Assembly Line #1, for solo oboe, consists of a dozen musical lines, each of which may be repeated, and whose order is chosen by the performer. The new version adds an option: You can move the lines (click and drag) to your preferred order, or you may click on the random button to create an unexpected path. There are 12!, which comes out to 479,001,600 possibilities.
The idea for Assembly Line #1 came to me while traveling on a train from Munich to Salzburg. I wanted to create a piece that involved the idea of travel, with the performer participating in exploring the route, as well as giving the performer a more collaborative role. Each line should be played at least once, with no break between lines except for cadential pauses, as if turning a corner.
Assembly Line #1 (1983), was premiered by oboist/composer Patricia Morehead, whom I met at Darmstadt, and with whom I spent many delightful hours exploring the oboe. One unusual technique occurs in the Raucous segment, indicated by a circled R. This indicates a rolled tone, played by overblowing the note, resulting in the octave above and a growling sound.
The original score was mounted on Velcro-backed strips whose order could be chosen, either in advance or at the time of performance. This version can be performed from a digital device, either directly, or projecting it onto a larger surface.
For the current version, I wanted to augment the option of choosing the paths with a more fluid external randomization, and to create easier access to the score in this new format. The programming was created by Pete Yadlowsky.