Jonty Semper: concert

Jonty Semper is a British conceptual artist who released a single of the silence marking the funeral of Princess Diana. Semper spent four years making Kenotaphion. The earliest surviving recording is from a British Movie-tone newsreel of 1929, the last is 2000. The remembrance ceremony was invented by a government committee in 1919 to commemorate the first anniversary of Armistice Day and the two minute silence was suggested by Sir Percy Fitzpatrick, former high commissioner of South Africa. The entire country came to a standstill on the 11th hour of the 11th day, with trams and trains stopping, telephone exchanges cut off, and factory machinery shut down.Semper scoured archives to find the recordings. There are none for some years, including 1941 to 1944, when the ceremony was suspended. For some of the earliest newsreel he had to splice fragments together, looking frame by frame to see when the crowds doffed their hats. The variable sound quality of the recordings has not been evened out, so Big Ben sounds faint in some years, deafening in others. In 1932, somebody near the microphone was coughing miserably; in 1969, there were protesters yelling in the background; in 1982, there was torrential rain; and in 1988, a baby cried.CD: Kentaphion by Jony Semper. Release November 11 2001 by Locus+ Archival recordings of Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday 2 minute silences recorded at The Cenotaph, Whitehall (London, United Kingdom).Archive recordings reproduced under license from BBC TV, BBC Radio, British Movietone, ITN Reuters.Jonty Semper, 200