Infobox Album
Name = Incoherence
Type = Studio album
Artist = Peter Hammill

Released = March 2004
Recorded = Mar - Dec 2003
Genre = Art rock
Length = 41:39
Label = Fie!
Producer = Peter Hammill
Reviews =
*Allmusic Rating|4|5 [ link]
Last album = "Clutch" (2002)
This album = "Incoherence" (2004)
Next album = "Veracious" (2006)

"Incoherence" is an album by Peter Hammill, released on his Fie! label in March 2004. "Incoherence" is a concept album about language, containing 14 tracks with soft transitions between them. The album was produced and played by Hammill himself, with contributions from Stuart Gordon on violin and David Jackson on flute and saxes. "Incoherence" is recognized by critics as ambitious and one of Hammill's major works.

Production and instrumentation

"Incoherence" is Hammill's fourth (either with Van der Graaf Generator or solo) long piece of music with continuous transitions between sections which can be identified as single songs. At 41 minutes, however, it is twice as long as the earlier examples, "A Plague of Lighthouse-Keepers" (1971 with Van der Graaf Generator), "Flight" (1980) and "A Headlong Stretch" (1994).

Musically, the 14 sections vary widely from calm, harmonic songs to difficult and highly demanding sections, tied together by Hammill’s unusual voice, a focus on keyboards and the concept of the album: language.

"Incoherence" was produced in Hammill's studio Terra Incognita in Wiltshire between March and September 2003. Hammill completed the mixing of the album just two days before he suffered a heart attack in December, 2003.

The instrumentation of "Incoherence" is complex and symphonic, but never overdone and leaving some rather simple musical structures, mainly in the beginning and the end. Beneath keyboards in classical as well as in processed forms, Hammill used guitars, backing vocals and some overdubs by the violins of Stuart Gordon and the saxophones of David Jackson. This kind of instrumentation was Hammill’s main form of producing since the 1990s, but this time with an even higher level of complexity and without the use of drums.


In "Incoherence" Hammill discusses the contradictions and shortcomings of language, given that "our capacities for communication and comprehension define us both socially and personally". In multi-levelled ways the words of this album describe the "incoherent" use and the impossibilities of words. It has been argued that Peter Hammill referenced the infamous Iraq speech of Tony Blair. Hasted, Nick, Heart Attack Music, The Independent on Sunday, June 27, 2004.]


The cover, designed by Paul Ridout, shows corroded and burnt surfaces with lines of text. Folded out, the booklet contains a tower built with the lines of the songs of "Incoherence", a reference to the Tower of Babel.


Critics received "Incoherence" favourably, speaking of a "major work, challenging pop's conventional limits yet again" (The Independent), being "Hammill's most ambitious undertaking since 'Flight', and representing a high mark in the man's artistic creativity" (Allmusic)cite web | url = | title = Incoherence Overview | author = François Couture | publisher = All Media Guide, LLC | accessdate = December 28 | accessyear = 2007] . However, it was pointed out that Incoherence "demands absorption throughout time and repeated listens" (Maelstrom)cite web | url = | title = Album Review Hammill, Peter - Incoherence | author = Avi Shaked | publisher = Maelstrom Zine | accessdate = December 29 | accessyear = 2007] .

Track listing

All songs written by Peter Hammill.
#"When Language Corrodes" – 2:46
#"Babel" – 4:36
#"Logodaedalus" – 2:18
#"Like Perfume" – 1:32
#"Your Word" – 1:09
#"Always & A Day" – 2:08
#"Cretans Always Lie" – 3:25
#"All Greek" – 4:14
#"Call That A Conversation?" – 3:13
#"The Meanings Changed" – 1:57
#"Converse" – 2:09
#"Gone Ahead" – 5:39
#"Power Of Speech" – 2:41
#"If Language Explodes" – 3:46


All tracks are played and sung by Peter Hammill with contributions by Stuart Gordon (violins) and David Jackson (saxes, flutes).


External links

* [ Peter Hammill's comments on the album]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • incohérence — [ ɛ̃kɔerɑ̃s ] n. f. • 1700; angl. incoherence (1611), du fr. cohérence 1 ♦ Caractère de ce qui est incohérent; manque de lien logique, d unité (dans les propos, les idées, les actes). ⇒ désordre. « L incohérence d un discours dépend de celui qui… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Incoherence — In co*her ence, Incoherency In co*her en*cy, n. [Cf. F. incoh[ e]rence.] [1913 Webster] 1. The quality or state of being incoherent; lack of coherence; lack of cohesion or adherence. Boyle. [1913 Webster] 2. Lack of connection; incongruity;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • incoherence — I noun absence of meaning, chaos, disconnection, discontinuity, disjunction, disorder, illegibility, imperspicuity, inapprehensibility, incomprehensibility, lack of clarity, meaninglessness, randomness, ranting, raving, unclearness,… …   Law dictionary

  • incoherence — (n.) 1610s, formed from IN (Cf. in ) (1) not + COHERENCE (Cf. coherence) on model of It. incoerenza …   Etymology dictionary

  • incoherence — n. pl. incoherencies [in΄kō hir′əns; ] also [, in΄kōher′əns] n. 1. lack of coherence; the quality or state of being incoherent 2. incoherent speech, thought, etc.: Also incoherency n. incoherencies …   English World dictionary

  • incohérence — (in ko é ran s ) s. f. 1°   Qualité de ce qui est incohérent. L incohérence des parties de l eau. 2°   Fig. Défaut de ce qui est incohérent, en parlant des idées, des paroles. L incohérence de ses idées, de ses paroles annonce le trouble, le… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • Incoherence — (Roget s Thesaurus) >Want of adhesion, nonadhesion, immiscibility. < N PARAG:Incoherence >N GRP: N 1 Sgm: N 1 nonadhesion nonadhesion Sgm: N 1 immiscibility immiscibility Sgm: N 1 incoherence incoherence Sgm: N 1 looseness looseness &c.… …   English dictionary for students

  • INCOHÉRENCE — s. f. Qualité de ce qui est incohérent. L incohérence des parties de l eau.   Il se dit aussi figurément. L incohérence des idées …   Dictionnaire de l'Academie Francaise, 7eme edition (1835)

  • INCOHÉRENCE — n. f. T. de Physique état de ce qui est incohérent. L’incohérence des parties de l’eau. Fig., L’incohérence de ses idées, de ses paroles …   Dictionnaire de l'Academie Francaise, 8eme edition (1935)

  • incoherence — nekoherentiškumas statusas T sritis radioelektronika atitikmenys: angl. incoherence; lack of coherence vok. Inkohärenz, f rus. некогерентность, f pranc. incohérence, f …   Radioelektronikos terminų žodynas

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