Experimental Audio-Visual Album Is Housed Inside Its Own Projector
Solid block of walnut transformed into a captivating musical experience.
New albums can often struggle to cut through the noise, but electronic musician and sound designer Benjamin Wynn’s (aka Deru) has come up with something truly unique. His latest album, 1979, comes packaged inside The Observe Box, a pico projector encased within a machine-crafted block of walnut, which provides the visuals to create a captivating audiovisual experience.
The Observe Box is based on a collection of found articles, letters, photos, and other items left behind by the late philosopher Jackson Sonnanfeld-Arden. It’s a recreation of the original, which Deru created in 2003 at a flea market in Los Angeles. His version of the time capsule is an homage to the ways in which we leave behind our documented memories.
1979 is about memories, nostalgia, and the human experience. Memory is one of our greatest gifts; it gives us access to time, to identity, to dreams. Guided by the wisdom of Jackson Sonnanfeld-Arden, discoverer of the Nine Pure Tones, I created 1979 as a concept album through which I could share his brilliant theory, and my life-long infatuation with memory.
Deru worked for over a year and a half with milling artist Jon Mendez and industrial engineer Roberto Crespo to bring Mark Wisniowski’s design to life. The projector starts out as a single block of walnut, which after 45 minutes of computer-controlled drilling and laser milling, is transformed into the finished product. it provides a sensory experience that changes drastically depending on the surface that it’s projected.
Before music was such an easily traded commodity, it was often an experience to which people gave their full attention. Let’s bring that experience back. Let’s respect what music is worth.
Fifty copies of The Obverse Box are currently available for pre-order, which will ship in mid-June. The price tag of $500 might deter those used to downloading music for free, but The Observe Box is more than just an album, it’s a collector’s item.