Intermedia Art

New Media, Sound and Performance

The Sound of Heaven and Earth  29 January 2005

Kaffe Matthews

The Sound of Heaven and Earth: Kaffe Matthews
Video still from live performance © Tate 2005

No One Here but Us Chickens

Kaffe Matthews was commissioned to make a new 'aural' score for The Sound of Heaven and Earth.

Performance recording: No One Here But Us Chickens by Kaffe Matthews
Copyright for the content of this work remains with the original author/s ©
See below to download composition scores

The two complete versions of the piece function as two interpretations of the one score, illustrating a journey from composition to rehearsal through performance. Version one is an interpretation by the musical ensemble in rehearsal. The second version is a recording of the final performance.  The musicians were asked to play in the dark, positioned around the periphery of the room. Musicians listened to scores consisting of sinewave compositions via a CD player and headphones.

There is no less holiness at this time -- as you are reading this - than there was the day the Red Sea parted. There is no whit less enlightenment under the tree by your street than there was under the Buddha's bo tree. There is no whit less might in heaven or on earth than there was the day Peter walked on water, or the night Mohammed flew to heaven on a horse. In any instant the sacred may wipe you with its finger. In any instant your feet may rise, or you may see a bunch of souls in a tree. In any instant you may avail yourself of the power to love your enemies; to accept failure, slander, the grief of loss; or to endure torture.

Purity's time is always now. Purity is no social phenomenon, a cultural thing whose time we have missed, whose generations are dead. Of eternal fulfilment, Tillich said, "If it is not seen in the present, it cannot be seen at all."

Annie Dillard, 1999

Download individual scores created by Matthews for each instrument.  Note that there are periodic silences in the scores, and that not all instruments start right from the beginning. The levels are quite low, and are directly relevant to the Composer's attention to volume and dynamic in the piece.

Bass Saxophone Score - Download MP3 12.50MBCello Score - Download MP3 13.95MBDouble Bass Score - Download MP3 13.71MBElectronics Score - Download MP3 11.93MBFlute Score - Download MP3 12.50MBHarp Score - Download MP3 9.40MB

Scores by Kaffe Matthews

Instrumentation included: Bass by John Edwards, Bass Saxophone by Tony Bevan, Electronics by Andrew Morgan, Electronics and Flutes by David Toop, Harp by Rhodri Davies and Cello by Neil Heyde. The ensemble was put together by Andrew Morgan.

Produced in collaboration with Tate Modern, the Goethe Institute London and the London Consortium.


Play Performance RecordingBass Sax ScoreCello ScoreDouble Bass ScoreElectronics ScoreFlute ScoreHarp ScoreThe Sound of Heaven and Earth

Composers Luc Ferrari, Kaffe Matthews, David Grubbs, Achim Wollscheid, Eric Roth and Olias Nil.