Noise in the clouds

Output Type



TURA New Music and Perth Institute of Creative Arts


Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) / Centre for Research in Entertainment, Arts, Technology, Education and Communications




James, S., Harada, K. & Decibel, (2017). Noise in the clouds, PICA, Perth, Australia.


Whilst notions or the philosophy of chaotic phenomenon has been explored extensively by artists, this work deals with chaos in a more literal way – as a mechanism or structure for generating the sound universe, notated score, compositional process, and musical structure. The electronic sound world featured on the laptop is derived specifically from chaotic oscillators which have been brought together in a unique software instrument that allows a laptop performer to navigate an abstract chaotic 2D space. The work is largely inspired by noise as a broader phenomena, and uses chaos as a means of exploring this context. The work features a fixed media component that includes samples of natural phenomena that reflect some of the imagery contained in the score.

Additional Information

Decibel - Electronic Concertos, Act 2 available on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) website


1. Chris Tonkin - Patchwork RSQ Remix, for Moog Sub 37 analogue synthesiser with flute, bass clarinet, cello, percussion and electronics

2. Pedro Alvarez – Intersperso-Ultradiano, for electric noise bass with viola, cello, bass clarinet, cymbals and fixed media

3. Daniel Thorpe – Limp Wrist, for Theremin, untrained dancer and mixed ensemble

4. Stuart James – Noise in the Clouds, for laptop (running customised chaos oscillator software) with viola, cello, bass flute, clarinet, 2 percussionists and electronics

Decibel: Cat Hope (artistic director, flutes, bass); Lindsay Vickery (reeds, electronics); Stuart James (electronics, keyboards, programming); Aaron Wyatt (viola); Tristen Parr (cello); Louise Devenish (percussion).

Guest soloists: Chris Tonkin (analogue synthesizer); Johannes Mulders (Theremin); and Kouhei Harada (laptop).

Music recorded 24 October 2017 by ABC Classic FM sound engineer Gavin Fernie and producer Stephen Adams.