World-line is an interlocking cycle of compositions featuring the electric lap steel guitar (in a tuning and setup devised in collaboration with Daryl Buckley, to whom it is dedicated), together with various combinations of piccolo trumpet/flugelhorn, percussion and electronics. World-line consists of five components, also performable separately:
- dust ...lap steel guitar with electronics
- rift ...with piccolo trumpet and percussion
- knot ... with percussion
- lens ... with flugelhorn
- rasa ... with flugelhorn, percussion and electronics
rift and rasa were commissioned by the TRANSIT festival in Leuven (Belgium), while the rest of world-line was commissioned by the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. The first complete performance took place in Leuven on 24 October 2014. The five pieces are not played separately but split into different numbers of sections and recombined into a continuous form where the electronic parts of dust often create overlaps between the regions of instrumental activity.
World-line is a term from the theory of relativity denoting the history of a particle or object as it passes through the dimensions of time and space. The music could be thought of as a miniature “universe”, whose matter and energy are composed of sound, which expands (from low pitches) and re-contracts (towards high pitches) over a duration of around thirty minutes, and which is experienced in relation to the “world-line” traced by the lap steel guitar and the shifting relationships and perspectives between em and the other instruments and sounds. The expansion-contraction process is present in a self-similar way at several levels of the overall structure.