French artist Dr Julia Drouhin arrived in Hong Kong this week with her stash of playable chocolate records. Not only are the records sweet tasting, they produce an amazingly sweet sound, too. Dr Drouhin spent this morning’s media launch alternating between Canto Pop, The Beatles, Chinese opera and Abba.
The exhibition, The Sound of Chocolate, is part of this month’s wider chocolate festival hosted by Harbour City in TST.
Each chocolate record lasted for about four or five plays before the diamond tip of the record player began to scratch the grooves. The audience of local photographers and journalists was then able to tuck in.
According to Drouhin, there’s nothing new about chocolate ‘vinyl’. German companies were distributing the very same to children 100 years ago as part of a public relations initiative to promote their products.
Back in her Tasmanian home, Drouhin has perfected the art of creating the records using pinkysil silicon which she pours into a frame over the original vinyl record and then leaves to set. The resulting silicon mould is then carefully peeled away.
“The silicon is also great for giving your vinyl a really good clean – all the dust motes hiding in the grooves come away when you peel away the silicon,” says Drouhin.
Melted chocolate is then poured into the mould and the whole contraption placed in a fridge overnight. “The chocolate must be dark, milk chocolate doesn’t work because it contains too much sugar. This effects the smoothness of the chocolate and gives a rougher finish which of course means the sound quality is comprised.”
Once set, the chocolate carefully prised out of the silicone and can then be spun on a turntable.
Drouhin has exhibited all over the world but this is the first time she has used her chocolate to play Canto Pop.
She says chocolate is only good for 45” singles, although she says ice works very well with 33” long players (ice of course is harder to play as the environment must be below freezing – chocolate merely requires a room set to around 18 degrees).
Drouhin’s chocolate records will be on display as part of Harbour City’s The Sound of Chocolate Art Exhibition which runs until Feb 25. There will be daily live playings every 20 minutes between noon and 8pm, Gallery by the Harbour, Shop 207, 2/F, Ocean Centre, Harbour City, TST. For full details about this exhibition as well as the wider Harbour City Chocolate Trail 2018, see harbourcity.com.