Long Division was originally commissioned in September 2008 by Oxford Contemporary Music and Oxford Botanic Garden for The Magic Hour event. It was further developed in 2009 in partnership with the Salisbury International Arts Festival in the cloisters garth of Salisbury Cathedral.
Long Division is a reflection upon the divisions of time. Periods through the day and night are here imagined as brushing past one another, carrying urgent, whispered messages. A male and a female voice float across the historic cloisters, exchanging thoughts in a succession of rhyming phrases. The sound installation creates a pattern of cycles from these rhythmic speech patterns, sending a wash of sound rippling along the walls. Memories and histories echo through the twilight.
Long Division begins as the clock chimes the hour and there follows a sequence of sixty hushed exchanges, timed to the divisions of the clock. The whispering phrases gather in intensity second by second, falling silent again at the start of each new minute. The soundscape which evolves is resonant of rhythms and patterns in nature, the elements and also cycles of growth and decay.