Wednesday, 4 August 2010

The sound of silence

As I think I've mentioned before, I think, one of the stranger websites I run is a sort of karaoke hymns site. The idea is that there are decreasingly few organists out there, so this site provides CDs of an top flight organist playing the accompaniments to hymns (also some excellent solo voluntaries), which can be used to sing along to. It's not as good as the real thing, but it's better than not having an accompaniment, and they are quite popular.

There are just three tracks that aren't keyboard music. This is because we have a Remembrance CD, which apart from appropriate hymn accompaniments includes various national anthems plus the Last Post and Reveille on trumpet. These two tracks feature frequently in remembrance services and military events. The third track, though is something particularly special. This is our very own postmodernist track. It's 1 minute 52 seconds of silence. No, really, a CD track (also available as MP3) that is just silence.

However, unlike a certain 'serious' piece of music that is just silence, this one has a point. Each track has about 2 seconds silence at the end and beginning, plus there are 2 second gaps between tracks. So stick this 1 minute 52 second track between the Last Post and the Reveille and you've got an automated 2 minute silence, without needing to time it.

It was quite amusing recently when someone bought the track as an MP3 - in the end I had to let him off the payment. I really can't justify charging for silence.

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