When There Is Only Us



“it’s the clock on the wall of the observation deck, the one that we tied to home, and it’s the moment when i look at it, and it’s so far ahead of what i know, it’s so far ahead of me”

An intimate sci-fi opera that explores the real and fictional possibilities of terraforming. Like a film without images, fusing transmitted voices, visceral electronics and live strings, it asks what would happen if we could start all over again?

This work channels the city into the theatre, a performer roams the city, their words transmitted back to the venue. In dialogue with another performer, who remains in front of the audience, they describe the world that will be left behind.  The streamed audio transmission also drags the the sound of the outside back in to the venue. Fictions are mapped on to a city that the audience know well, one on to which they can map their own memories. They listen to the sounds of a civilisation, one that at some point they will either have to abandon or save.

This composition rethinks the idea of ‘live cinema soundtracks’. Bringing together a mixture of acoustic string arrangements and electronic processing it creates an intense filmic experience that draws on real and imagined nightmares of the future of our planet.







Originally commissioned by Watershed and Al Cameron as part of BFI’s Sci Fi: Days of Fear and Wonder. Supported by the Arnolfini and Arts Council England.

For this project Circumstance was Sarah Anderson, Jessica Macdonald, Duncan Speakman and Alice Tatton-Brown