U-Turn's night at the museum

Posted by U-Turn Audio on

What does Boston sound like? Local multimedia artist Elisa Hamilton reached out to U-Turn to provide turntables for her interactive Sound Lab installation at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.

Photo by Leo March

Sound Lab is an interactive listening space that presents soundscapes from a variety of Boston neighborhoods. Elisa recruited four community organizations to record sounds and music from across the city, and then lathe-cut these onto visually stunning vinyl records. In an age of solitary listening, Sound Lab lets visitors participate in a uniquely communal listening experience.

Elisa says “I chose U-Turn turntables for Sound Lab because I wanted to showcase this work with turntables that looked special, and U-Turn turntables are the most artful turntables I've seen. The fact that they are also made right here in Boston made that choice even better.”

To create the records, Elisa worked with Texas pressing company Austin Signal. These picture-discs are lathe-cut, which is a little different from the traditional pressing process. Austin Signal covers the artwork with a blank vinyl disc, then uses a lathe to cut the playing groove into the disc’s surface. You can view some more of their unique works here.

This installation was developed in partnership with youth from Hyde Square Task Force, Roxbury Youth Orchestra, and the Edward M. Kennedy Academy for Health Careers, and with participants in the AiLi series at Haley House Bakery Café.​ Each listening station features the voice and artwork of these community groups. Following the exhibit, the community groups were each gifted an Orbit to play their unique records on.

Museum-goers share their experiences at Sound Salon:

Listening to Elisa's recordings alongside a little Bobby Brown. #happysaturday #soundlab

A post shared by karen stein (@goodgoodboston) on

Playing records at #soundlab by @elisahhamilton as part of the #listenhear sound exhibit at the @gardnermuseum

A post shared by SilviaChavez (@silvialopezchavez) on

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