I∩tersect is a weekly companion piece to The ∪nion. I intend to focus on how science and technology overlap with music and film.
I’ve only been hip to Yuri Suzuki for about a month now, but he’s fast becoming one of my favorite artists/designers. Yuri’s a product designer from Tokyo who is currently based out of London. He recently presented his collection of projects that explore the palpable connection that we can have with sound and music at the Royal College of Art.
The device above is The Finger Player which allows a person to feel the sounds being produced on a record via a finger-mounted stylus. Below is Sound Chaser, which is like the bastard child of a train set and a record player.
Sound Chaser is a technical collaboration with Yaroslav Tenzer, a PhD student in Medical Robotics. Yuri describes the project as a train-style record player, where users connect the chipped pieces of records together to make new tracks. This represents a clever and simple way of putting together a sound collage or musical pastiche. The fact that the sounds can be put together in a physical and obvious way is what makes this contraption brilliant.
Yuri, with the help of Linda Brothwell and Caren Hartley, has extended his concept of physical representations of sound into a project called Sound Jewelry.
Sound grooves are etched into the surface of the jewelry. Yuri states that the sounds can include precious memories, such as the laughter of someone with their grandma, a telephone conversation with a girlfriend, or sounds recorded during travels/holidays and so on. This project is a direct descendent of the phonograph cylinders from the turn of the 20th century. These constituted the earliest method of recording and reproducing sound, and it was the ability of the average person to record sounds at home that set this technology apart from vinyl records. Currently, we don’t tend to save conversations or keep an aural record of memories; communication is easy if we need to hear someone’s voice we’ll make a phone call. Which is why I appreciate what Mr. Suzuki is trying to do with this project in particular, give sounds and the memories associated with them a certain permanence.
These works are only a small sampling of Yuri’s sound projects. I highly suggest taking the time to go to his website. I would like to thank Dezeen for their coverage of Yuri’s show at the Royal College of Art.