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.
Schilde and Nehls were both born in West Berlin in 1981. Both studied popular music in England, but didn’t meet until 2010, while taking their master’s degree in Sound Studies under Robert Henke and Sam Auinger at the Berlin University of Arts.
In 2011, their first collaborative project, “Tiefdruckgebiet” – a mobile sub-bass concert for twelve tuned cars – won first place at Berlin’s 48h Neukölln Festival. Their second project, “#tweetscapes” – Germany’s first real-time Twitter sonification – received an Award of Distinction at the Prix Ars Electronica 2012.
In November 2012 they released WOW, allegedly the most minimal record ever made. 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 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. This effect amplifies, when the records are played at different speeds.
"MOM - Mother of All Records" (2012)
The glass master of WOW, dubbed “MOM”, or “Mother of all Records”, is put on display within a brightly illuminated case. This auratic object that points towards the end of recorded music as a fixed, but faithful reproduction of real life occurrences 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.