When it comes to Brooklyn band Fiery Furnaces, you can expect the unexpected. Known for their experimental approach to writing and recording music, the brother-sister duo have previously put out an album with their grandmother on “lead vocals: (2005’s Rehearsing My Choir) and multiple versions of their latest album, I’m Going Away, including two completely re-imagined “self-cover” versions.
Now, they’ve actually topped themselves, announcing that their upcoming LP, Silent Record, will only be available in a sheet music version. If you want to hear the tunes, you’ll have to play them yourselves.
Forget CDs, MP3s, FLAC and other lossless audio files — sheet music may be the purest music format of all!
Siblings Matthew and Eleanor Friedberger released the following statement on their website, in which they explain the motives behind Silent Record, and invite their fans to perform it at their upcoming live shows:
“Because file-sharing, or downloading, or whatever, has notoriously, or supposedly, made the production of the conventional ‘with-audio’ record obsolete, the Fiery Furnaces will release a Silent Record. As has previously been mentioned.
The Fiery Furnaces’ next album will consist of instruction, conventional music notation, graphic music notation, reports and illustrations of previous hypothetical performances, reports and illustrations of hypothetical performances previous to the formation of their hypotheses, guidelines for the fabrication of semi-automatic machine rock, memoranda to the nonexistent Central Committee of the Fiery-Furnaces-in-Exile concerning the non-creation of situations, Relevant to Progressive Rock Division, conceptual constellations on a so-to-speak black cloth firmament, and other items that have nothing to do with the price of eggs, or milk, or whatever the proverbial expression ceased to be.
In other words, a Silent Record. You will note that there have been countless Anticipatory Plagiarisms of this endeavor. For instance, more than a millennium of sheet music. We hope to have learned from their numerous mistakes.
Upon release of the record, the band will organize a series of Fan-Band concerts, in which groups of perfectly ordinary Fiery Furnaces’ fans will perform, interpret, contradict, ignore, and so on, the compositions that make up Silent Record. Write to email@example.com to nominate your post office break room, truck stop parking lot, municipal arts center, local tavern, or what-its-name to host one of these ‘happenings’. By ‘happenings’ I mean, what will be in the future, perfectly normal rock shows. And propose yourself for Fan Band participation.
No experience necessary.”