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Photay - On Hold. LP [USA IMPORT]

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Photay - On Hold. LP [USA IMPORT]


Originally released as a digital only download on Bandcamp in March 2020 to raise funds for New York City Food Bank at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, On Hold is a series of 10 pieces derived entirely from call waiting music. Recorded through the phone and manipulated to achieve a wider enveloping soundscape to both ease and inspire, to be placed on hold is to lose a sense of power and control. To become forcefully idle until silence is broken by an unknown voice at the other end of a seemingly infinite telecommunication system.


Photay on the project:


"Initially I was inspired by a friend’s phone call when they were placed on hold for an hour while attempting to report credit card fraud. Unlike most call waiting music, the infinite looping flute was slightly more intriguing, probably as a result of its narrow fidelity. I jumped in, recording and manipulating 30 minutes of that frustrating idle time. From this moment onward, I recorded every moment I was placed on hold and each call would yield a new song. I told various friends about this strange new activity and soon enough my cousin was passing me numbers: “this bike shop has the BEST on hold music” or “I was just on hold with my insurance, you should definitely call them". Aside from actual phone calls to the doctor or customer service, I began calling numbers with one purpose — to be placed on hold. The request was strange and although receptionists laughed, they agreed to lend their holding services. I was on my way, reverberating and chopping up the lowest fidelity audio around.


Unlike most of my other projects, these pieces were completed in one sitting. Every track conceived after each phone call, often in the space of 20 minutes in the middle of a busy day. I am surprised by the amount of peace yielded from such an aggravating scenario. The process gave me a newfound appreciation for the mundane. There is infinite depth and magic in everything around us."



1. Prelude in MHz

2. Peace in the Era of Telecommunication

3. Please Hold

4. Traversing Frequency Bands

5. Holding Pattern

6. The Strength of Our Signals

7. Roaming

8. How May I Help You?

9. Peak Bandwidth

10. Hold On

11. March 10th, 1876

12. Peace in Perpetuity

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