One Pig is the story of a single, anonymous farm animal's journey from birth to plate. The album is an elegy to a life lived for the benefit of humans and raises complex questions about our relationship to these often-maligned and misunderstood creatures. I think this a brilliantly creative and conceptual way to get people thinking about the impact that our taste for meat is having not only on the animals but the environment. I decided to read a review of the album to gain further understanding.
“Sonic prankster Matthew Herbert makes rigorous, sample-based music that deals with serious issues in a somewhat didactic manner; one jape involveddriving a tank over the replication of a dinner Nigella Lawson cooked for Tony Blair and George W Bush. He describes One Pig – an album that documents a pig's 20-week life, from birth to slaughter to plate – as a critical look at the meat industry. But Herbert ends up with something rather more ambiguous.
His quintet, wearing white butcher's coats, turn his farmyard recordings into sophisticated electronica. The percussionist's drum, in a nice touch, is topped by the pig's skin; centre stage, Yann Seznec activates samples by tugging the walls of his own invented instrument, the StyHarp – a small pigpen, made of red wires connected to sound modules.
Yet, for all Herbert's political aims, he can't help but make the pig's death sonically appealing. The animal's life is represented by slightly aimless ambient pieces, constructed from shuffling hay and oinks, but its slaughter (which, for legal reasons, Herbert couldn't record) brings the project to life. Clanking industrial beats are constructed from butcher's knives and hacksaws. Dripping blood is sampled and turned into a compelling bassline. A chef appears, and cooks pork: the amplified sizzle becomes the backdrop for a pulsating dub track.
Herbert closes the show with a hymn-like lament to the pig, singing like a choirboy, but he's upstaged by the fug of cooked meat that overwhelms the hall. Judging by the dozens of punters who queue up to sample the fried pigtails Herbert offers at the end of the show, a spectacle that is supposed to repel us has also made a lot of people hungry.”
This highly experimental project has really got me thinking about various ways that I could communicate the messages of my campaign for this brief. I don't necessarily have to produce pure 'graphic' outcomes, I could experiment with sound, audio and visuals to add an extra dimension to my work, appealing to wider audiences and giving the message a unique edge. I could make moving images, animations, art films anything that communicates the underlying message in an interactive way.