Their Lives Are Stripped of Meaning

2019-07-16T08:26:37Z (GMT) by Cat Hope
This is a composition for instrument, voice and electronics.

Materials related to the piece are available above: this includes the score as a film, any recordings, a digital image of the score, screenshots of the score, reviews, posters of past performances, programs and other ephemera related to the piece.

Program Note
In 2016, Australian author Richard Flanagan made a statement in a response to the Australian Government’s policy on the treatment of refugees arriving in Australia by boat, which involves detention. "Their lives are stripped of meaning." In this piece, the vocalist sings these words, but they become incomprehensible as they are separated out over the 8 minutes of the piece; a direct reference to the indeterminate length of detention that Australia enforces upon refugees. Time passes, we forget and our ability to understand becomes difficult. In addition, the electronic part is created by sampling the instruments at certain moments in the piece, and strips away the timbral characteristics of the work, another metaphor for the consequences of this treatment of our fellow human beings.

Performance instructions

To perform this work, you will need the Decibel ScorePlayer, an application which presents the score on an iPad.
You can download this from the iTunes store.
Instructions on how to use the app are included in the app, or you can read about it on the Decibel new music website.
The app requires a file to be added to the app, available above, with the extension.
The instructions on how to play the piece are also included above.
You can make your own electronics, or use the MAX MSP patch available above.
A paper score is available from the publisher, Material Press.

Commissioner information
It was commissioned by Callum G'Froerer and premiered by G'Froerer and Olivia Stahn at Ölberg-Kirche, Berlin May 2018.

Subsequent performances
Australasian Computer Music Conference, Tone List concert, Perth, December 2018 - by Dan O'Connor (tpt), Anika Moses (voice) and Stuart James (electronics).