Cruel and usual : for string quartet and four bass amplifiers
by Cat Hope (2011)
Score SampleView a sample of the score of this work
Performance by Atticus String Quartet, Sam Dunscombe from the CD Selected Works by AMC Represented Artists, vol. 42.
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Cruel and Usual is a work inspired by
an article by the Al Jazzera news service that discusses the use
of solitary confinement in US prisons as incarceration rates
explode in the USA. In some cases, prisoners have remained in
solitary for over 38 years, or may even be children, and the
reasons for going in there are not always clear or legitimate.
This kind of confinement is known as 'no touch torture' by
In this work the string players are sampled at certain small moments of the piece, and 'translated' into much lower ranges instantaneously, which fade out or grow, and are sometimes 'distorted'. The use of drone - long notes that change very little - acts as a descriptive metaphor for the lives of these that may find themselves in these situations.
Instrumentation: String quartet, four bass amplifiers, 4 pickups running to Max MSP patch, sending to bass amplifiers. four networked computers to read score
Duration: 8 min.
Difficulty: Medium — graphic score
Dedication note: Dedicated to Judith Hamman.
Commission note: Commissioned by Atticus String Quartet.
To perform this piece you will need the Decibel ScorePlayer, an iPad application that puts the score in motion and coordinates the performance.
Resonate article: Insight: Drawing music by Cat Hope
- In the form/style of: Graphic Notation
Performances of this work
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