J A C O B  K I R K E G A A R D


Jacob Kirkegaard’s CROSSFIRE is created from sound recordings of firearms and artillery, a work thus evokes the sounds of a war situation. But it is more than just a collection of sounds, as Kirkegaard, as part of his composing method, conducted interviews with a veteran who spent time under fire, talking with him about the human sound of war, the endless, unbearable wait and then the sudden, deafening crossfire. From these conversations Kirkegaard was able to approach questions that shaped his work: What does war sound like? Does it have a special sound? A tonal language? 

Kirkegaard has sought the answers to these questions through a year of audio research including several visits to the Danish military shooting ranges, as well as to shooting ranges with civilian weapons’ enthusiasts. He has made sound recordings with sensitive vibration sensors placed directly on firearms and military vehicles as well as with acoustic measuring microphones positioned in shooting ranges. Jacob Kirkegaard has listened attentively to the mechanics of the weapon, the cutting of the projectile through the air and the deep echo after the explosion of a grenade.

Thanks to
forensic pathologists Peter Mygind Leth and Peter Thiis Knudsen, shooting enthusiast and forensic technician Tonny Hansen, war veteran Thomas Knudsen and to the Danish Military.

CROSSFIRE, 30 minutes, Jacob Kirkegaard © 2022


2-minute exceprt from CROSSFIRE

The composition has also been transcribed for The Royal Lifeguard’s Music Corps


For subtitles in English Click on the lower right in the video

Images and video from the recordings:

Accelerometer / sensor recordings of firearms. Recordings of their inner mechanics.

Ballistic gelatin is a testing medium designed to visually simulate the effects of bullet wounds in muscle tissue. 
Sensors placed on the gel surfaces enabled picking up the sound of the gelatin when penetrated.
Recordings made with forensic technician in Denmark.


1st field trip to the Danish Military
Sound recordings of various shots and overshooting with AK47 and other machine guns.

2nd field trip to the Danish Military
Grenadaes fired from Pirana 5 battle tank as well as from its inner mechanical sound


3rd field trip to the Danish Military. Sound recordings of grenade shelling (near-field and far distance), Borris, Denmark

4th field trip to the Danish Military. Artillery demonstration for the Danish Police force. Near-field sound recordings of grenade shelling, Oksbøl, Denmark

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