We tried three recordings: an interview with Prime Minister Tony Abbott by Fran Kelly (two versions below); the recorded phone conversation between Donald (Clippers) Sterling and his girlfriend V. Stiviano (which we didn't record); and Chris Hedges reading the final pages of his book with Joe Sacco Days of Destruction Days of Revolt (one version below). None of the performances have an "end" and they were recorded on iPhone (and are therefore totally unbalanced) with Vanessa essentially sight-reading. The actual speech recording is of course crucial for this piece and I think both of us were a little concerned about the "cheap-shot" aspect of using a political speech. The Hedges recording, in which he reflects upon images of children he saw during the Sudan famine and other war zones while protesting outside Goldman Sachs, is something like the opposite of political speech. Personally, I'm still thinking about how it works in this context - in which it is "redacted" by the percussionist.
The actual notation itself - where vertical space approximates to frequency and notehead colour approximately to instrument family - turns out to be extremely expressive (at least in the hands and mallets of Ms Tomlinson). The very minute vertical gradations of the noteheads are quite readily interpreted as the huge range of strikes and strokes and scrapes that can be coaxed from percussion instruments and other objects. Horizontally, the precise onsets of sounds on a scrolling score are always going to be difficult to judge - but on the positive side they really do seem to capture the rhythmic but non-metrical quality of speech. The recordings below show how precise Vanessa was able to get after only one or two readings.