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Matthew Herbert to discuss his album that’s a book at Edinburgh’s book festival

By | Published on Wednesday 15 August 2018

Matthew Herbert

Matthew Herbert will be at the Edinburgh International Book Festival later this week to talk about his latest album. But why do that at a book festival? Because his latest album is a book. No, not a book of sheet music. A book that describes what this new album sounds like. That album will never be recorded. It will only ever exist in this form. And in your brain.

The book album has been unleashed to celebrate Herbert’s own label Accidental reaching its 100th release. The official blurb describes the book thus: “Three years in the making, Matthew has written a description of his new record, an LP he has vowed to never record. Made without musical instruments, singing, or traditional musical notation, it is a user manual for the listener to create the sound world inside their head instead. Since no definitive version of the record exists, there are an infinite number of versions of the record”.

The official description for the book, which is called ‘The Music’, goes on: “There are no guitars, synths or lyrics described in ‘The Music’ – instead, maybe the sound of Samantha Cameron rubbing sun cream into David Cameron’s back on holiday in Ibiza, mixed in to the sound of 21,214 taxi drivers turning left at exactly the same time in Delhi, or mould growing in a fruit bowl in a recording studio in Dubai”.

Intrigued? Then you should get yourself to the Edinburgh International Book Festival on 17 Aug to hear more about it from the man himself. And while you’re there, why not check out more of the magnificent Edinburgh Festival? Our sister magazine ThreeWeeks Edinburgh is covering it all and has just published its Review Edition, available to pick up from all key festival venues around the Scottish capital.



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