On the Couch with Cat Hope

Cat Hope - photo by Catherine Gomersall AAR OTCWho is Cat Hope?
I am an artist – composer, performer, sound artist, but also a researcher – professor of music, artistic researcher and writer.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
Every now and then I fantasise about a freelance artist life. But then, being in academia provides lots of opportunities to support music – both my own but also that of the broader community – that would not be possible otherwise.

Who inspires you and why?
Students inspire me, so do so many living artists who continue to offer new ways of thinking about the world and our place in it. I am particularly inspired by women who have overcome all kinds of odds to do what they do.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I used to think that just being a woman in my role was enough to show other women they could also do the things I do, make visible what was possible, but now I realise it’s not enough. Direct and affirmative action is required to make change. I hope that through hands on mentoring, such as that we are providing in The Summers Night Project, I can make others lives easier and richer. I hope that my opera, Speechless, offers people a new and rewarding way to approach some of the complex issues of our time, through music. There are so many things I would love to do to make a difference – but one thing at a time.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Anywhere with my family. I travel alot for work, so I don’t need to travel to have a holiday. But my favorite destination is Catania, Sicily. I used to live there and miss it terribly. I try to visit the volcano Etna whenever I can.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
SO many choices! I depends on the person. But a great Melbourne pub or bar will never let me down.

What are you currently reading?
Viv Albertine’s Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys and some Morton Feldman letters.

What are you currently listening to?
I am loving revisiting old recordings of Jean-Claude Risset’s work for acoustic and electronic instruments, and NICO records.

Happiness is?
My gang!

What does the future hold for you?
I have never known the answer to that. I take it as it comes.

Cat is a Mentor on and a Performer in The Summers Night Project – a program that supports emerging composers who identify as women to create a composition for performances in Perth (2 July), Adelaide (4 July) and Melbourne (6 July). For more information, visit: www.tura.com.au for details.

Image: Cat Hope – photo by Catherine Gomersall