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Residency at Ferme-Asile, Sion, Switzerland  (click here to return to main project page)


I actually acquired this vinyl record turntable in Marseille while trying to gather material and objects to work with in my home studio.

It was part of a HiFi system that also contained a double cassette deck, which will also be repurposed during the residency at Ferme-Asile.

After some experiments with the stylus itself, I started to explore if it was possible to replace the broken tone arm with a threaded bar that could then cause the stylus to move across the turntable in a linear way.

While making some final adjustments I realised this is also the manner in which the phonograph stylus moved to cut a groove in wax cylinders, moving along the length of it while it was turning, so while working with one example of historic recording playback technology, I was also referencing an earlier development.

I have placed a cardboard disc on the turntable (the reverse is sandpaper) as I wanted the sound to resemble that you hear when playing old and damaged vinyl and shellac records - the sound between the tracks - the unintentional sound of the system.

I added a small amplifier and speaker so the stylus can be heard, instead of the gramophone sound horn.


I also had the idea to add LED lamps, which would illuminate when the motors activated, however this failed as the motors require so much voltage, the lamps did not illuminate!

It struck me that I could use the sound created by the stylus to activate the LEDs. In this way most motor activity would cause them to light up. And the softer the sound, the less they light up.

Random Arduino programming causes both motors to activate unpredictably, but the two motors have slightly different parameters, as you will possibly notice in the video to the left.

The video is intentionally dark to accentuate the effect of the illumination through sound amplification.

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