31/5: Nothing like watching records turning, seeing the needle moving and watching the label spin round

I’ve been using a mixture of sculpture, collage and drawing to explore my ideas relating to my passion for vinyl records. There’s a physical ritual that you just don’t get with internet downloads, to add to the tension and excitement before that moment the sound comes through the speakers:-

record playerHolding the record in it’s sleeve – taking the record out of the inner sleeve – holding it by the edges, being careful not to put your fingers on the tracks – flipping the record onto the side you want to play – placing the centre of the record over the central pin – flicking the switch to the correct speed – picking the needle up and placing it on the track you want to play – waiting for the next track to play when the needle moves between tracks. Listening to the odd crackle from the odd scratch here and there.

IMG_1613I felt that drawing alone wouldn’t express the pleasures of these fantastically tactile movements that are performed with the hand. There’s nothing better than watching records spinning, seeing the needle moving and the label spin round.  While the music plays, the listener develops very strong emotional links with the piece of vinyl spinning round. Moods are captured and slotted inside the sleeve alongside the record. Emotions that will be released again when the record is held once more. It’s this physical movement of  the vinyl and movement associated with sounds that I saw coming through the images I have been producing. The mere flipping over of a record, swinging open the lid of a record player, circular movements.

Sleeve idea 1After actually making a few actual size record sleeves I felt that I should make useIMG_0105

of some old record inner sleeves and covers to explore some quick ideas/sketches.

Here are a couple of the many variations I made.

IMG_0159 IMG_0141 IMG_0158 orange

The most recent developments have been some small quick drawings based on classic inner labels like MCA, Columbia and Atlantic that have distinct designs using colour and image. I can see a great potential for these to become larger, more accurate versions in paint or even pastel. I may even explore colour vinyl.