Cat Hope and Rob Muir

Further information

Country of origin




This project involved the artists recording the sound of living organisms decaying.


Cat Hope

Cat Hope is an accomplished composer, sound artist, performer, songwriter and noise artist whose practice is an interdisciplinary one that crosses over into video and installation. She has written soundcsapes for dance and theatre companies as well as completed commissions to write music for film (winning the Pandora's Box Film Festival Best Score award in 2000) and pure music works.

Cat is a classically trained flautist, but also a vocalist and experimental bassist who plays as a soloist and as part of small ensembles, such as Gata Negra, Lux Mammoth, the noise improvisation bass quartet Abe Sada, free improv duo Candied Limbs and new music ensemble Decibel. She has directed and edited numerous short music videos, created audiovisual installations and often works with dance choreographers. Cat is an active researcher and has conducted extensive funded research into communication technologies, audio recording in forensics, noise notation and surveillance techniques for use in performance, and maintains an active interest in challenging boundries of composition, sound art and improvisation. She is part of the sound art research collective Metaphonica (with Rob Muir) and has a small music label and production company, Bloodstar.

Cat is the founder of the Totally Huge New Music Festival Conference and editor of the associated proceedings, Sound Scripts. She is also the founder and director of the Australian Bass Orchestra. She has completed a PhD from RMIT University entitled 'The Possibility of Infrasonic Music' and was head of composition and music technology at WAAPA, ECU until 2011 when she took up a Post Doctoral Research Fellowship position at that same university. She won the ECU Vice Chancellors Award for excellence in teaching and learning in the arts and humanities, and was nominated for her contribution to WA tertiary music education at the APRA/AMC Art Music Awards that same year.

Rob Muir

Rob Muir has been working within the Perth New Music scene since the early 1980s. He creates sound installations (including a series of public artworks with sculptor Stuart Green) and consults on sonic environments for a variety of artistic and commercial projects. He has collaborated on recordings and sound environments with Ross Bolleter (eg. The Night Moves on Little Feet (1999) but has also created a significant body of compositional work, for example in New Teeth for the Mrs (2003), premiered at the Perth International Arts festival that year, that investigates the use of archival recordings in different physical spaces. In 2002 he collaborated with Alex Hayes on a work entitled Project 44, temporarily installed at Mount Magnet, WA. The piece featured 20 44-gallon drums fitted with speakers that resonated with a range of field recordings and sound art referring to the containers’ histories.


Research project

Sounds of Decay 

As well as devising recording devices to pick up very low volume sounds, the artists developed attenuated time lapse recording, as well as play back systems that send sounds to a listening post online, where people were able to ‘listen’ to dead animals make their final contributions to the sonic environment as they decay.

They also developed a system to contain decay and recording in such a way that the listening experience could be enjoyed whilst visibly witnessing the physical progress of decay.


Collaborative aid from Bruce Murphy

Period of research: