Sonic Force

A composition by Michael Henry and Dwight Frizzell (Revised NATF version 2007)



A-10 Warthogs, Air Evac Helicopters, Live Foley, Narrators, Ensemble

The unique sound signature of the versatile and sophisticated A-10 Warthog was recorded by Dwight Frizzell and his assistant Megan Henniger in a range of situations such as start ups, taxiing, take offs, aerobatics, and landing using state-of-the-art digital recording techniques (Neumann RMS system)--from the broadband whine, for example, of the A-10 Warthog's pair of 9065 lb. thrust TF34-GE-100 turbofans, heard during slow and low maneuvers, to the thunder of the jet exhaust at higher speeds. Air Evac helicopters were also recorded during maneuvers, where in-cockpit musicians performed solo parts during various simulated Evac/rescue scenarios. The acoustic phenomena produced by the aircraft, such as pitch shifts due to Doppler effects, reflections and timbral shifts due to proximity and phase cancellations, were analyzed and studied, and then used as material for composer-collaborator Michael Henry to create the live score for military band instruments.

In Sonic Force, the distinction between human and machine is blurred through the digital synthesis of human voices, musicians and the Warthogs. Sonic Force is the first in a series of collaborative works exploring the repurposing of military technology for peaceful, artistic use.

Read more about Sonic Force here.