From November 15 on, a cycle of gramophone concerts will be held within the lecture theatre ACADEMIA of the Intermediatheque.
“Gramophone”, “Phonograph”, “Graphophone”, “Zonophone”… After the invention and diffusion of a mechanical system capable of recording and playing back sound, it took several decades before the terminology designating this device took root. It is said that meanwhile, the perplexity of people discovering this enigmatic piece of furniture emitting wonderful sounds was beyond imagination, ranging from curiosity to fear. However, with the generalization of LPs, CDs and digital audio files, gramophones have fallen out of use, and those remaining in museums simply exist as exhibition items. This concert series aims at activating the gramophone again as a playback device, in order to appreciate its possibilities anew.
The University Museum, the University of Tokyo holds two gramophones. One is the famous Credenza VV8-30, produced in Canada in 1925-1928 by Victrola. The other one is a unique device based on the Credenza with an original amplification system, made in 1931-1932 by instrument designer Isamu Hirabayashi (1904-1938).
These two gramophones will play a wide range of music, and various types of records. Among them, a most precious source of music is the Satoshi Yuze collection, donated to the University Museum last winter. This private record collection, focusing on jazz music and amounting to over ten thousand items, also contains numerous SP records. By playing on the luxurious Victrola Credenza the collection constituted by Satoshi Yuze, which is the work of a lifetime, we will not only introduce rare recordings, but we will also share the quality and deepness of a sound lost with the advent of the digital era. In the age of the iPod, by getting together within the Intermediatheque lecture theatre and experiencing musical gatherings from another era, we intend to develop the museum space into a site for synaesthesia.
However, this is not to say that this gathering is in any way nostalgic. While appreciating forgotten famous recordings, we will also explore the gramophones possibilities as a playback device, with music ranging from live sound to electronic music.
Information on the first projection
Date & Time: Friday, November 15, 2013 6:00 p.m. (expected to end at 6:45 p.m.)
Place: Intermediatheque 2F Lecture Theatre ACADEMIA
The number of seats limited to 48. We request your comprehension.
* For the detailed program as well as the schedule of forthcoming events, please refer to our website.
Organization: The University Museum, the University of Tokyo
Cooperation: Hideki Umeda + Makoto Sugisaki
Program Conception: Intermediatheque Department, The University Museum, the University of Tokyo
Contact: +81 (0)3-5777-8600 (Hello Dial)