I loved Lyota Yagi’s piece. He made molds of records and used them to make records out of ice, which he would then play on a real record player. One could actually hear the music as the ice record played. Over time, the record would start to melt, and the music would become decreasingly articulate. As a conceptual piece, it is brilliant. It uses one mode of temporality to describe the other, and visa versa. We are forced to become aware of ephemeral music is because its physical object disappears over time. Eventually, there becomes no trace of the record or the music.
I’ve seen this piece at a gallery back home, and that time I read the work more tragically. At that time, I thought of the act of playing the record as more of an exchange, rather than a simultaneous realization of music and form. One must necessarily destroy the record in order to play it. It is impossible to evoke both the aural beauty and maintain the stability of the work’s form at the same time. The piece becomes one of choice: one must sacrifice either the experience of the music, or the physical object.