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October 7th, 2009

The Monotone Symphony by Yves Klein


Yves Klein – The Monotone Symphony (1960) (3 minute excerpt)

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“During this period of concentration, I created, around 1947–1948, a “monotone” symphony whose theme expresses what I wished my life to be.This symphony of forty minutes duration (although that is of no importance, as one will see) consisted of one unique continuous “sound,” drawn out and deprived of its beginning and of its end, creating a feeling of vertigo and of aspiration outside of time. Thus, even in its presence, this symphony does not exist. It exists outside of the phenomenology of time because it is neither born nor will it die. However, in the world of our possibilities of conscious perception, it is silence – audible presence.” – Yves Klein

Klein later remarked, “My old Monotone Symphony of 1949, which was performed under my direction, by a small orchestra on March 9, 1960, was destined to create an “after-silence” after all sounds had ended in each of us who were present at that manifestation.Silence … This is really my symphony and not the sounds during its performance. This silence is so marvelous because it grants “happenstance” and even sometimes the possibility of true happiness, if only for only a moment, for a moment whose duration is immeasurable.”

Watch a clip of the performance here

I could listen to this for hours…beautiful and so far ahead of its time. Expect it to make an appearance on the autumn mixtape I’m been compiling for the last few weeks…



  1. Fabulous

    Comment by Tom$ — October 7, 2009 @ 2:11 pm
  2. Is there anywhere I can buy or download the full audio?

    Comment by Dustin — October 9, 2009 @ 4:10 pm
  3. Yes, indeed. Why there’s only 3 minutes of it? Where is the rest of this wonder? The only record on LP seems to be buried in the collectors’ chests.

    Comment by andre — August 15, 2010 @ 7:23 pm
  4. I’ve searched all over for it and Andre is right, the only official release of it was in the 60’s on an extremely limited LP issuing. I’d love to hear the full version, but after extensive searching it seems someone just needs to get lucky and find a copy which will hopefully find its way online eventually.

    Comment by Lawrence — March 28, 2011 @ 7:30 pm
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