WAR: A Soundscape (2011)

for Guitar ensemble (c. 40 players)

Photo credits: Abirami Ashok Kumar


Alto/Prime/Bass classical guitars


c. 4'


May 2011, NAFA Lee Foundation Theatre, Singapore
Ji Heng LEE (conducting), Raffles Institution Junior College Guitar Ensemble

Score & recording available on IMSLP

Programme note

A soundscape is a collection of sounds that forms or arises from an immersive environment. Through recreating both the sounds heard subconsciously – the seemingly insignificant sounds which define the sonic tapestry of each place – and the sounds which penetrate the waking mind, an impression of a landscape or event may be developed and impressed upon the listener. R. Murray Schafer, a Canadian composer and environmentalist, first pioneered this concept. In WAR, various playing techniques of the guitar are used to express mounting undercurrents of tension, climaxing in all-out ‘war’ and sonic discord, which finally ‘resolves’ as an uneasy peace.