airfields (trojan light)

Ensemble, soundtrack, video.

airfields (trojan light) is a large scale work in 12 moverments for ensemble and electronics. I used satellite images from various sources and rendered them into electronic soundscapes, fascinated by the idea that one could translate an aerial image into sound, as a way of mapping space onto time and then back again. I have often thought of my compositions as a musical environment where one can wander through in a relatively open time scale, so the idea of using a map of a physical space as a direct analogy to a musical score became the starting point for the work. The instrumentalists are put into a metaphorical orbit. The idea was to trace some kind of movement with varying speeds through the sonic landscape, as if they were floating across it. The result being that the material which is played by the musicians, is characterized by differing velocities and rates of change, as if each instrument is orbiting around the material. Harmonies dissolve into one another and the musicians trace the contours of the sonic landscapes as if scanning the world below.

airfields uses brass placed on the balconies of the concert hall to echo and feedback from the ensemble of 11 remaining musicians on stage. The structure of this work oscillates between movements for the whole ensemble and movements for particular soloists; violin, bass clarinet, piano, cello, flute, in which the off-stage brass contribute at various times.

This version of the piece was premiered at the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ in Amsterdam, with Köln based Ensemble musikFabrik in February 2011, and the recording presented here is of that performance.

performance history

  • 17 February 2011 - Premiere by Ensemble musikFabrik, Muziekgebouw, Amsterdam. CD Released on Mazagran Records.