Damon Albarn’s BBC Composition Was a Bit Weird, Wasn’t It?

Albarn's special broadcast left many scratching their heads.

Paul Tamburroby Paul Tamburro

Last night Damon Albarn's special composition, titled '2LO Calling' after the transmitter used in the first BBC Radio broadcast, made history by airing simultaneously across all BBC Radio stations, the first scheduled simultaneous BBC Radio broadcast since 1922, when the BBC was first established. 

The composition, aired to a potential worldwide audience of 120 million, was never intended to be the kind of music that would make its way onto the iPods of the nation, but the end result was admittedly far more eccentric than even long-time followers of Albarn would have expected.

Beginning with the chimes of Big Ben, the composition was obviously intended to be a three-minute summary of BBC Radio's 90-year existence (an ambitious task, even for the man who created history's only credible cartoon band), but instead came across as yet another reason for foreign viewers of the London Olympic opening ceremony to think of Britain as a wacky little island inhabited by people who exist in a perpetual Monty Python sketch.

Featuring, among other things, the Bertrand Russell quote "love is wise, hatred is foolish" in Morse Code (because why not?) and children explaining their idea of the future ("In 90 years time we'll be living on Mars, so we don't, like, die from the Sun coming into us or something"), 2LO Calling then concludes with the iconic BBC pips.

Speaking to the BBC, Albarn said: "There is a special musicality to some of the vocal messages, which I tried to preserve. Added to that, I got to do what I've always wanted – to play along with the pips."

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