Science Museum's sound artist in residence recreates wax cylinder recordings - hear an excerpt on the Gramophone Player
Thursday, June 28, 2012
London's Science Museum sound artist in residence, Aleks Kolkowski, recreated the historic wax cylinder recording process in three live demonstrations in June, collaborating with Science Museum writer in residence Mick Jackson, British Library wildlife sounds curator Cheryl Tipp and thereminist Nahum Mantra. Entitled 'Phonographies - Live Wax Cylinder Recordings', the demonstrations showcased the art of inscribing sound onto wax cylinders via a hand-cranked Edison phonograph from 1909. Jackson, Tipp and Mantra each spoke or played into a horn and the finished recording was played back on the phonograph via a giant concert horn.
Phonograph cylinders were the earliest commercial medium for recording and reproducing sound, but were superseded by gramophone disc records introduced in the early 1900s. Find out more about wax cylinder recordings here.
In preparation for the live demonstrations, Kolkowski recorded human beatboxer and Victoria and Albert Museum sound artist in residence Jason Singh in May. Singh used the recording horn like a musical instrument, creating resonances within the six-and-a-half foot device.
Listen to an excerpt from Singh's beatbox wax cylinder recording on the Gramophone Player and click the first image to launch the gallery below: