Image: Matthew Herbert, Presto (a chapter extracted from The Music for Whitstable Biennale 2016)

Matthew Herbert
The Music

2018

Kent-based musician and composer Matthew Herbert is writing a book titled The Music, published by Unbound, in partnership with Whitstable Biennale.

For Herbert, inventions such as the microphone, the tape machine, the sampler and the computer, have created a formidable and profound revolution in music. Instead of making music with specifically designed instruments, we can now make music out of anything. Why use a violin when you can use a lawnmower? Why use a lawnmower when you can use the explosion of a bomb in Libya? This fundamentally changes the basic structures and assumptions of music as we move (painfully slowly) from a form of impression to a form of documentary.

Herbert describes the book as his next record, and a kind of manifesto for sound that makes this shift explicit. There will be no musical instruments or lyrics. Instead, you may read about the sound of 21,000 taxi drivers turning off their engines at exactly the same time, mixed in with the sound of a lemon being squeezed. It aims to challenge how we think about music, and sound, and how we hear the world. This is not writing ‘about’ music, this is text as music, and conveys new ways to think deeply about music.

Whitstable Biennale published a chapter of the book focusing on food to coincide with a special dinner held at our 2016 festival.

The book will be published in 2018 with a launch. Details of the event to follow.

Hear What You Eat

Matthew Herbert