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Aesthetics of Disppearance

posted on 13.09.2022, 18:24 authored by Cat HopeCat Hope

For lapsteel, viola, cello, double bass (or any 3 low strings), percussion, organ and sub


For Daryl Buckley. In memorium Paul Virilio.

You will need the Decibel ScorePlayer to perform this work (see below).


This piece is in the memory of Paul Virillo, whose book Art and Fear (2003) was a huge influence on my thinking. In his 1991 book,The Aesthetics of Disappearance, Virilio traces

out the relationship of biological optics to technologies of "production of appearance." This piece tests this idea with audibility, rather than optics. Perceptual gaps create

illusions of continuity, where I attempt to highlight the paradox of empiricism in acoustic science as a kind of motion without mobility," as Virllo attempts in his book with optics.

The majority of my compositions use scores that are read on an iPad tablet computer, using the
Decibel ScorePlayer, an application available on the App Store . Any fixed media is embedded in the score, and some feature automated functions. In the case of ensemble works, multiple iPads can be networked on a LAN or over the Internet so parts can be read in a synchronised way. You should upload the score file (ending with.dsz) to your iPad from your computer via AirDrop on an Apple, or cable from a PC. Instructions on how to do this and using the Decibel ScorePlayer, more generally are included in the Application, which ships with five other scores.

Thus my works have different versions of the score, as you may see above. A PDF/PNG file of the score ‘image’, a DSZ file to upload onto the iPad for performance, and for some less complex scores, a video version. Hardcopies are also available from my publisher. You can find out more about the Decibel ScorePlayer, and how to make your own scores for it, here.


Premiered at Monash University, TENOR conference, July 2019 by ELISION and Decibel in collaboration.

Elision Ensemble, August 2022, The Melbourne Recital Centre.


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