a knock from my tree samples, which are controlled by the key velocity (ie, the same note as the cluster, but sounding only when I strike the key hard).   Of the three I wrote this one last, thinking that the other two were too similar, and could be helped by something sweet placed between.       I used just this one instrument, but about 5 different tracks.  On the first track I muted some of the cluster notes so I just had a low octave.  The second track brought in a higher octave, now with the full cluster, and then the third track was a higher octave yet.  In another track I just pulled out the arpeggiator phrase, and in the fifth track I just used the velocity strikes and got the knocks.  But all these are the same instrument.

Now Two Quarks  Used a second instrument (Quark 2N) and played a fifth above, again just one note.  Added a few more sound effects (the iZotope DDLY on Quark 2 and Crystallizer on Quark).