This is a 10 minute piece of music for cello, banjo and (as the lead instrument) 150 voicemails, intended to be listened to on headphones.
It is a reflection on those relatively short moments - at a bus stop or in a waiting room – where we can steal a few minutes to reflect, let our minds wander, make up a tune, work something out.
Or we can check our electrical devices.
This piece is not simply a lament for the loss of contemplative, introspective space, but it is a reflection on how this new way of filling time has a different structure and, ultimately, a different meaning. Bill and I talked about how the content of experience changes the way we link one moment to another and this piece is a kind of embodiment of that discussion.
It is, in one way, an impression of ten minutes passing, at first alone and then in the company of one’s own and other people’s phones - with all the potential for banality, communication, love, surprise, and repetition this can bring. You can also read it as a metaphor for a whole life (or even a culture) getting itself entangled in a world rich with information.
Thanks to the dozens of people who allowed their voicemails to be used in this recording.
While You Wait podcasts
This is the first of a new series of podcasts launched today exploring the concept of waiting, with one of four ‘listening stations' - specially designed stations where people can listen to the podcasts - to be based at King’s Cultural Institute.
Each podcast is a different meditation on the idea of waiting and
from February they will be released on the last Monday of every month.
Featuring a range of artists and academics, the initiative, While You Wait, is
presented by King’s Cultural Institute, progressive theatre producers, Fuel,
The listening stations, designed by artist Barnaby Stone, will be touring the UK throughout the year. From today, King’s will have a listening post in the Entrance Hall at the Strand Campus, opposite the Great Hall, for three months. It will then move to other King’s campuses throughout the year.