last week i was at the recording at dean street studios of the track 4.33
it's a re-recording of the famous john cage piece which is four minutes
thirty-three seconds of silence.
the recording was by a group of artists and music industry people who
have called the project 'cage against the machine'
the hope is to make 4.33 become this year's xmas no.1
the website explains everything. please have a look. if you'd like to
help out some worthy causes and help keep the x-factor winner's song
away from the coveted xmas number 1 slot, then please buy the single.
( i believe there are also some remixes out there too )
i was there to document the day, so here's my report...
firstly, on the wall of the stairwell at dean street studios was painted a big golden
board. the idea was that everybody involved would sign it on their way in.
the first three to sign were three of the main organisers...
ronnie t, eddy temple morris and joe from the band 'ou est le swimming pool'
in the lounge area at the studios, joe and eddy checked their emails as more artists
confirmed that they would be participating
i had a look in the studio where the 4.33 would be performed
heaps of speakers for some reason
i liked that one of the sound engineers was setting up all the mics so the
silence could actually be recorded
top man austen
the mics looked very impressive
even if they weren't going to be used much today... or maybe recording silence
is just as hard work for mics and sound engineers ?
there was sheet music for the artists to follow
it was quite easy to remember the lyrics
here are john cage's notes on the piece
and this page shows that the 4.33 consists of three different parts
here's another view of the empty studio... this time with drums in place
here's the control room, with christian in the corner
making a sneaky call before the madness began
this is dick carruthers, the video director
i think this is my favourite photo of the day
and if you look closely the expression on dick's face as he flicks through the blank
sheets of the sheet music... it's like this is the moment he realised just how
genius this whole thing is... a load of people coming together for charity to
record 4.33 of silence and he was going to make a video of the whole thing.
he points out some details to christian
he makes some calls
he barks out some instructions to his crew
and in spite of all the pressure on him, he still finds time to laugh
he organised the whole shoot. pulled together the crew, made it all happen
and although it was the first time we'd met, he treated me like an old friend,
he gave me access to all areas and just left me to it.
here's eddy again, by all accounts he's a bit of a legend.
the first artist to arrive ( unfashionably early ) was mr hudson
it made for some nice pics, just mr hudson in an otherwise empty studio
i had a good old chat with him
mr hudson was far and away the nicest bloke i met all day.
at one point he came up to me and politely asked if i'd like a slice of sponge cake !
emailed in. yeah... mr hudson is a nice chap.
so... just before the rest of the recording artists turned up, we had a meeting.
here's christian ( who is also a video director )
i've no idea who this bloke is. but he looked cool. probably a singer.
no idea who this is either... but i liked her hair
the bloke on the left owns the record label which is putting out 4.33
maybe it's as well that my photos are in black and white...
he entered the spirit of silence by not speaking. he communicated by using
a series of cards with phrases printed on them.
i've no idea who this is i'm afraid but he seriously looked the part, as did his friend
on the left of the frame... they both had amazing tattoos
these two lads have a sneaky run through before recording started
once again, maybe i'm showing my age i don't who these people are
ok, this is during the recording
so is this
here's a view from my fisheye lens
they showed the artists who were phoning in their silence ( i kid you not )
they actually phoned up and were silent for 4.33
supposedly billy bragg was on his tour bus in scotland and made the whole bus
stay quiet !
it was madness
after the recording i grabbed a slice of pizza ( thanks domino )
and did a sneaky shot of sing, who is a friend of my friend g-film
on the way out i passed the name board
i should have signed it myself to be honest because after all, i'm on the recording,
or at least you can hear my cameras.