The End of Silence: Life stripped bare until just sound remains


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The Independent Culture

Two years ago, the photojournalist Sebastian Meyer emailed a recording of a bomb being dropped on the Libyan city of Ras Lanuf to the electronic music pioneer Matthew Herbert. Herbert subsequently deconstructed and reassembled the recording for The End of Silence, a stark and disturbing album that bridges the gap between music and conceptual art.

“I wanted to make a record with one noise,” Herbert explains. “It's like putting the world on pause and trying to make sense of this one sound.”

In 2001 Herbert released Bodily Functions, an album containing samples from sounds made by the human body; 10 years later he made an LP based on the lifecycle of a pig. Last year he became the creative director of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, the sound-effects lab founded in 1958, while later this month he will debut The Hush, a part-play, part-installation about the emotions and politics of sound.

'The End of Silence' is out now on Accidental. 'The Hush', The Shed, London SE1 ( 17 July to 3 August