Five reasons to check out Matthew Herbert’s ‘One Pig’

The sound experiment documents the birth, life and death of a pig

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Five reasons to check out Matthew Herbert’s ‘One Pig’

1 Not many gigs document the birth, life and death of a pig ‘The whole show is about remembering this life that existed and then passed. All of us are playing pig samples. Our drummer’s playing a drum made from the skin of the pig. We’ve also got a chef on stage. It’s a multi-sensory experience.’

2 Two words: musical pigsty ‘It was built by Yann Seznec, a sound artist based in Scotland. Effectively, it’s a giant midi controller that we use to trigger samples, add reverb, make loops.’

3 It’ll give you food for thought (about food) ‘I’ve had emails from people saying they’re going to stop eating meat, and from a vegetarian of 27 years saying, “I really enjoyed the show. I’ve started eating meat again.” The message isn’t “don’t eat meat”. The message is that we should listen to the world more.’

4 Herbert wants you for your body, not just your brain ‘I make functional dance music and try and sneak some ideas in there. I make challenging music and give the body a way to respond. It’s really hard to make a pig sound like a piano, so you end up gravitating towards rhythm.’

5 As director of the new BBC Radiophonic Workshop, Herbert will soundtrack your future ‘The original Radiophonic Workshop tried to imagine what the future sounded like. My contention is that we’re in the future now. There are some big questions to be answered before we even think about what we’re going to do. It has a very different remit now.’

Tramway, Glasgow, Sat 3 Nov; Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, Thu 8 Nov, and touring.

ONE PIG, by Matthew Herbert - the story behind the album

Matthew Herbert: One Pig

Never one to pander to convention, Matthew Herbert takes musical innovation to extreme levels with this sound experience built entirely around the noises made by the titular animal. The live show consists of music made from samples recorded during the pig's life, as well as featuring an 'interactive musical pig sty' and a…

soundconversation: Matthew Herbert

Matthew Herbert talks about One Pig, his audio-biography of a pig. Part of sound.

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