Yuri Suzuki – The Sound Of The Earth

Yuri Suzuki

Yuri Suzuki’s designs for unconventional players provide combinations of objects that re-mix not only the content of records but the reproduction media as well. One of his latest pieces presents us with a mix between a record player and a world globe. The Sound of the Earth is based on a custom device that is able to play a single half-hour long composition produced by a record stylus gradually spiraling around a one-of-a-kind spherical record while travelling from the North Pole to Antarctica following the longest possible course. The piece offers an “aural journey around the world in 30 minutes”, skipping at great speed through musical idioms from every latitude. Musical material is mapped onto the geo-political contours of a visually featureless globe, replacing landmasses with sound and oceans with silence. Before the music industry started exploiting the idea of music as a universal language by introducing the category of world music during the 80s, sound recording pioneers and ethnographers since the turn of the 20th century have collected samples of musical cultures from around the world, initially using the mechanical apparatus of the Edison Phonograph. Since then the evolution of records has had somewhat of an inverse progress. Shortly after its introduction the originally cylindrical wax record was flattened into a plastic disc to facilitate mass production. Yuri Suzuki challenges this two-dimensional model printed in factories by championing an “a tutto tondo” world-view which astronomers established long before any of this was even relevant.

Matteo Marangoni