flak was written in 2007 as part of the London Sinfonietta’s Blue Touch Paper project, a scheme set up to allow young composers the support to realise an ambitious project of their choosing.
I saw my BTP project as a chance to write for electronics, something I hadn't really done before at that point ,and also to think about how I could incorporate some of the things I like about dance music and electronica into my writing.
I've always planned my pieces in a graphic way and spent a lot of time thinking about what the roles of bits of material could be and why and how I would use the electronics at different moments to make full use of a surround sound environment.
The brilliant Sound Intermedia constructed bespoke software for the piece to realise the ideas for the electronics I had which are all processed live.
flak is split up into 4 sections:
grabber: single notes within a line are grabbed and repeated
building & loops: captured notes are transposed into rising scales and start to be propelled around the room - building into what I thought of as a ‘casino texture’ where just scales move in rising sequences.
supsersize me: the individual characteristics of the instruments are exaggerated to highlight their differences
unify & robify: (a word I suspect I made up & which I have convinced myself means, '