The Switch

from The Last Things by John Harvey

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As a child, I derived an illicit pleasure from the crackle and spark of an arcing light switch as it was toggled off and on rapidly. The two-note, down and up, alternation of the musical motif, along with the playful refrain, honours the memory of that experience. The piece also reflects an interest that I had in simple composition and the repetition of small sound modules over a short span of time.


from The Last Things, released April 23, 2012
Personnel: John Harvey.

Instrumentation: Columbus semi-hollow electric guitar, Akai 4000DB Mk II reel-to-reel tape recorder, and Sanyo Cassette Tape Recorder MR-410 adapted to play tape loops.

Context: Recorded in Abertillery, UK in June 1977. Remastered in Aberystwyth, UK in March 2012.


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John Harvey Ceredigion, UK

Harvey is a historian of art, visual culture, and sound art, and also a sound- and visual-art practitioner. His research field is the visual and sonic culture of religion, principally. He explores non-iconic attitudes to visualization and sonic articulations of religion by engaging visual, textual, and audible sources, theological and cultural ideas, and systemic and audiovisualogical processes. ... more

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