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Unthinking Things (2017-present)

automatic music for choir, material objects, electronics and live score projection

music and programming by Richard Hoadley; text by Bishop George Berkeley

Unthinking Things, a music-text-image piece
Music and programming by Richard Hoadley, texts by Bishop George Berkeley

- Performance: St Augustine Singers, Cambridge, 17th March 2018
- Performance: St Augustine Singers, Cambridge, 7th March 2020
- Performance: Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg, Hamburg, 13th May 2020 - POSTPONED
- Performance: Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg, Hamburg, 10th-13th May 2021

Hamburg online performance, May 2021:

Hamburg online performance (performer view), May 2021:

Poster for the 2020 Cambridge performance:

- 2018 Demonstration Video
- Unthinking Things YouTube playlist
- Unthinking Haiku Generator
- Eddie Prevost on stones
- Unthinking Things YouTube rehearsal playlist
- Texts from the 2021-04-06 rendering of Unthinking Things

Live video (2020):

Audio recording by Rob Godman

Live video (2018):
Video recording by Michael Wright

Audio recording by Rob Godman

'Unthinking Things' is a cross-domain, algorithmic, generative and dynamic composition/performance based around concepts investigated by Bishop George Berkeley in 'A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge', written in 1710.

The treatise investigates the nature of things, dividing them into spirits which have agency in the world and everything else, the latter being 'unthinking things' which can only therefore ever be the object of our perception. Of particular interest is the way in which such anti-intuitive views have not only survived but flourished during the past century. In particular its implications for the idea of the 'meta-author': a creative work having the same relation to the author as the world, its spirits and ideas, have for Berkeley's conception of God. This seems to me to reflect metaphorically the processes involved in algorithnic composition and some forms of performance using technology.

'Unthinking Things' uses algorithmic, automatic processes which structure and articulate aspects of the whole, both en masse and in detail. I also use live and recorded performance data to generate cross-domain expression, for instance producing sonic textures formed by the sounds of basic materials such as stone, wood or metal ('unthinking things') from readings and recordings of Berkeley’s texts. In this way and others, the piece interrogates the nexus between the written and the spoken, the notated and the improvised.

The version performed in March 2018 is exploratory, intended to help answer some technical questions which might allow for an expanded and adventurous event in the future.

'Unthinking Things' is composed using SuperCollider and INScore software.

unthinking things materials

unthinking things materials