converging horizontals

Algorithmic score for 4 live and 12 pre-recorded parts

4 voices (live)
Buchla (4 pre-recorded tracks)
Flute (2 pre-recorded tracks)
Cello (2 pre-recorded tracks)
4 processed voices (pre-recorded)

Converging horizontals is a practice research in musical structuring and notation for musical instruments and human voice with the use of a generative system programmed in Processing. 

The algorithm generates four random wavy horizontal lines, following a predetermined set of rules. Each line is in the comfortable range of the singing voices (soprano, alt, tenor, and bass) tuned to 434Hz. These lines are the foundation for the piece, and their length is 30 minutes. Each line is either performed live or played as one of 3 types of recordings. The alternation between those variants is also randomly determined through a generative algorithm. 

Although the algorithm can produce an infinite number of graphic scores, one had to be chosen for the performance, because of the prerecording. The seed for the first composition, 2512, was randomly chosen by the program. For the fine-tuning of the composition, the graphic score was divided into 25 pages, each lasting 72 seconds. This provided the overview of the piece and the means to define certain aspects, such as filtering and range expansions and contractions. The graphic score is used by the singers and is visible to the audience during the performance

The piece is inspired by accidental, vertical cross-sections between 4 voices set in continuous linear motion. The simplicity of linear movement is superimposed with a complex set of rules embedded in constructing 4 uninterrupted lines of sound and governing principles of how they unfold and behave throughout the duration of the score. Musical structuring here meets the formal qualities of programming language and the two become tightly intersected. The result is an electro-acoustic interpretation of the generated score that uncovers various imperfections which are humanized additionally by the live, singing voices. The poetic intention to highlight the simplicity and interplay of 4 curved lines creates a media situation, with performative and installation qualities, without the beginning and the end.

Performance duration is open and can be determined by the musicians.


Concept, realization – Svetlana Maraš
Score, animation – Aleksandra Jovanić 
Vocal ensemble SoloVoices – Jean-Christophe Groffe, Svea Schildknecht, Francisca Näf, Jean Knutti
Flutes – Tatiana Timonina
Cello – Katarina Leskovar
Klangregie – Leandro Gianini