Simon Whetham
Prayers Unheard

In February 2010, Simon Whetham was invited to perform at Audio Art in Krakow by Marek Choloniewsky, for which he proposed visiting the city for three or four days prior to the performance in order to record the sounds of the place, to compose a site specific piece for the event.

Whetham stayed in the Kazimierz area of Krakow, the old Jewish area that during the Second World War became a ghetto through Nazi persecution. Walking the streets, he felt a certain sadness and longing that was almost tangible. The buildings, the very fabric of the city there, had to bear witness to the atrocities of that time. The walls still stand, unable to impart their testament to the horrors committed – the roads that bore tanks and trucks that took hordes of innocents to nearby Auschwitz unable to show us the despair of families torn apart…

The Jewish people of Krakow believed their God would save them, and yet they still suffered terribly at the hands of the Nazis. Their prayers, along with the sounds of pain and suffering, have long since died away, unheard. But perhaps the stone and metal of the city retains some echo, some imprint from that time…


February 2, 2011

Simon Whetham crée une histoire et invite l’auditeur dans son monde, plutôt doux, parfois inquiétant, hanté, voire un peu brutal quand se font entendre de brusques glissements et claquements métalliques que l’on imagine être les portes de hangars. Part Third (The Chamber) constitue une parfaite conclusion à l’album, comme une accalmie composée de souffles, une approche plus linéaire qui prend son envol final sur des boucles de cordes, abandonnant la ville avec une légère note d’espoir.