1. Of the Father’s Heart Begotten
  2. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
  3. O Come All Ye Faithful

For SATB Choir with division. Graphics scores and transcriptions.
Commissioned by Voyces (The Choral Collective). Premiered on the 15th December, 2023, at St Joseph’s, Perth.
Full duration: 7 minutes.

These graphic scores are generated through a technique called databending, whereby a digital file is manipulated in software that is built to process files of other formats. In this instance, I imported images as raw data into Audacity, the audio editing software, wherein I was able to use certain transformations (for example, pitch transposition or EQ) to produce precarious and interesting visual results. It was an iterative process of trial and error, whereby I am handing over a degree of authorship to unruly algorithms.

The original images are of an antique edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern, published around the turn of the 20th century. It is materially fragile, the red leather binding worn where a century of congregants have held it in song.

I am interested in how these inherited material artefacts are transformed in the age of digital media. Our methods of transmitting and processing musical information have changed drastically since the antique hymnbook was published. Scores are no longer archived in dusty libraries, but are alive in emergent clouds of data. Today, we are digitally distributed, digitally composed. What does is mean, then, to sing together from these immaterial manuscripts?