Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Matthew Herbert Writings


that sound

the term 'found sound' is no longer sufficient. it suggests a curious and whimsical listener, adrift in a foreign world and with a merely passive mind to accompany the engaged ear. 'that sound' would be more appropriate to the precision and principle of the pursuit.

my work is no longer about 'finding' sound. it is about recording specific sound. i have stopped being interested in the sound of any door closing, but am now interested in listening to the door of number 10 downing street closing. i am no longer interested in recording the sound of someone eating an apple, i want to hear the sound of hillary benn mp eating a british organic michalemas red apple, in season, standing in the office of the head fruit buyer for tescos.

when it comes to recording musicians, i am interested in applying the same principle. i am less interested hearing a musician playing a piece about the sponsorship of conflict by the west in a recording studio than next to the israeli-built wall in the occupied territories.

music doesn't only have to yearn to be stubbornly separate from political and social forces. it isn't only a universal language. it has it's own dialects. it speaks in regional accents.

i don't wish to just be a passive consumer of the human experience.
i don't want music to be dismembered from the body it sings from.

the one word 'music' just doesn't seem to describe everything that it is supposed to encompass. how can one word describe both verdi's requiem and a mobile phone ring? they are just two entirely different principles.

here are some new definitions.

musicish- a demo

musicad- music that is written for advertising

musicomm- music that is essentially just a commercial venture. eg x factor, american idol.

musicough- music performed in concert halls

musiclient - music written for dry functional events. eg british aerospace promotional videos.

amusic - pop music

musicall - unchallenging music that just wants to be loved by millions. eg andrew lloyd webber.

musicamen - music with a religious function

musicate - music that seeks only to replicate a genre.

musicart - music that tries not to be music.

musick - music used as a tool for oppression

musicash - music performed live while an audience doesn't listen

musicable - music played by musicians for the principle enjoyment of other musicians.

musicahh - music designed to calm the listener.

musicaling - music for the under 10's.

musicle - repitetive music serving a public function. eg big ben.

No comments: