Predator Drones MQ-1

Composer: Wolf Edwards
for saxophone quartet and electronics

Outer Planes—Predator-Drones MQ-1 (2013) 

This work, commissioned in 2013 by The Western Front for the Quasar Saxophone Quartet, has two titles in order to consider it from multiple perspectives. The first, Outer Planes for Saxophone Quartet, reflects the composer’s concerns with music and form; the second, Predator Drone MQ-1,with those regarding modern politics and his overall rejection of current ideologies. The second title was meant not to be programmatic, but rather to illuminate the intentions of our current political structures. The appropriate notes are as follows.

Outer Planes for saxophone quartet

 A work which is meant to be a musical example of the intangible and esoteric nature of non-material ideas. Although metaphysics can be considered spatially infinite, this musical model is composed of features and locations of a finite scope. These features and locations are then split into a collection of further sub-planes that represent a particular facet, or theme, related to that plane.

Predator Drone MQ-1

 An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) developed by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the United States Airforce, and General Atomics in the early 1990s. Equipped with Hellfire missiles, the Predator Drone has been used to kill people in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bosnia, Serbia, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, and Somalia.

 Despite claims from the administration that drone strikes have killed very few civilians, multiple independent reports (including the Columbia Law School’s Human Rights Institutions and The Bureau of Investigative Journalism) have proven that in fact 98% of drone strike casualties are civilians. That is 50 for every one “ suspected terrorist.”

This work is dedicated to the Quasar quatuor de saxophones.


— Wolf Edwards


Predator Drone MQ-1 has been commissioned for Quasar by The Western Front with the assistance of the Canada Council for the Arts. The piece has been premiere by Quasar on November 16 2013 at The Western Front in Vancouver.