- Year of composition: 2014
- Duration: 14:55
- Instrumentation: 7.1-track fixed medium
- 44 kHz, 16 bits
- 44 kHz, 24 bits
Counterattack is a follow-up work to The Battle. The Battle was an acousmatic work in surround format which was broadly in two sections: one, quite ‘granular’ and edgy; the other more pitched and pulsed, with an increasing fascination for layering sounds inspired by the works of Horacio Vaggione. Counterattack is similarly structured from a complex set of multichannel transformations developed from a variety of sources, taking the words of The Battle’s programme as inspiration. In the programme notes for The Battle, I ‘visualise’ the work as a number of ‘scenes’, ‘feints’ and ‘attacks’. Counterattack expands these scenes even further and attempts to create complex polyphonies through division of the multichannel space. Alongside development of materials in surround sound using a variety of techniques, an understanding of the concept of war and the historical practicalities of battlefield combat was gained through reading key texts: The Art of War (Sun Tzu), On War (Carl von Clausewitz), and first-hand accounts of war by service personnel, War (Lawrence Freedman). Whilst these texts were never rendered musically, their combined effect, augmented by an increased sense of ‘the fight’ within academia can be heard in a number of places, notably the final ‘scream’ passage. Compositionally, Counterattack takes the idea of ‘Multichannel’ (loudspeakers) and ‘multiChannel’ (sounds) further than The Battle. Counterattack can exist in a number of surround formats but was composed in 7.1 and presents a fuller spectrum of materials. It relies heavily upon multichannel granulation and spatialisation but more importantly, uses the multichannel space to contextualise different sounds in different loudspeakers, beginning to create a polyphony of sound sources, whilst maintaining a coherent scene.
Counterattack was realized during the summer of 2014 at the composer’s studio in Sheffield (England, UK) and premiered on March 12, 2015 during the 7th International Festival for Artistic Innovation (Leeds, England, UK). Counterattack was awarded the Prize in the Concurso Internacional de Composição Electroacústica Música Viva (Lisbon, Portugal, 2015).
- March 12, 2015, 7th International Festival for Artistic Innovation: Concert 1, The Venue — Leeds College of Music, Leeds (England, UK)