“MOM – Mother of All Records” (2012)
The glass master of WOW, allegedly the most minimal record ever made, is an auratic object that points towards the end of recorded music as fixed, but faithfull reproductions of real life occurences or an artist’s work, an instead hints at the in many regards open-ended fluidity of music today.
Carl Schilde released WOW in November 2012 on Heavylistening, a label and project platform run together with Anselm Nehls. WOW is a vinyl record that contains a single, ultra-low bass tone that rings at the frequency of 33,3 Hz when played at 33 1/3 rpm, the standard speed for LPs. Accordingly, when put on a turntable, the frequency will change in correlation to the speed of the record player. Playing several WOW records in parallel and at different speeds creates a complex, ever changing sub-sonic wavefield with shifting interferences depending on the mechanical components of the record player and their instabilities, and on the resonant characteristics of the space. As such WOW is not a record in the traditional sense, but a constituent of an instrument.
The glass master of WOW, dubbed "MOM", or "Mother of all Records", is put on display within a brightly illuminated case, an auratic object that points towards the end of recorded music as fixed, but faithfull reproductions of real life occurences or an artist’s work, an instead hints at the in many regards open-ended fluidity of music today. Effectively visualising the record’s unique sonic qualities, the master reveals a characteristically spiral interference pattern: the resulting ratio between the etched-in constant bass frequency and the records gradually decreasing diameter towards its center.
Heavylistening are Berliners Carl Schilde and Anselm Venezian Nehls. They fuse ideas and concepts of popular music and the reflective sensitivity of contemporary art to create highly specific sonic experiences. Both studied popular music in England, but didn’t meet until 2010, while doing their maste’s degrees in Sound Studies under Robert Henke and Sam Auinger at the Berlin University of Arts.