SHOULD you like your music to have unconventional roots then this weekend offers a groaning smorgasbord of the weird and potentially wonderful. At pole position in the road less travelled chart is Matthew Herbert’s One Pig, which is being performed this evening at Glasgow’s Tramway and tomorrow at Dundee Rep.
For One Pig, esoteric musician Herbert recorded all the sounds generated by a farmed pig’s 20-week journey from birth to plate. From its first squeals to the sizzle of bacon being cooked on stage via the dripping of the pig’s blood after slaughter, the piece documents the pig’s life and death, turning all the associated sounds into music. While audiences may be repelled at the more visceral passages, this has not stopped them queuing afterwards to eat the stage-fried bacon.
As you might expect, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals hate the concept and call it “cruelty as entertainment”. Herbert argues that, rather like PETA, his aim was to give the pig a voice. One can’t imagine that the two sides will be swapping Christmas cards any time soon but, look beyond the immediate absurdity of porcine music (Top of the Chops, anyone?), and One Pig does what art is supposed to – asks the big questions. In this case, those questions regard our relationship with animals bred for consumption.
Perhaps just as unconventional will be tomorrow’s performance of Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy at Edinburgh Playhouse as the Royal Scottish National Orchestra performs music from the computer game. Some fans are prepared to pay £135 for a VIP meet and greet with composer Masashi Hamauzu after the gig. No more hard to fathom, perhaps, than meeting a composer of film or musical scores, but still not an easy one to understand for those of us who were never really bitten by the computer gaming bug.
Finally, eccentric dub and reggae superstar Lee “Scratch” Perry plays the O2 ABC in Glasgow tonight. He is a sprightly 76. See him now.