Alarm clocks

Very often I have ideas which I at first dismiss as possible pieces, but which I find myself thinking about again and again and wanting to carry out “in my own time” and away from others’ judgement. This year, I decided I would unapologetically embrace these ideas instead of dismissing them, and work on them to develop them to their fullest potential. I am very excited about my decision.

The humming piece I am currently working on was one of these initially dismissed ideas, and so is another piece I plan to create, which involves alarm clocks.

Basically, I would like to compose a continuous 24-hour repeating piece using a multitude of alarm clocks of different types and sizes. These will be non digital, as I would like to explore the ticking as part of the emitted sounds, and either wind-up or battery-operated (this is merely because I don’t want to have trailing cables, but with non-mains-connected clocks I could also explore what happens if I let the batteries/winding run out).
To this end, I have started purchasing and collecting second-hand and job lot alarm clocks. I hope to build quite a collection…

Here are some sources of inspiration which I will be looking at further:

Poème Symphonique for 100 metronomes – (1962) by György Ligeti [sorry, cannot embed Ubuweb video files, but do please click on the link]

Christian Marclay’s The Clock, which I went to see when it was playing at White Cube, earlier this year:

[Please ignore the truly awful voiceover. Why do people on TV always treat their audience as if they were little children?]

Here is a great interview with Marclay conducted by the Economist as the artist was putting the finishing touches (or rather, the finishing edits) to his 24-hour piece.


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