Monday, 1 July 2013

Matthew Herbert: The End of Silence

It is entirely possible that The End Of Silence is not music.

And under this reasoning, it is probable that this is not a review.

This is a war report.

Live from the centre of the conflict here in Libya, imagine the broadcaster, facing, talking to the camera, explaining the situation, and the forces both for Gadafi and opposed, and imagine the moment of horror caught on camera, imagine the shock and the surprise as a bomb is dropped from a pro-Gadafi aircraft.

And now imagine that same moment, imagine reliving it over and over again.

Imagine that you don't have to imagine.

Because the new project from Matthew Herbert is a sound sample of an attack in 2011, a simple 10 second clip repeated over and over in a unique fashion, it has been pulled apart, stretched, crunched, and who knows what else Herbert has done to it, but once he was finished, he turned it over to his four piece band who, somehow, 'play' that 10 second recorded by photographer Sebastian Meyer for 40 minutes.

The fact that more time must be spent explaining this release than can be spent actually reviewing it is part of The End Of Silence's subjective nature as a piece of art, for myself, I found the listening experience to be immersive and harrowing, as ambient sound plays out across three parts, each time building an atmospheric and entrancing groove, and each time I'm anticipating the bomb drop, anticipating the screech and the horror and the noise.

And then it's gone.

But the fact that it will be repeated, the fact that it could happen again at anytime, it means that this goes beyond music, it is art, it makes you feel, makes you feel fear, makes you wonder if this is what life in a war zone must feel like.

Not everyone will feel the same way, not everyone will like this.

And that is truly art.


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