Neural 48 extra: Au Clair de la Lune – For Édouard-Léon Scott and László Moholy-Nagy “paper record” by artist Kazuhiro Jo

Kazuhiro Jo, Au Claire de la Lune, Paper Record

Neural #48 extra is Au Clair de la Lune – For Édouard-Léon Scott and László Moholy-Nagy limited edition “paper record” version by artist Kazuhiro Jo (only for subscribers for the printed magazine).

Au Clair de la Lune – For Édouard-Léon Scott and László Moholy-Nagy – (1860/1923/2014)

Kazuhiro Jo

“I have suggested to change the gramophone from a reproductive instrument to a productive one, so that on a record without prior acoustic information, the acoustic information, the acoustic phenomenon itself originates by engraving the necessary Ritchriftreihen (etched grooves).” (Moholy-Nagy, 1923)
In 1923 László Bauhaus master Moholy-Nagy made the above proposal to produce a record without inputting acoustic information. At the time, it was just a provocative idea. However, after 9 decades, we have realized the idea with the help of mature vinyl audio recording technology and current personal fabrication tools.
In this work, instead of using the vibrations of original sound, we computationally generate a waveform with a conventional graphics application (Adobe Illustrator). The waveform represents a french folk song “Au Clair de la Lune” which was also known as the oldest recorded sound by Édouard-Léon Scott in 1960. By engraving the waveform through a laser cutter on a wood, a vinyl cutter on a paper, or a hand and a cutter on this page, you could generate an acoustic phenomenon of the french song through your own record player.

IAMAS, The OGAWA Science and Technology Foundation, JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number 24652029, and So Yamada.

– Moholy-Nagy, L. New Plasticism in Music. Possibilities of the Gramophone, in Ursula Block and Michael Glasmeier, eds., Broken Music. Artists’ Recordworks, Berlin: Berliner, Künstlerprogramm des DAAD and gelbe MUSIK, pp. 53-58 (1989). (Chapter originally published 1923.)
– Jo, K. The Role of Mechanical Reproduction in (What Was Formerly Known as) the Record in the Age of Personal Fabrication, Leonardo Music Journal, Vol.24, MIT press (2014). (to be published).