Work

The Battle (2013), 14m20s
5.1-track tape
  • Premiere: October 26, 2013, Akousma X: Espace strié, Usine C (Montréal, Québec)

To my mother and her fighting spirit

This work began very traditionally, developing stereophonic materials towards something abstract in early January 2013. I took these developments to the Visby International Centre for Composers (VICC, Sweden) in April 2013 and developed them further still, deciding that the work would exist primarily in 5.1. Fate played its hand mid way through the residency and everything was brought back to my office in Sheffield (England, UK) where the work was completed in July 2013. During this time, I searched for a title for the work and completed further chapters of my course book, Sonic Art: an introduction to electroacoustic music.

The Battle is clearly a programmatic title. The abstract work is in two large sections filled with pulsed activity, accelerating gestures, granular textures, swift cut-aways, natural and forced spatialisation in 5.1 often with heavy reverberation. However, the way I now “see” the work is as follows: The Battle conjures a number of battle “scenes,” often cloaked in darkness and mist (a well used acousmatic analogy). It comprises a number of clearly marked attacks, reinforced by skirmishes and feints, large-scale phalanx movements and close-quarter hand-to-hand combat. There are times when we feel we are on the offensive and times when we are on the run. We are placed in a medieval battlefield where, as the mist clears and spaces open out to reveal the aftermath of the battle, we feel the enormity of the fight. As we become more “involved” in the action, so we feel increasingly drained by the uncertainty and battered by the inevitability of the battle.

[v-15]

The Battle was realized between January 2013 and July 2013 in the Visby International Centre for Composers (VICC, Sweden) and the composer’s studio and premiered on October 26, 2013 as part of the concert series Akousma X presented by Réseaux des arts médiatiques at Usine C (Montréal, Québec).

Work Discography

oeuvre@35839