It used to be that music was heard on vinyl, tape or CDs, but in the download era, it doesn’t have any physical form. Perhaps that’s why more and more artists have started exploring alternative physical mediums for music—and why, at the PSN blog, we just can’t get enough of them. We’ve covered playable records made out of chocolate, ice and wood, as well as folks who record on 1930s Presto direct-to-disk recorders, and even quiet Suzanne Vega belting into an Edison wax cylinder recorder for an AES presentation. Lest you think these brave souls have taken alternative formats to the max, have no fear—there’s plenty of quixotic strangeness still out there. The latest weird recording feat finds great minds in New Zealand turning a beer bottle into an Edison cylinder. If you like booze, music and pointless exercises in engineering brilliance, you’ll love this in-depth video.
From the video’s blurb on Vimeo:
Auckland band Ghost Wave[’s] new single was inscribed into the surface of a Beck’s beer bottle which could then be played on a specially-built device based on Thomas Edison’s original cylindrical phonograph.
Making the world’s first playable beer bottle was a formidable technical challenge. The clever people at Auckland firm Gyro Constructivists first had to design and build a record-cutting lathe, driven by a hard drive recording head. Then they reinvented Edison’s original cylinder player, using modern materials and electronics and built to very fine tolerances.
The Edison Bottle made its public debut at SemiPermanent in Auckland in May to a standing ovation from the assembled media and design community.
Perhaps the biggest surprise is that the recorded song isn’t “100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall.”