The three basic motives of “Trip Through the Milky Way – An Electronic Panorama” are: a twenty-three-note row in which the interval of a fourth appears thirteen times; a series of thirteen fourths; and a sine wave glide tone whose ups and downs are governed by the interval of a fourth. All of the motives were created with a sine wave oscillator.
Several one-voice lines were created from these three basic motives. They in turn were copied — halving or doubling the tape speed and hence creating a building block — i.e. a four-voice unit.
These building blocks were then combined so that in the middle of the composition there are sixteen distinct lines on each stereo channel and thirty-two in the center (Two channel version).
Hence, “Trip Through the Milky Way – An Electronic Panorama” is a multi-voiced (64) canon at the octave.
The composition was not a planned trip through the Milky Way but rather after the fact. When it was finished (March 1969), the structure and contour of its sound densities and intensities were not unlike a sound picture (or, if you will, Panorama – in the four channel version) of a trip through the Milky Way.
In the July 1970 issue of High Fidelity, “Trip Through the Milky Way” was awarded Honorable Mention in its Electronic Music Contest of August 1969. –Raymond Moore
Art by Wladyslaw T. Benda