Tough it Out (2014)
For Julia Gillard
For small ensemble with headphones and instructions.
Premiered at After Julia, ABC Ultimo Centre, November, 2014.
Also performed in that program at PICA, Perth, 2015
Metropolis Arts, Brisbane, 2017
Monash University, Melbourne, 2017.
"This work raised the question to me about the relationship between data sources, emotive intent (implied by the program), and the sound itself. This work married data with sound perfectly". Andrew Batt Rawden, Limelight Magazine. See full review here.
‘Tough it out’ is a phrase Julia Gillard used to describe her way to move through the obstacles thrown in her way - her way to implement her policies and simply ‘work’ at her job. It seemed impossible to hear about what Gillard was doing as prime minister because there was just so much noise and interference. This concept of trying to continue doing something you have been trained to do, through all kinds of railroading, is used as a structural device in this piece. The ensemble may choose any score of Hope’s to play, or the score provided, which uses popularity graphs of various Australian prime ministers over time. As it starts, it sounds like a ‘typical’ piece of Hope’s but a set of recorded instructions and commentary designed to interrupt the reading, understanding and performance of the piece are sent to the performers throughout, over headphones. These are sent in an order and rate chosen during the performance, by the electronics operator.
The instructions for the piece are here. You can download the score player file here. For the individual instruction files and maxMSP patch (or you can make your own) contact the composer.