PLEASE HOLD Album – Simone Eringfeld
PLEASE HOLD is the artistic outcome of a unique creative process. Simone herself was undertaking a master’s degree at Cambridge University when the pandemic turned her life upside down. To document the crisis in real time, she started a weekly podcast in which she interviewed students and professors about the impact of the coronavirus on higher education. These ‘Cambridge Quaranchats’ were listened to so often that Simone decided to develop podcasting as a new research method.
From her interviews, Simone selected the most meaningful fragments to compile ‘data-poems’ with. A wide range of emotions emerges, from nostalgia about the things we miss (such as hugs, serendipitous encounters, cafe ambience) to dystopian scenarios that would not misfit a Black Mirror script. Above all, the poetry evokes a sense of recognition: from Zoom fatigue to frustration about disrupted video calls, from loneliness to hope. With this project, Simone has won the prestigious BERA Award in the UK.
For PLEASE HOLD, Simone composed original arrangements and set the poems to music. The result is a touching spoken word performance whereby the listener is taken on a journey to reflect on the past year of Covid-19, accompanied by the pressing question: what shall the future bring?
PLEASE HOLD Album Tour 2021 - 2022
In October and November 2021 I went on tour in the UK with my album Please Hold. I visited universities across the country to perform my music and to talk and teach about my use of creative sonic research methods.
- Podcasting in educational and research contexts: practical instruction on how to set up, design and record a podcast
- Using podcasting as a qualitative research method for data collection and as a 'sonic elicitation device' in interviews
- Working with data poetry as an approach to qualitative data analysis
- Spoken word performance in research
- Using arts-based approaches to research communication including the production of music albums
- Using digital media to engage with academic and non-academic audiences
PLEASE HOLD on the radio
What Eringfeld has released is more than just a vehicle for data or research. It gives a voice and a platform to a cohort of students and academics dismayed and underwhelmed by every stage of the government’s Covid exit-strategy, and apparent non-plan for higher education. Her four-track long debut EP wrings out the sentiments of our shared student experience of this pandemic: part-music, part-poetry, part-research project, it is a worthy representation. Unhindered by occasional moments of cliché, in its best moments, the EP is powerful recreation of the mental isolation where personal anxieties meet global catastrophe. Thankfully, this time, it’s an isolation we get to dip into on our own terms, play and pause buttons at the ready. Let’s hope it stays that way.
Review by Rose Green, Varsity (Independent student newspaper, University of Cambridge)
"PLEASE HOLD innovatively mixes spoken word performance with a unique and eerie kind of music to create a striking reflection and refraction of the way the pandemic has effected people’s lives, effectively putting them ‘on hold’. Within this atmospheric distillation of experience is captured the way in which computers have increasingly become people’s worlds, and the fatigue and distance associated with that, as well as questions about what the future holds. It is a deeply resonant and almost dystopian snapshot of the present moment, captured and amplified with startling emotion."
Review by Amy Hodkin and Jessica Kashdan-Brown from the poetry & music podcast: 'Unlatched Podcast'