Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts
Sound of Decay consists of a deceased cane toad (Rhinella marinus) in a glass desiccator which serves as a stage for the audio playback of the toad’s material decomposition. Cane toads were imported to Australia to control agricultural pests—a role they soon ignored, spreading widely. As a form of highly active “vibrant matter” (Bennett), the activity of the toad extends beyond mortality—disproving Cage’s proposition that the absence of sound is equivalent to death. Sound of Decay prompts listeners to partake in an inter-species exchange which “lacks finality” (Nyquist), whereby cane toads emerge as something akin to bio-cultural noise.