Monash University
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Our House is on Fire

Version 2 2021-09-04, 08:56
Version 1 2019-09-11, 14:05
posted on 2021-09-04, 08:56 authored by Cat HopeCat Hope
On this page you will find the score materials, previous recordings, reviews, program notes and performance instruction for the music composition entitled

Our House is On Fire

For toy piano, percussion and bass with spoken word.
Commissioned by Clocked out 2019.

You will need the Decibel ScorePlayer app on iPad to perform this peice (see below).

“Our House on Fire” was the opening line of a speech by Greta Thunberg, a 16year old Swedish activist, at the World Economic Forum in Geneva in early 2019. The speech is a desperate yet clear plea for action on global warming, and the spoken text in the piece is taken from her speech, which is published in the Guardian newspaper.

Each instrument in this work does what is not normal that it do: sustained, dark tones on the toy piano, sustained, variable and difficult to control cymbal and bass sounds. These are interspersed with more ‘native’ sounds: but the work explores the idea of trying to change, challenging systems do things they were not necessarily designed to do, pushing up against established systems.
Red is for percussion, blue is for the toy piano, pink is for the low tone, which can also be played on a synthesiser or bass guitar with effects to sustain the sound. Crosses are stick hits on the cymbals, round dots are soft hits on cymbals or notes on the toy piano or bass.
The width of the line indicates of dynamic. Words in Italics should be spoken by the performers – in any order and density – and should be spoken into something (e.g. bowl, container of some kind).

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 4th August , 2018 in Brisbane, Queensland at Griffith Conservatorium, by Clocked Out with Cat Hope
5th August, 2018 at Laugavin, the Piano Mill, NSW by Clocked Out with Cat Hope


Griffith University Visiting Artist Scheme


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