ED BENNETT Freefalling

Ed Bennett Freefalling (RTÉ Commission) (2013) [10']

Programme Note

In 2012 the Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner broke the world freefall record by jumping out of a tiny capsule from an altitude of somewhere around 39 kilometres. As he hurtled towards the Earth's surface he reached a speed of 1357kph and in doing so, he travelled faster than the speed of sound. The awe inspiring images of Baumgartner jumping from this little seat high above our planet's surface astounded people around the world, myself included. The majority of us do our best to avoid falling over but Felix was determined to do it in style.

As I watched him jump on my television screen I was both exhilarated and terrified; why would anyone do such a thing? Why not I suppose, some people collect stamps or write music to vent their frustrations. It reminded me of the falling dreams I often had as a kid, where somehow I was falling towards Earth and would always wake up in a sweat just before I hit the ground (someone told me once that if you actually did hit the ground in the dream you would die in real life!). These dreams were the closest I would ever get to Felix's experience, a situation I'm
perfectly happy with today thank you very much. The music in Freefalling was partially inspired by feelings of falling, flying, floating and travelling at uncontrollably high speeds.

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