School of Noise: 10 pieces of music you should listen to

School of Noise

Run by a collective of musicians, sound artists and noise enthusiasts the SCHOOL of NOISE intends to help make experimental music increasingly accessible. Here, they choose 10 pieces of music that inspire and inform what they do.

1. Langley Schools Music Project – Innocence & Dispair
Music teacher Hans Fenger’s project that inspired the film School of Rock. Back in 1976 the schoolchildren of Langley recorded and released an album of pop hits of the day including the Beach Boys and David Bowie. A great example proving that children don’t only have to perform ‘children’s music’.

2. BBC Radiophonic Workshop – The Learning Hall (from Doctor Who: The Krotons)
We could have chosen any of these early pre-synthesiser Radiophonic Workshop pieces. The geniuses of tape.

3. Matthew Herbert – An Apple a Day
This piece is from the album Plat Du Jour where all of the sounds used are from items found in and related to the food chain. An Apple a Day is composed using the sound of over 3500 people biting an apple. We have used this piece during our Minute of Listening at the start of our workshops.

4. Björk – Where is the Line (from Medulla)
Music made entirely from vocal samples without sounding like Synthesizer Patel from ‘Look Around You’

5. Matthew Shaw – Metherell
Drones, piano and field recordings combine to form a magical piece of music from sound artist and musician Matthew Shaw

6. Four Tet – Rounds (LP)
A DIY bedroom album made almost entirely from hundreds of heavily processed samples to create some amazing music.

7. Faust – The Faust Tapes (LP)
A cut and splice masterpiece from 1970s Germany.

8. Cosmic Jokers – Planeten Sit-In (LP)
The Cosmic Jokers albums were all created from one long set of music sessions, spliced and edited after the case and released without the knowledge of the musicians involved.

9. F. C. Judd – China Bowl
A piece created from manipulating the sounds of a bowl. It shows how the sound of an everyday object can be sculpted and edited to create music which sounds far removed from its origin.

10. John Cage – 4’33”
This list would feel incomplete without reference to Cage’s seminal ‘silent’ piece of music. It is a powerful piece that encourages us to listen. It links into acoustic ecology and thinking about sounds and what they might mean.
“Wherever we are, what we hear is mostly noise. When we ignore it, it disturbs us. When we listen to it, we find it fascinating” – John Cage

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