A Very Large Vinyl LP Constructed in Acoustic Space

1st exhibition: Royal Conservatory of Music, Victoria, BC, presented by Open Space Gallery, 2007.

Eight loudspeakers are arranged in a circle in the exhibition space. A collage of surface scratches and vintage easy listening records fade in and out, spinning either clockwise or counterclockwise or both directions simultaneously, creating an illusion of a virtual vinyl LP spinning in acoustic space.

From mid-2006 until early 2008, I was artist-in-residence at the New Media Studio Lab at the University of Regina. The lab is outfitted with an eight-channel audio system. Up until this time I had only worked in mono or stereo sound, and as I began trying things in eight-channel surround sound, I wasn’t sure how to proceed. Thankfully, my project advisor was Professor Charlie Fox, who told me that initially most people begin to work in an excessively complicated manner when approaching multi-channel surround sound pieces. His advice was to keep it simple, and let the spatialization aspects of surround sound come out. Meanwhile, I had brought with me a collection of samples and recordings that I had prepared as source material. One of these samples was a recording of scratchy vinyl record surface noise. I thought that a simple idea would be to rotate this surface noise around the circle of eight speakers, and as I tried this, I immediately felt the illusion that I was sitting in the middle of a very large vinyl LP that was constructed in acoustic space.

©Gordon Monahan 2007