I was delighted when my cousin, the sculptor Anish Kapoor was intrigued by my suggestion that we collaborate on a music-box project and agreed to do so. We were both drawn by the intimate scale that the idea of music boxes implied, and after much discussion, we decided that the project should be a collection of “boxes” to be produced in a limited edition. Some two years later, Anish invited me to his studio and I was totally enchanted by the several models he had produced. The designs were magical, and immediately evoked for me a world of gentle sounds and dreams. Five sculptures were finally selected The music for each sculpture (written in 1993) was composed so that it could be played separately or in any combination with the others in the set. The first sets of the limited edition were produced in 1994/95.
The clockwork mechanisms are contained within the sculptures and are wound in the usual manner. Some of the mechanisms play for 14 seconds and others for 28 seconds, while the large ‘bell’ strikes once every 9 seconds. Like all clockwork mechanisms, they play for a much longer time if left to wind down completely. These different speeds and starting points make for a constantly changing sound and consequently, no combined ‘performance’ is ever repeated.
Echo was also used to make a short film for BBC2’s Dance for Camera series, in a work choreographed by Mark Baldwin and directed by Ross MacGibbon.
The recorded complete ‘performance’ of Echo used tonight was made by Mike Clements at Floating Earth’s studios.
– Brian Elias 12th January 2004