Handmade is a cymbal, it is also a record. Using a vinyl-cutting machine the sound of a cymbal was cut like a record back onto a cymbal.

Hmvinyl Grooves1

“…an intriguing presentation [which] tested the mettle of 3 turntables…. Conceptually resonant, this gritty piece had direct visceral impact. It reminded me of the those 17th century metaphysical poems that aim to stir the body whilst teasing the mind with a paradox.”

Julian Cowley, The Wire Magazine


The first cymbal was kindly cut on the handmade machine of artist Norbert Schliewe and the Cymbal was played by musician and artist Rob Gawthrop. In 2007 I was commissioned by the London Musicians Collective to re-compose and produce a number of new cymbals, which I performed on three record decks at their 16th International experimental music festival in London. Vicky at 'From The Edge,' Leeds was kind enough to take on the project and over three cutting sessions we managed to find out what kind of cymbals worked best and refined the sound making a total of six new cymbal records.

The cymbal as a record

The sound of the original recording of Rob playing the cymbal is marked, engraved, embedded back onto itself. Unlike what recording technologies do, which is to separate the source from the sound. I was long fascinated with Edison's early sound experiments and the points that lead up to recording, inscription and the reproduction of sound. There is a wonderment, innocence and magic when an experiment first works and i imagine when Edison heard his own voice playback for the first time. Handmade, for me explores and questions around reproduction, the original, meta, the source and truth. 

Extract from presentation lecture

Filmed at the third Open Ear event Memory in Broadstairs, Kent, November 2007 This is an extract from a lecture presentation i gave about Handmade.


Thanks to Rob Gawthrop, Norbert Schliewe, From The Edge, Paul Levene and London Musicians Collective.

Part Funded by London Musicians Collective

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