Science and strategy define Adrian Moore’s 3D warfare and his inter-/inner-galactic travel, much of which takes place behind the veil of fog or darkness. But far from being cold and calculated, these four pieces elicit the supernatural wonder of good ballet or a sudden plot twist. Like much acousmatic music, his pieces approach sensory phenomena as portals to a unified field, decelerating, filtering or otherwise transforming sounds to alter perception/conception of their natures and our vantage point to one either planetary or atomic in magnitude.
While grand in scope, openers Battle and Counterattack are not as explosive as might be expected, balancing both halves of the word ‘warcraft’ in their demonstrations of the grand choreography of well-co-ordinated armies via masterful manipulation of ‘“scenes”, “feints” and “attacks”’ within multichannel space, resulting in corresponding episodes of subterfuge and sudden ambush. American cinema may have gulled us into believing that victory lies solely in gung ho bravado, but Moore’s bewildering stratagem draws strength from Sun Tzu and Carl von Clausewitz, keeping pace kinetic and unreadable.
Spaces outer and inner are examined in Nebula Sequence and Strings and Tropes, the former marked by startling accelerations and serene spells breaking the sense of near-constant motion amid ‘clouds of swirling dust and gas’, all of which arise from such mundane ingredients as rocks and ball bearings. I’m reminded of the peregrinations of the gestalt-mind protagonist of Olaf Stapledon’s Star Maker as it tears through galaxies at the speed of enlightenment, witnessing the births and deaths of civilisations and constellations along the way; by and by coming to recognise the immeasurable intelligence of the stellar bodies. This living universe is just as evident in the dense and magnified vibrations of Strings and Tropes — the last of these majestic works — in which the listener shrinks to the size of an atom to listen to the titular strings as if they had the proportions of a nebula. Thus we encounter the more fascinating properties of a potentially paint-drying instrumental solo.