Power (2011)


Power by J. M. Bowers

Power is for multiple (preferably massed ranks) of electric guitarists and bass players. Power was composed as a contribution to On Languard Point, a series of events presented by the Pacitti Company as the eastern England region's London 2012 Cultural Olympiad commission. Power was performed to camera by 16 guitarists at the Museum of East Anglian Life on 31st July 2011 within a two day event with the overall title of An Edible Compass. This and other events are documented in the feature length movie of On Languard Point.

Power was written to be performable by an ensemble of guitarists with mixed abilities and little opportunity to rehearse, yet still be enjoyable for the musicians and impressive-sounding. The composition is based around power chords played by different groups within the ensemble in different registers. The score specifies the comings and goings of the various groups and how they play, slow or fast, dirty or (relatively) clean, strumming or feeding-back. Like the early work of Tonesucker, Power explores reduced, though idiomatic, materials for the electric guitar, hoping that we will find the noisy dark heart of rock, severely sclerotic, yet still beating.

Power Ensemble Power Ensemble Power Ensemble Power Ensemble

In An Edible Compass the musicians were arranged according to the Pacitti Company's concept of a Power Circle with guitar amps placed on a central turf mound and musicians radiating outwards at the end of their cables.

The version you hear here is for 14 multitracked electric guitars, all roughly played and roughly recorded and roughly mixed by me.

The score and instructions for Power can be downloaded. If you wish to perform Power, please contact me.

The support of the Pacitti Company and the Arts Council of Great Britian is gratefully acknowledged in the generation of Power.