SECRET ANIMALS is a composition for solo cello and live electronics. It employs a virtual reality (VR) video score produced for playback using the Oculus Rift Head-Mounted Display (HMD). The title for this piece came from an anecdote a friend told me about the so-called ‘Flat Earth’ theorists, some of whom believe that in the outer regions of the world there are new fauna that the government is committed to keeping confidential. Though the exact whereabouts of such beasts must remain subject to speculation, this piece imagines the untamed roars of these secret animals.

The piece was composed for Deni Teo, principal cellist for the London-based new music group Explore Ensemble. It was premiered at the JdP Music Building on 16 May 2018 as part of the Rendezvous series of concerts, appearing alongside works by Peter Ablinger, Joanna Bailie, and Morton Feldman. The piece has been played a number of times since then, including a performance at the Royal Northern College of Music’s Future Music + Festival, where I was also invited to speak about the piece and on my work with virtual reality technologies more generally.