Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Jonty Semper : The One Minute Silence From The Funeral Of Diana, Princess Of Wales

The first of two releases in Jonty Semper's Kenotaphion project, this clear vinyl seven-inch (Locus +/ Charrm; matrix numbers : DFI 08/01; 06 09 97 - 1) is a field recording of the commemorative one-minute silence recorded on 6th September 1997 during the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales in Hyde Park, where people watched BBC Television's live coverage of the ceremony on a large screen.
For the second part of Kenotaphion, Semper researched, located, and finally assembled a double CD (KENO1) of all the existing newsreel and broadcast archive recordings of the Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday silences from the Cenotaph in Whitehall, dating back to 1929.
Though the notion of broadcasting silence might appear a strange one initially, commemorative public "silences" are not at all devoid of interest : there is plenty of ambient sound to focus upon; plus, on the recordings from the Cenotaph, Big Ben can be heard striking eleven.

Link to essay on silences at public remembrances : http://www.locusplus.org.uk/sempess.html
The Guardian : http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2001/nov/09/maevkennedy

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