THE LIFESPAN OF A UNIVERSE /
IN MIGHTY SILENCE (2018)

~ installation with optional performers


THE LIFESPAN OF A UNIVERSE / IN MIGHTY SILENCE is an octophonic semi-generative installation with optional live performers about George Morrell (the only manager ever to get Arsenal FC relegated); George Murrell (a longtime friend of the composer); and how watching football on TV can feel a bit like masturbation. It received its premiere installation on the 10th October 2018, with performative interventions from collaborator George Murrell.

The piece is in two parts. IN MIGHTY SILENCE is a self-sustaining Max/MSP patch that can run indefinitely. This indeterminate installation is constructed using samples from a variety of sources; including an interview I conducted with George Murrell on a life punctuated by football, field recordings of the Emirates Stadium (as well as terrace chants), distorted ‘noise’ samples, spectrally processed recordings of string instruments, and recordings of (football) chant melodies played on the violin. Carefully coordinated reset timers ensure that material is spread evenly, and listeners are unlikely to hear the same material repeated gratuitously. Similarly, semi-randomly selected spatialisation means repeated material is always presented in a new context. Accordingly, the recommended running time for IN MIGHTY SILENCE is anywhere from one to two hours (and up).

THE LIFESPAN OF A UNIVERSE is the collective title for a number of acoustic compositions (as it stands, for voice, violin and cello) that can be performed in any combination simultaneous to an installation of IN MIGHTY SILENCE. These scores may utilise an optional video autocue system linked to the Max/MSP patch, or use timers for a more fixed performance.