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Cevanne Horrocks-Hopayian

Portfolio: Sound Art, Performance and Text

  • Winner of an Ivor Novello Award

  • Debut performance at the BBC Proms with hand-made wearable technology

  • Resident artist with Mahler-LeWitt Studios; National Trust England; London Symphony Orchestra; Handel & Hendrix in London

My multi-disciplinary works explore folk cultures, actual and invented, with a focus on the origins of ritual, forgotten or shared. I balance the playful with the profound, often through storytelling and a sense of theatre, whether film installation, dance or 'event score'. My practice juxtaposes material - from 'found sound' collages to tactile 'Eye-Music' scores with holes cut into text to reveal pages beneath. I build dynamic processes into the construction of my pieces, so that the creative process is continued by the performer, or audience. 

Cevanne - Rites For Crossing Water - 2022 - Coventry City of Culture.jpg


Rites for 

Site-specific digital projection onto water, augmented reality book of instructional texts,
EP (Accidental Editions), 2022

Text, eye-music score, composition by Cevanne Horrocks-Hopayian

Printed by Secret Knock

Animated artwork by Jessica Glover

Music by Crewdson & Cevanne

Commissioned by Ludic Rooms for Random String Festival and
Coventry City of Culture

This multi-media collaboration produced 'future folk' rituals invented by Crewdson & Cevanne and based on the Coventry canal, once a busy transport route.


To create the rites, I drew from water lore like Scottish kelpie, and Armenian fortune-telling, to public health messaging to wash your hands, and ‘don’t touch your face’. While some of the texts offer the traveller protection from harm, many encourage creative imagination, and all engage with one’s surroundings and companions. They can be interpreted as sonic meditations, performance art and visual poetry.


An outdoor installation features the animated text projected onto billboards and reflected in the Coventry canal. QR codes are provided to hear the folksongs created from ‘found sounds’ on the tow path, while their lyrics narrate the nineteen rites. The songs are provided as an EP, and the instructional texts are published as an augmented reality book, so that travellers can perform them over any body of water.

The Enchantress and the Nightingale

Site-specific digital film (back-projection) and song (voice, electronics, field recordings), 2023

Duration 4'30"

Directed by Seta White, performed by Ziazan, Orson Gulvanessian

Composition, electronics, film, Nightingale headdress by Cevanne Horrocks-Hopayian

Enchantress costume by Alexandra Kharibian

Armenian dance consult by Stella Major Tchilingirian

Shot on location at Snape Maltings, 2022


Installed at The Aldeburgh Beach Lookout Gallery, 2023

The Enchantress And The Nightingale lifts two characters from an Armenian folktale, Hazaran Bulbul, to explore the relationship of nurture and destruction between humans and their environment in Suffolk. The result is an abstract depiction of love, neglect, loss, and remorse to convey the urgency of the recent threats to local endangered species, specifically the nightingale.

The piece blends an uncanny mix of contemporary and nostalgia as the Enchantress replays how she tried to save the Nightingale. A libretto evoking folk song, a bass-line inspired by Purcell, and ‘guising’ headdresses situate the story in England. At the same time, the scenes draw from the metamorphosing figures of Francesca Woodman's photography, and the friezes of director Sergei Parajanov. Gestures from Armenian dance are augmented by the Enchantress as she desperately conjures a spell.

The second part of this installation was exhibited at Durham Cathedral, 2024

 A multi-disciplinary practice moving from tactile ‘Eye-Music’ scores, through digital installation and film to instructional text. Dynamic processes built into their construction extend the creative process from writing into performance. 

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Tactile and diminishing texts

Left to right:

How is a world like a window? Tactile musical score, 2012 Commissioned by Living Room in London quintet


House Music, tactile score commissioned by the Handel & Hendrix House, 2012


Inkwells, tactile score commissioned by the London Symphony Orchestra LSO Soundhub, National Trust England

British Composer Award nominee, Chamber

Performed below by Ziazan, LSO St Luke’s, 2017

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Muted Lines, (for voice, saxophone, band/orchestra). Commissioned by Trish Clowes, 2017

A poem by Nahapet Kouchak is censored by Cevanne Horrocks-Hopayian to represent how, despite the devastating cultural loss produced by forced migration and genocide, the void might be filled with something new. In this setting, the saxophone improvises in the silence as the lyrics gradually reduce to an essential message to "sing songs".  

British Composer Awards winner, Jazz

Songs burned and misremembered (incense paper, text)

performed and exhibited at

  • Mahler-LeWitt studios, Spoleto

  • Cafe OTO, Eavesdropping London Festival

  • The Red House, Britten Pears Arts

  • BBC Radio 3 New Music Show

  • Soanyway Magazine


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