A piece has been written for instruments made out of old gas meters - and it sounds like Arvo Pärt

27 November 2015, 12:58 | Updated: 27 November 2015, 16:50

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra performs ‘A Requiem for Meters’ to mark the phasing out of analogue meters in favour of 'smart meters'.

Do you have an analogue gas or electricity meter under your stairs? You know, something like this – all dusty and covered with spiders?

Well, we’ve got news for you: by 2020 it will be gone; replaced by a smart meter.

Great, but why are we talking about meters?

To mark this momentous event, Smart Energy GB asked composer Gary Tarn to write a ‘Requiem for Meters’ - and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra to record it - at the world-famous Abbey Road Studios in London. 

In a slightly gory twist, the performers were asked to play ‘Requiem for Meters’ on instruments MADE FROM THE DEAD BODIES of the analogue meters (OK, not bodies - cases). Here they are: an ensemble made up of seven string players, a ‘multi-woodwind’ player and four percussionists.



Royal Philharmonic Orchestra



Royal Philharmonic Orchestra


And the music? 

Well, we find it quite pleasant actually. A little bit like Arvo Pärt’s Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten. Have a listen yourself and let us know what you think.


If you want to see the makeshift instruments in action, check out the 'behind-the-scenes' video: