Naomi Kashiwagi: Gramophone & 78rpm DJ

Naomi Kashiwagi, 29, is based in Manchester where she also works as a student co-ordinator at the Whitworth Gallery. She makes art by reinventing obsolete or everyday technologies, including a performance piece which involves DJing using a wind-up gramophone and 78rpm records.

"I have 200 records made from shellac – the brittle material used before vinyl – ranging from jazz to classical, and I'm fascinated by the potential sounds that can be extracted through playful reappropriation. My performance,Wind-Up, involves gramophone turntables and 78rpm records. I place electrical tape on the records to create an additional tactile layer. This creates unexpected percussive discordances, harmonies and locked grooves. I'm always bewildered by the extraordinary sounds within these 80-year-old records. The gramophone has to be wound up to maintain the tempo. It requires physical skill and attention from the user to keep several records playing at once. The sound is surprisingly rich and clear, bespeckled with wonderful dusty grooves. It is an intuitive and experimental process, as I don't know how it is going to sound, but that's all part of it. I first performed in the acoustically impressive Great Hall in Manchester Central Library in November 2009, in what is supposed to be a silent space. The sounds were accentuated and distorted by the rotunda. I have performed in other unusual places, including the Victoria Baths in Manchester. I can easily crank my turntables up outside anywhere as they are wireless technologies. For headphones while DJing I use a contraption I invented – the gramoscope – which is a stethoscope with the chest piece replaced with an ear trumpet. It enables me to hear clearly enough to beat-match. I've also used the gramophone to draw – I manually engrave the records with the record needle, to produce subtle, deep marks that echo the existing grooves. (...) "

Interview by Kirsty Styles