Before any explanation, perhaps you should listen. This is what some British listeners will hear as they tune into what they think will just be everyday national radio programming. Suffice to say, something will sound a bit off:
Artist Christian Marclay is the person responsible for the work, the first of five such commissions in sound art for the widely-heard UK broadcaster BBC Radio 4. (He joins Ruth Ewan, Mark Wallinger, Susan Hiller, and Peter Strickland. More information on Radio 4’s blog.)
This is the sort of commission that invites bold experimentation: working with London-based art platform Artangel, a GBP 1 million fund brings about new work under the name “Open,” and in this case simply gives artists three minutes of airtime. It’s a “blank canvas” – do with sound what you’d want.
And I think it’s worth noting that even in the Internet age, radio endures – and can be a place where artists may still toy with expectations, surprise, delight, or confound. The individual techniques of sound collage have gone unchanged for decades, but context and content are everything; with those techniques, you can still find something to say.
Thanks to Jim Warrier for sending this in; if you were a UK listener who had this pop out at you this morning, let us know.