Matthew Herbert's Next Album Is a Book with No Music

BY Josiah HughesPublished Aug 12, 2015

Whether you find him audacious, pretentious or (perhaps most accurately) a little bit of both, there's no denying that Matthew Herbert knows how to come up with weird musical projects. In recent years he's used war sounds and the life and death of a pig as just some of his inspiration, but his next project will push his fans even further by not containing any audio whatsoever.

Though it's called The Music, the upcoming album will not include any sound. Instead, it'll be a book that describes what the album should sound like.

"Each chapter will describe in precise detail what sounds to use, how they should be organised and occasionally an approximation of what the net result should sound like," Herbert said in an announcement. "Crucially it must be able to be recorded for real given enough time, access and resources. However, I will never make the record. It will always just be a description of the music itself."

Herbert also said that the book will explore the way music production has changed over the last century. "I would like this book then to be a kind of manifesto for sound that makes this shift explicit.... In that way there will be no musical instruments or lyrics described in the piece. Instead, we may read about the sound of Samantha Cameron rubbing suncream into David Cameron's back on holiday in Ibiza, mixed in to the sound of 21,000 taxi drivers turning off their engines at exactly the same time. It hopes to challenge how we think about music, sound and of course, how we hear the world itself."

If you're excited to hear read Matthew Herbert's new album, you can will it into existence with a crowdfunding campaign here.

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