Silence, please, for the strangest CD of the year

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The Independent Online

Take your left forefinger. Place it in your left ear. Take your right forefinger. Place it in your right ear. Now listen. That, you should know, could well be one of the new century's most significant art forms. Yes, indeed. Silence!

Take your left forefinger. Place it in your left ear. Take your right forefinger. Place it in your right ear. Now listen. That, you should know, could well be one of the new century's most significant art forms. Yes, indeed. Silence!

No, no, quiet, please, think about it. Silence is a thing of beauty, but also a thing of increasing rarity. Even the Tremeloes knew that it was golden.

And now, after more than five years spent in sound archives, Jonty Semper, fine art graduate and conceptual artist, has completed a double album, Kenotaphion (from the Greek meaning "empty tomb") comprising all the surviving recordings of the two minute silences at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Day.

The CD is intended as a companion piece to his recording of the one-minute silence at the funeral of Princess Diana.

Expect, on past form, critical approval: one writer, famously, found much to commend on the side of a John Lennon and Yoko Ono album which had been sent to him, in error, with nothing on it. And then there is John Cage's acclaimed "4' 33'', a silence of that duration. A performance of Cage's "As Slow As Possible", a 20-minute piano piece, has just begun in Germany and will finish in 2640. Very big on the quiet.

So. Stand by for The Wit of Harpo Marx, Lord Archer Gives Evidence, My Mistakes by Lady Thatcher, and the special K-tel compilation, Pinter: The Greatest Pauses. Or just put your fingers in your ears.

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