Instruments ad lib. (3 guitars, 1 bass-guitar, 2 percussion) Soundtrack on CD

UA: 13/6/2001, Municipal Theatre (Stadsschouwburg) Amsterdam

Performers: Sonic Youth

ECHELON was composed in 2001 at the request of the Holland Festival and with the financial support of the ‘Fonds voor de Scheppende Toonkunst’. It is written for the experimental group SONIC YOUTH and a concert “Goodbye 20th Century”.

Looking back on the 20th Century I came to the conclusion that the most respectable people of that period were the spies. They figure on the highest place of my ethic scale. Spies are important because they uncover all the secrets, which otherwise governments would keep for themselves. With respect to their highly intelligent function, they help us to maintain democracy. Spies can spy spies, they can spy upon foreign or their own governments. They can spy on institutions or even on the most intimate files in our computers. No matter what they do: they help to spread around information.

The soundtrack of ECHELON consists of quite a lot of fragmented and mixed up material from various spying activities. Those, which I captured from professional spies, and others, which are derived from my own activities. As spying is a quite confidential activity (most composers do not keep to this rule and expose the result of their intelligence-activities at least in measure 2 of their pieces), the soundtrack of ECHELON only “uncovers” some glimpses, – never their total impact.

By the way: ECHELON is the largest electric spying-system of the world. It uncovers all radiophonic, telephonic or digital messages, for example: all your emails and internet-activities. The easiest way to escape this system is just to write a normal letter or to meet your friends and partners in a pub instead of telling them all your secrets through the telephone….

In the download you will find the score and a conductors-score. The soundtrack can be ordered.

You can download the score here: