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read/write error : for alto flute, bass clarinet, violin, cello, percussion and piano

by Tristan Coelho (2015)

Score Sample

View a sample of the score of this work

Audio Sample

Performance by Ensemble Offspring from the CD Offspring Bites 1

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Offspring Bites 1


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Offspring Bites 1 / Ensemble Offspring.

Library shelf no. CD 2907 [Available for loan]

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Work Overview

read/write error is a glitchy, beat-driven work that draws upon ideas surrounding the digital, data-driven world we find ourselves in. I imagined three types of music being like data scattered across a failing hard drive. Bits of information are strewn here and there with interspersed contrasts brought about by 'hard cuts' between ideas (such as in video editing techniques), the fragments of which are then assembled in various ways.

These thoughts were informed by a general interest of mine in exploring a kind of 'brokenness' in music - a beauty brought about through roughness and imperfection. I extended this further by considering the actual sounds emitted by technology as it goes haywire or malfunctions. What I like about this is that these sounds are not supposed to be made but still come across highly expressive to me. Imagine the warbling tune of a fridge or the crunchy explosions of a gearbox or the gritty strains of a tired old printer.

With this in mind I had a long hard listen to a variety of broken technology and started analysing and dissecting a few recordings of a stuttering hard drive losing its mind. I found here a rich array of musical ideas which helped me shape the work.

Work Details

Year: 2015

Instrumentation: Alto flute, bass clarinet, violin, cello, percussion, piano.

Duration: 12 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Contents note: In 3 sections.

Commission note: Commissioned by Ensemble Offspring.. Commissioned through Ensemble Offspring's Noisy Egg Creation Fund

First performance: by Ensemble Offspring — 25 Oct 15. Future Retro, Sydney Conservatorium of Music (Music Workshop)

The composer notes the following styles, genres, influences, etc associated with this work:
Technology, glitch

Awards & Prizes

Year Award Placing Awarded for/to
2016 Art Music Awards: Work of the Year: Instrumental Finalist Tristan Coelho


Resonate article: 2016 Art Music Awards finalists - comments by judging panels by Australian Music Centre


Performances of this work

12 Nov 16: The Nest Creative Space, NSW. Featuring Ensemble Offspring.

25 Oct 2015: at Future Retro (Sydney Conservatorium of Music). Featuring Ensemble Offspring.

25 Oct 15: Future Retro, Sydney Conservatorium of Music (Music Workshop). Featuring Ensemble Offspring.

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