Godfried-Willem RAES

<Suck & Blow>



'Suck and Blow' is a musical performance recycling vinyl records. For this performance a minimum of 48 vinyl LP's or SP's are required. First of all, the center labels on the records need to be fully removed. To do this, soak the records for a day or so in water with some sodium hydroxide. Rinse well and sand of the labels with an abrasive sponge. The paper should now be removed. A thin layer of glue and pulverized paper will still remain on the records. To removed this, soak the records for another day and let them undergo a second treatment with the abrasive sponge. Presumably sulfuric acid would work better here, as it certainly would dissolve all paper, but we didn't try it as we didn't have a bottle handy. This is the mandatory preparatory work.

Next we take out two identical flanges with a central hole of 60 to 100 mm. These will serve as counter molds.

Put a record central on the flange and heat the center gently with a heat gun until the vinyl gets soft. Avoid pointing the heatgun to the central hole in the record, as that would enlarge that hole. Now take a spherical metal object with a diameter of 50 to 80 mm and push it gently into the softened vinyl. Do the same with another record such that we get two records with a central embossment.

Next we apply a layer of PVC glue on the entire groove area of the inner sides of both records. Bring the two records together and place the second flange over them. Push them hard together. You can also put a heavy weight (some 10 kg will do) on the flanges and wait for about two minutes. Remove the assembly from between the flanges and take out the obtained assembly. It's now a cavity resonator. Try sounding it by sucking or blowing through the central hole.

Here are some pictures of the procedures:

Placement of the records on the flanges: Heating the center part, avoiding the central hole: Gluing both records together with PVC glue: Placing the counter flange: Pressing together with a heavy weight: . You can do it with EP's or LP's. 45T records do not work as the hole is way too large. Here is an LP cavity resonator:

Things that can go wrong: If you overheat, this is the result: If you are lazy, and did not remove the labels, this is what you get:.


You can either prepare the cavity resonators on the beforehand, or perform the construction as part of the performance. Make sure you have a cavity resonator for each member of the audience. Let them suck and blow... Here is an MP3 of a performance by the author, recorded august 17th 2016.

Audio art installation

The cavity resonators can also be used to create quite a nice open air sound installation. Drill a side hole in each resonator assembly and suspend them near to each other -but without touching mutually- on a windy spot. It's also possible to make a whisper wall with them.

Godfried-Willem Raes

Gent, August 2016

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P.S.: Voor uitvoeringen van dit stuk moeten noch mogen auteursrechten worden betaald. Elke poging tot inning van auteursrechten naar aanleiding van publieke uitvoeringen van dit stuk kan gerechterlijk als poging tot afpersing worden vervolgd. Het stuk is hierbij door de auteur in het publiek domein geplaatst. .

First published on the web on november 21th -3. Last update : 2016-09-11