Phonographies is a collection of contemporary audio recordings made on wax cylinder phonographs from more than a century ago. In the late 1880s, Thomas Edison's wax cylinder phonographs were a mass market item. By the 1920s though, gramophone records totally dominated and cylinders quickly became a dead media. Phonographies founder Aleks Kolkowski records numerous musicians using the technology, from a jazz trio to a children's choir to avant-garde electronic composers. You hear many of the tracks above by scrolling up and down in the player. (photo by Helen Petts):
The epoch of sound rendered into physical objects has reached its nadir with the rise of the digital file. Compact discs are devalued while vinyl records and magnetic tapes have become niche products for audiophiles and widely fetishised. This archive began as a response to the increasingly transient nature of digital music consumption by returning to the very first stable recording and reproduction medium of the 1880s – the wax cylinder, in order to create and assemble a permanent collection of material sound objects. It has since developed into a more exploratory project, one that examines the potential of the wax cylinder as a recording medium by employing experimental techniques and pushing the boundaries of its recording capabilities, as well as being a joyful discovery for each contributor who re-enacts for the first time, the bygone practice of acoustically inscribing sound.
Phonographies (via The Wire)
Freddy deBoer writes that he’s been telling the same joke for years about Silicon Valley’s only product, which might be universalized as “At last, a way to verb with nouns on the internet!” But the social-media techopoly is stable, now, and so the venture capitalists have moved on to the three terrible trends that will […]
Alex Wood is an addict but won’t give up his smartphone. But he has five strategies for limiting its control over him: “I used to wake up tired. My body would ache and my head felt sore, like waking up with a hangover. Finally, I took control, like attending an AA class for addicts, I […]
We just got the Sport model of the EPIKGO hoverboard at my office. Besides being terribly chic, it’s apparently bulletproof.
Bamboo has lots of uses beyond just being panda food. Things like bikes, roads, scaffolding, and musical instruments are made from the fast-growing grass. But unless you are participating in a tropical-themed LARP, you probably wouldn’t want a shirt made from bamboo stalks. So why do bamboo bed sheets make any sense? Because yarn extracted from […]
If you want to work in tech, but don’t have any desire to code web apps to help businesses sell things to other business, you might want to consider a career in cybersecurity. Judging from the apparent complete infiltration of Russian hackers in American cyberspace, it seems fair to speculate that there’s a major shortage of […]
All moms are different. But all moms like getting flowers on Mother’s Day, and that’s a fact (not, however a fact we can document in any fashion.) Instead of getting chewed out for forgetting to call her on the second Sunday of May, you can take care of it ahead of time with Teleflora’s flower […]