Attach is a high-density piece. The central theme is the relationship between the musicians and the soundtrack: the soundtrack precedes the musicians and challenges the players to react. It then elaborates on the existing material, adding new overtones to chords and sequences and transforming the tone color of the instruments.
In Attach the sounds of the ensemble and soundtrack are glued together: they appear to run parallel to one another, even when they contrast. The most prominent ingredient from the outset is a regular, mechanical pulse occurring in several tempi simultaneously. In the exposition this pulse alternates with rapid unison passages and sustained chords that are strangely discoloured by the electronic sounds ‘attached’ to them.
Then follows a much more tranquil passage, in which the astute listener may recognise the opening section of Attach, now reduced to a skeleton of unraveled chords. This quiet, reflective texture is gradually invaded by pulsing beats and faster notes until the music explodes into a headlong rush of fleeting phrases, hammered chords and dramatic pauses, that gradually intertwine and culminate in a feverish tutti in which the unison has given way to a rapid succession of chords (the same ten chords, in fact, that form the fundament of the entire “Preposition trilogy”). Finally the music screeches to a halt in a furious attachment, after which the calm counter-theme takes over the discourse. Dry pulses soon disrupt this passage, going on to end the piece on their own.
Attach is part of the “Preposition” trilogy – Above, Between, Attach, each part focusing on a specific positioning of the musical material.
In 2000 Amsterdam Art Foundation awarded Van der Aa the Matthijs Vermeulen Incentive prize the for Attach.