The setup and the execution of the electroacoustic part of this work requires a Computer Music Designer (Max expert).
Version state: Documented, update: Sept. 8, 2020
First performance
Performance date: Sept. 5, 2020

Version documentalist

  • baskind (

Version realisation

  • Rebecca Saunders (Composer)
  • Juliet Fraser (Performer)
  • Alexis Baskind (Computer Music Designer)
  • Jérémie Henrot (Sound engineer)
Version length: 19 mn
Default work length: 15 mn

No other version available

Detailed staff

  • soprano
(Detailed staff comes from Brahms, send mail to for correction.)

Electronic equipment list

Computer Music Equipment

  • 1 MacBook Pro - Apple Laptops (Apple)
    Main computer. Tested on 10.13, should work from 10.10
  • 1 MacBook Pro - Apple Laptops (Apple)
    For video monitoring with the "open stage control" sorftware

Performance details

  • Sept. 5, 2020, France, Paris, Centre Georges Pompidou, Grande Salle

Publisher : Peters


  • Alexis Baskind
File Author(s) Comment
[747.6 MB] Patch Player with soundfiles Alexis Baskind


Player : installing and running the program

The program called « Saunders_The_Mouth_Player » is mainly a player for the 3 files consisting the pre-recorded electronics with synchronized counter (either in min/sec or bar/beat).

The pre-recorded material consists in 5 channels for the electronics to be played, as well as a 6th channel containing a simulation of the live sung voice. This simulation is intended for practicing purposes only !

The 5 channels can be downmixed to 2 thanks to two different means :

  • either by using the imbedded « stereo downmix » function (which also implies a gain reduction of ca. -8 dB to avoid clipping)

  • or by sending the 5 channels to the mixing board and performing the downmix in the mixing board

Besides the « performance » mode, a « practicing » mode is provided. The only difference between both is that the performance mode allows to jump to the next section while one is already playing while pressing the space bar.

There are two kinds of counters used in the program, one based on time (min/sec), one on bar/beats, based on the score, both relative to the beginning of the current section. Both run all the time, but only the time counter is visible for sections A and B.


  • Open the DMG disk image and copy the whole folder « Saunders_The_Mouth_Player-YYYY-MM-DD » at a relevant place

  • Run the program « »

Important : On the newest Mac OS (>10.14), the imbedded so-called « Gatekeeper » may refuse to open the app with the following notice : « Saunders_The_Mouth_Player cannot be opened because the developer cannot be verified ». If this is the case, do the following :

  • go to Mac's "System Preferences"

  • => "Security and Privacy" => General

  • "Allow apps downloaded from" => select « Anywhere »

If the « Anywhere » option is not available, it has to be enabled manually by doing the following :

  • open the « Terminal » in « /Applications/Utilities »

  • Type of the following command with return:

sudo spctl –master-disable

  • Authenticate with an admin password

  • Type of the following command with return:

sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/ GKAutoRearm -bool NO

  • Exit Terminal

  • Then retry to select « Anywhere » in "Allow apps downloaded from" in "System Preferences" => "Security and Privacy" => General

Keyboard shortcuts

  • space = play, next cue if performance mode

  • enter = stop

  • backspace = rewind to the beginning of the current section


1/ open audio settings to configure the audio interface as well as the output channels.

  • The audio driver should be "Core Audio" on Mac and "ASIO" on Windows

  • The "Output Device" should match the audio interface for the audio outputs

  • The "Output Destination" is most of time inactive on Mac

2/ The default channel order is as follows:

L -> 1
R -> 2
C -> 3
Lback -> 4
Rback -> 5

The simulation (optional, for practicing only) is always sent to L+R, so 1+2 per default

3/ select in "output mode" if the output should be 5-channel or 2-channel (the latter meaning a downmix of the original 5-channel material). This setting is saved while closing the program.

4/ select the perfomance/practicing mode. The only difference between both is that the performance mode allows to jump to the next section while one is already playing while pressing the space bar

5/ in practicing mode, select if pressing enter should rewind to the previous starting point ("rewind") or keep the playing position unchanged, allowing to continue where it stops when pressing the space bar again ("continue")

Set up the visual counter

  • Download the free software open stage control

  • Start it with the preset « OSCmonitorSettings.json »,

  • set « send » to « localhost:xxxx » or « » where « xxxx » is an arbitrary port (not used)

  • set « port » to the same port as the one in the OSC configuration

  • launch open stage control’s server

  • open a browser on the secondary computer being used as monitor, and enter the IP address shown in the console of open stage control

Use (practicing mode)

  • select the section (A-inside, B-Melody or C+D-Noise+Fry)

  • press the space bar to start playing

  • press enter to stop/pause

  • Dragging the time counter (either minutes or seconds) or the bar number (or clicking on one of those number and typing with the keyboard) allows to jump to a specific time point of the given section

Use (performance)

  • select the section (A-inside, B-Melody or C+D-Noise+Fry)

  • press the space bar to start playing

  • press the space bar to jump to next section

Program note

La bouche (« the mouth » en anglais) est le seuil entre deux mondes : l’intérieur et l’extérieur.
Il y a cette voix intérieure qui anime chacun de nous – comme un monologue intérieur, une voix off, qui narre inlassablement, refoulée et cachée sous la surface.

Et puis il y a la voix que nous projetons dans le monde – articulations momentanées, discours éloquents ou murmure incohérent et bafouillé. Cette voix sonore est vulnérable, d’une extrême fragilité – un fragment de nous exposé et projeté à l’extérieur de nous, dans l’abysse.

Et il y a un chiasme entre le dedans et le dehors : une dichotomie entre voix intime et voix publique, entre notre monologue interne secret et la voix que l’on envoie dans le monde et qui est entendue.

Et la bouche est ce seuil, incarnant comme un purgatoire.

La pièce interroge : quelle est cette voix intime, qu’y a-t-il là de refoulé, de retenu, de coulant sous la surface ? Et que peut alors être dit, si on peut dire quoi que ce soit ?
Le texte est de moi – flux de récitations, avec d’inopinés moments de clarté.

Le travail explore la vaste palette de couleurs et de sons produits naturellement à l’intérieur de la cavité buccale. La partie électronique est composée intégralement à partir d’échantillons saisis en temps réels de la voix de Juliet Fraser, ainsi que de ma propre voix.


Rebecca Saunders, note de programme du concert du 5 septembre 2020 dans la Grande salle du Centre Pompidou.

Version documentation creation date: Sept. 8, 2020, 3:14 p.m., update date: Sept. 16, 2020, 7:24 p.m.