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Composition -As silent as bombs

As silent as bombs is a data-based composition consisting of three parts: Overture, Bang, and Whiteness, written by Wei Ting Tseng/Zeng, dedicated to her brothers Wei Hsiang Tseng and Wei Chih Tseng.

The composition is structured by data visualization in focus on military violation and sonic fear. It considers the ecology of fear and kinesthetic sound simulation. The composition aims to explore the roles of the composer, performer, and the public, whether they exist in total synchronization or disconnection. Is our individual experience a constant relocation of estranged collective consciousness, or is it integral to the collective narrative as a whole?

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KILGORE (to Willard)

We’ll come in low out of the rising sun - - We’ll put on the music about a mile out.


Yeah. Classical stuff - - scares the hell out of the slopes - - the boys love it.


POV behind the PILOT and CO-PILOT - - the ocean rushes


Big Duke six to Eagle Thrust - - turn on coordinates 1-0 - - nine, assume attack formation.


The helicopter banks into a tight turn and bears toward the coast.



Eagle Thrust formation target 2800 yards - - begin psych-war operations.



The ocean rushes below as suddenly the LOUDSPEAKERS BLARE out Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries.”



From the water we SEE the massive grouping of Hueys - - gun -ships - - troops carriers - - medieval and recon - - ROAR over low in battle formation BLARING out “Ride of the Valkyries.”

(Apocalypse Now, 1979)

The first part, Overture is composed for solo cello in summer 2022. The composition is structured based on the data regarding the frequency of Chinese provocations around the Taiwanese Sky-territory and its level of discussion online among the Taiwanese public from September 16th, 2020, to April 11th, 2021. This period is considered a significant turning point in the tension between Taiwan, China, and the US.

It was premiered at the opening of Store Gilhus Gård 2022 and exhibited at Oslo Negativ Photography Festival 2022, performed by Wei Ting Tseng/Zeng.


Bang is the second part of As silent as bombs, written for cello and bass clarinet. The composition uses 80 bending strings to present the gradual changes on military expenditure by China, Taiwan, Russia, and Ukraine from 1992 to 2022. Military expenditure figures are converted to USD (2021).

Bang was premiered at the opening of Tegnetriennallen 2023 at Tenthaus, performed by Wei Ting Zeng on cello and Elena Perales Andreu on bass clarinet.

(The score will be uploaded soon)

The countries are arranged along the vertical axis and ordered by their annual military expenditure from 1992 to 2022 along the horizontal axis. All figures are in US dollars at constant 2021 prices and exchange rates.

The musical notation signifies specific historical events at various time points and provides insights from the composition's author. As a performer, he/she can choose to interpret what they see and understand from either a third-person perspective or as one of the civilians who witnessed these historical events.

The duration of the performance is decided by the performers. They are encouraged to follow the guidance of the data visualization as they improvise and to perform the notations at specific time intervals. When the performers encounter notations marked with an arrow, they should be played continuously until the arrow's conclusion.

The third part of the composition Whiteness will be composed in summer 2024, written for cello, bass clarinet, and elecronics. 

As silent as bombs -Overture, Bang, Whiteness will be performed at Levinsalen at NMH in November 2024, and released as an album in Spring 2025.

The project is supported by Bildende Kunstneres Hjelpefond (Bildende Kunstneres Help Fund) and Kulturrådet (Arts Council Noway)

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