Unthinking Things

Unthinking Things (2017-present)

‘Unthinking Things’ is a cross-domain, algorithmic, generative and dynamic composition/performance based around concepts investigated by Bishop George Berkeley in ‘A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge’, written in 1710.

The treatise investigates the nature of things, dividing them into spirits which have agency in the world and everything else, the latter being ‘unthinking things’ which can only therefore ever be the object of our perception. Of particular interest is the way in which such anti-intuitive views have not only survived but flourished during the past century. In particular its implications for the idea of the ‘meta-author’: a creative work having the same relation to the author as the world, its spirits and ideas, have for Berkeley’s conception of God. This seems to me to reflect metaphorically the processes involved in algorithnic composition and some forms of performance using technology.

‘Unthinking Things’ uses algorithmic, automatic processes which structure and articulate aspects of the whole, both en masse and in detail. I also use live and recorded performance data to generate cross-domain expression, for instance producing sonic textures formed by the sounds of basic materials such as stone, wood or metal (‘unthinking things’) from readings and recordings of Berkeley’s texts. In this way and others, the piece interrogates the nexus between the written and the spoken, the notated and the improvised.

The version performed in March 2017 is exploratory, intended to help answer some technical questions which might allow for an expanded and adventurous event in the future.

‘Unthinking Things’ is composed using SuperCollider and INScore software.

Homenaje a Cervantes

  • Homage to Cervantes (Homanaje a Cervantes, 2016-7) , a music-text-image piece
  • Music and programming Richard Hoadley, text by Cervantes and Phil Terry
  • Performance: International Conference on New Technologies for Music Notation and Representation (TENOR), A Coruna, Spain, 25th May 2017

Edge Violations

Edge Violations (2016)

clarinet(s), computers, and projections, 2016
– music and programming richard hoadley
– clarinets ian mitchell
– text phil terry
– Performance/workshop: The Boiler House, London Metropolitan, Thursday October 15th 2015
NB This performance/workshop was cancelled.
– first performance at Hoadley, Hall and Brown, Saturday April 23rd 2016, Anglia Ruskin University.
– Performance at the TENOR conference, Cambridge, May 28th 2016 – Ian Mitchell, clarinet(s)
– Performance at Electronic Visualisation and the Arts, Covent Garden, London, 12th July 2016


(2015-6, in progress) Choreograms, a music-text-dance piece
Music and programming Richard Hoadley amongst others, dance Jane Turner, text Phil Terry

– Performance at Colchester Arts Centre, Wednesday March 8th 2017
– Performance at Conway Hall, Friday March 3rd 2017
– Performance at Chelmsford Festival of Ideas, Saturday November 12th 2016
– Performance at The Globe, Albany Road, Cardiff, Thursday October 6th 2016
– Performance (Semaphore/Choreograms chimera) at AHRC Commons, York University, 21st June 2016
– Performance at New Cut, Saturday 7th May 2016, Halesworth, Suffolk
– Performance at Hoadley, Hall and Brown, Saturday April 23rd 2016, Anglia Ruskin University.
– Performance Early Dance Circle Bienniel Conference, friday 8th april 2016, high wycombe

The piece is primarily composed in the music programming environment, SuperCollider.

This piece uses the software INScore and Guido significantly, both currently being developed by the Grame Computer Music Research Lab.
– More information on INScore.
– More information on Guido.

See also: Calder’s Violin, Fluxus, Fluxus Tree

How To Play the Piano

How To Play the Piano (2014-5)

automatic music for piano, computer and live score projection

music and programming by Richard Hoadley; text by Katharine Norman

performance at the INTIME Conference, Saturday 24th October 2015, Coventry University
performance in the Music as Process Conference, Saturday June 6th, Goldsmiths, London
performance at Campus Explore, 2:15pm, Recital Hall, Anglia Ruskin University, Tuesday 12th May 2015.
performance at 1pm, 8th May 2015, University of Hertfordshire, a part of the Sonic Herts
performance in a concert of music for piano and electronics, 7:30-8:30pm, 26th February 2015 PACE 1, De Montfort University, a part of the Cultural Exchanges Festival
performance by Philip Mead at the London International Piano Symposium, Royal College of Music, Saturday February 14th

How to Play the Piano in 88 Notes (a part of Piano Glyphs) from Richard Hoadley on Vimeo.

More images in the gallery

Poetry by Katharine Norman
Music and programming by Richard Hoadley

Performance on 12th May 2015 by Philip Mead
Anglia Ruskin University Recital Hall

How to Play the Piano in 88 Notes (a part of Piano Glyphs), poetry by Katharine Norman, piano by Philip Mead from Richard Hoadley on Vimeo.