Jim Ankrom, Seth Avecilla, Michael Dewberry, Sharon Kubo, Margaret Lark, Nick Lauder, Brook Levine-Adler, Jason Turgeon
What is this?
Amen, Brother is a proposed honorarium art project for FIGMENT Boston and Burning Man. The project is currently on hold with a tentative production schedule for the 2019 event season. Please click the gallery above for images.
The project is a 24:1 replica of the iconic Technics SL 1200 MK2 turntable. This turntable has been called "the most important piece of DJ gear in history" and is on display at the London Science Museum as one of the pieces of technology that have "shaped the world we live in."
The name of the project is derived from the 1969 song "Amen, Brother." This song, the B-Side of a single by soul group The Winstons, features a 6 second drum loop that has become the most sampled piece of music in history, now used in over 2000 songs. The drum loop, knows as the "Amen Break," formed the basis for entire subgenres of music including drum and bass. Read more about the song's importance here, or scroll down to listen to the song and watch a 20-minute documentary about it.
Participants on our project will be able to interact in two ways. First, there will be a library of records for them to flip through and discover new music. They can play these records at low volume on actual record players (likely not Technics 1200s due to cost) built into the side of the giant record player.
Second, participants will be able to climb the giant record player, ride the slowly spinning disc, and move the needle. The record on the player will feature the original "Amen, Brother" single as well as a number of the songs that have sampled it. When bumped, the needle will scratch. When lifted, playback will stop. Tracks will be identified on the giant record, and people will be able to move the needle to the start of their chosen song. All songs will be played at a relatively low volume designed to enhance the experience, not create a huge dance party.