Author Identifiers

Cat Hope

ORCID: 0000-0001-9999-7194

Collection Type



Faculty of Education and Arts

School or Research Centre

Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts


Cat Hope

Research Activity System ID



Cruel and Usual is a music composition for string quartet electronics. It is inspired by an article by the Al Jazeera news service that discusses the use of solitary confinement in US prisons as incarceration rates explode in the USA. In some cases, prisoners have remained in solitary for over 38 years., or may even be children, and the reasons for going in there are not always clear or legitimate. This kind of confinement is known as ‘no touch torture’.

Drone, glissandi and the trembling bass are features of this work, where the string players are sampled at certain small moments of the piece, and ‘translated’ into much lower ranges instantaneously, which fade out, grow, and distort as indicated on the score.

Additional Information

This work was originally produced in 2011.

Start of data collection time period


End of data collection time period


File Format(s)

.dsz, .pdf, .ai, mp3, MaxPatch

Viewing Instructions

This work uses a graphic score that can be read as a video or in the Decibel ScorePlayer.

A MaxMSP Patch to perform the electronics for the piece included, or the performers may design their own to realise the score.

Click here to see information on how you can download the Decibel ScorePlayer ipad application.

Users can view the music score file via the Decibel ScorePlayer ipad application.

Users can open the MaxPatch files in Max version 5.

Included in

Composition Commons


Article Location