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The Rupture Exists

posted on 07.06.2021, 08:40 by Cat HopeCat Hope
This is the score and related materials to a composition by Cat Hope created in September 2020, entitled "The Rupture Exists".

It is designed to be performed by 6 performers, and includes fixed media. It is designed to be performed over the Internet or in other spaces where latency is present.

You will need the DecibelScorePlayer to read the score for this work. It can coordinate different players in remote location over the internet (see below).

It is dedicated to Anders Lind, who commissioned the work.


This work is designed for online collaboration where latency is present. The cloud is a mass of small parts, hanging together yet unstable, impossible and chaotic to some degree. The fixed media part is made of tones and white noise, reflecting both the clarity and complexity of clouds, and how each part influences the other. Accuracy is a concept for one, not the group: sometimes this is exposed, but mostly, it resides in the cloud.The title is taken from ‘The Pandemic is a Portal’ (2020) an essay by Arundhati Roy.


There is an audio part which you will need to reproduce from one iPad, and turn the volume down on the others.

Read the moving dots. Only play your colour when it comes into contact with another dot of any of any colour, for the duration of that interaction. If more than one dot comes down at once, you can change to another one anytime. If your coloured dot only touches the static dot lightly, i.e. on the edge, read that as a very soft dynamic – a close ‘match’ should be medium soft - never go louder than that. Read the shape of the dot as dynamic at all times. Try to remember the other instrument/colour matches and emulate their sound when your dot touches their colour.

Use the width of the page as the pitch range (like a piano). If your dot is large, play a louder dynamic, no matter what the size of the dot you touch is. If you touch two dots simultaneously, play a multiphonic/double stop/affected sound. Dots with a line through them indicate a rough/distorted sound.

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.


Building from Roy's essay 'The Pandemic is a Portal', this work examines the trying conditions of lockdowns and isolation bought on by the COVID 19 pandemic as an opportunity for change, as Roy does. 'The Rupture Exists' refers to this opportunity - how can we rupture our usual practices into new ideas and methods? Rather than fight the ever present latency - which has always existed in sound work to some degree, as it does in the physical world, yet only becomes more pronounced in remote networked performances, how can we embrace it, live with it, explore it in creative and constructive ways? This work attempts to do this - but offering differing levels of accuracy, unreliability and coming together. Each player performs the score accurately, locally. Yet they will hear other performers out of time and place, and they have to attempt to emulate them, focusing their attention to nature of the sounds and thier transformation over the Internet/distance, rather than 'where' they are in the piece. The clouds - both the moving and static ones - are deliberately impossible - you can leave and choose another place in the cloud - afterall, it is just a mass.

My work has explored different notations of musical time and it's focus. This forms part of that exploration, and sites alongside other networked compositions such as 'Black Emperor' (2012) and Nomadic Subjects (2020).


PREMIERE: Göteberg Art Sounds Festival, Sweden, 17 October with Decibel, Neo Nottebotten (SE), Mis-En (USA)

Piteå Performing Arts Biennial, Decibel, Neo Nottebotten (SE), Mis-En (USA) 27 October, 2020.

Tectonics 2021, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (UK), May 2021


This includes all materials required to reproduce this work, plus historic materials. The software used for the networking in the premiere performance is included above, and the different score versions are grouped together. There are audio recordings, video of past performances, and a video version of the score.


Thank you to Aaron Wyatt for his assistance on the premiere of this work.


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