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We Have Become Kin

posted on 24.01.2020, 10:34 by Cat HopeCat Hope

We Have Become Kin

For piano, dancer and subtone, 2019

For Alex Raineri and Katina Olsen.

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


The title of this work comes from a speech by Richard Flanagan written in 2018. It argues that settler and aboriginal Australians have to come to come together and acknowledge a joint future that we invent together, because we are all linked in some way this far into Australia’s nationhood. He argues for the adoption of the Uluru Statement as a way forward in this plight.

When my father retired, he began to assemble his family tree. He was determined to discover his family came to Australia, generations before him, by their own free will, not as convicts. At a certain point, he found a gap in this tree: a birth certificate with no name on it, and also found out that it was a common practice to do this if the mother was aboriginal at that time and place in history. He stopped the search and did not resume it before his death. Perhaps when I ‘retire’, I will resume the search he could not complete, because I would be proud to discover I had even just a little bit of Indigenous Australian in me.


The piano part is the colour is designed as ‘action notation’: the blue themed colours are for one hand, the red themed colours and for the other. Read the score proportionally: the coloured bars indicate the amount of time the key is depressed. You may use the pedal at all times, except where there are no keys depressed.

The dance part is indicated by the opaque lines and should be read by rotating the score so it can be read vertically. Each colour represents a body part (eg, arms and hands, legs and feet, head and neck etc) and the lines should be read as choreography. When the line is static and straight, that indicates to remain in that position. When there is movement, try to reflect this in your choreography. Grey dashed lines indicate where your movement should cue with the sound (usually, stopping and starting). This choreography should be memorized. The pink bar at the bottom of the score indicates the sub tone part. This should be played to a single sub-woofer (that can reproduce 38 Hz) from the mini jack out of the ipad, which should be playing the score on the Decibel ScorePlayer application.

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 the Brisbane Music Festival, December 2019.


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