Participate in Bill Drummond’s The17 + Read more on the project

August 25, 2011


“All recorded music has run its course.
It has all been consumed, traded, downloaded,
Understood, heard before, sampled, learned,
Revived, judged and found wanting.
Dispense with all previous forms of music and
Music-making and start again.
Year zero now.”

We’re extremely honored to have Bill Drummond taking part in the DIY Conference program. On September 16, Drummond will give a lecture as well as perform his latest work The17. Titled ‘The Incubate 17’ for the occasion, Bill Drummond will perform the piece at the conference with all the visitors attending his speech. It’s a unique possibility to become part of one of his works.

The17 is a reaction to pre-recorded music, where an ad hoc choir performs one of Drummond’s works. The Independent has some more background on the project and tells about its origins based on extracts from Drummond’s book called ‘17’:

“That evening while doing my emails, the dread began to grip me again. I began to feel that every piece of recorded music that had ever existed was behind the screen of the iMac taunting me. Each with the face of an evil little sprite. “Bill, Bill, we are here, don’t you want us? We will make you happy. Just click your mouse a few times and I’ll be on your hard drive in no time at all, enriching your life in so many ways.”

“But somehow it was the fact that – in theory at least – I could be listening to any piece of music that has ever been recorded within 60 seconds with just a few clicks of the mouse, that is any piece of music from the entire 110 years of recorded music history, left me with an empty feeling.“

“If I ever tried to nail the sound that The17 made in my imagination, it was a sprawling kind of thing. There were big loud bits and long soft quiet bits. And there didn’t seem to be any words, or at least not words that I could hear. No nice melodies or fancy chords and definitely no instruments. There was something uncontrollable about it. With the music of The17, nothing would ever get resolved. There’d be lots of overtones and strange harmonics at times almost bordering on the out of tune. They would make a sound that came right from the heart of the collective human subconscious. I got that pretentious. But I didn’t care.”

Read the whole entry here. And remember, you’re able to take part in Drummond’s The17 as well. He gave us some instructions for the performance:

“Everybody in the room will become part of The17. There will be no onlookers and no opting out. Once we start, no one will be allowed to leave the room or enter the room. No filming, photographing or recording.”

We truly can’t wait for this to happen. Make sure you’re part of this one-off opportunity; get your Pay What You Want-ticket for the conference here. You can check out the rest of the program of the DIY Conference here.


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