On Schedule

Darren Copeland

  • Year of composition: 2003
  • Duration: 12:22
  • Instrumentation: fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • ISWC: T0728363812


ISRC CAD500620130

  • AAC, 320 kbps
  • Dolby Digital, 48 kHz, 24 bits
  • MP3, 320 kbps
  • 48 kHz, 24 bits

Surround 5.1

ISRC CAD500620050

  • Dolby Digital, 48 kHz, 24 bits
  • DTS, 48 kHz, 24 bits
  • 48 kHz, 24 bits

On Schedule is part of a series of compositions called Pieces of Letters for 1 or 2 performers using computers. The pieces use the letters of the Latin alphabet and their arrangement on a computer keyboard as points of departure for organization and for performance instructions. In On Schedule the 26 letters of the alphabet and the number 1 key on the computer keyboard trigger 27 sound events that make up the piece. The 27 sound events derive harmonic and spectral content from the 27 scheduled train station stops on the route from London Waterloo in the United Kingdom to Moskva Byelorusski in Russia.

To create these sound events, the departure times for each station on the route were plotted on a line graph. The visual design of this line graph became the model for generating synthesized waveforms. The departure times were also used to determine pitches. A train sound was transposed to these pitches, as were the synthesized waveforms. The sounds generated were further processed using convolution, ring modulation, and the image synth function in Metasynth. Where pertinent, the shape of the line graph and departure times was employed in these procedures as well.

The result of this systematic processing of sounds provided materials for a piece that shifts gradually in pitch and timbre over 12 minutes to model the changes in mood, ambience, and consciousness that might occur over the 36 hours of a train journey. A single train recording taken from the World Soundscape Project Collection housed at the Sonic Studio, Simon Fraser University (Burnaby, Canada) was used throughout the piece.


On Schedule was realized in 2003 at the composer’s studio and premiered by DreamState (Scott MacGregor Moore, Jamie Todd) on December 16, 2003 as part of The Ambient Ping concert series at Club Nia in Toronto (Canada).


  • December 16, 2003, DreamState (Scott MacGregor Moore, Jamie Todd), diffusion • The Ambient Ping, Club Nia, Toronto (Ontario, Canada)