It’s been some time since we last considered music as a piece of art, at least in its physical sense.
90’s cult hip-hop collective, Wu Tang Clan locked themselves in a recording studio for a few years without anyone's knowledge and are ready with what they claim is the world’s most expensive album ever, 'Once Upon a Time in Shaolin'.
Now that we have your attention, allow us to make more sense of it. Destroying all physical evidence of the album, now only one lucky collector (or music company or corporate) will have access to this supposed masterpiece that’s been mastered on the PMC MB2-XBD studio speakers. The hand built exclusive pair of colossal MB2-XBD studio speakers are six feet tall, have two 12-inch diameter woofers and can handle an awesome 2000 watts.
The Clan’s producers, Tarik “Cilvaringz” Azzougarh and Robert “The RZA” Diggs, insisted that a pair of the speakers should be included within the sale, so that the new owner could hear this one-off musical work of art exactly as its producers intended. Talking about the speakers, RZA said "In order to curate the experience of Once Upon a Time in Shaolin for the collector, we decided to have two PMC MB2-XBD speakers included with the album. These speakers were used during production and mastering and distil this work into its purest form, and in sculpting each beat, each frequency and each flash of feeling, they are themselves a work of artistry."
As a one-off album envisioned from execution through to distribution as both a work of art and an audio artefact, the piece is a sonic sculpture presented in an exclusive hand-carved nickel-silver box by British-Moroccan artist Yahya who has similarly exclusive projects to his credit. It is accompanied by a 174-page manuscript containing lyrics, credits and anecdotes on the production of each song, printed on gilded Fedrigoni Marina parchment and encased in leather by a master bookbinder.
The creators also wish to hold ‘listening exhibitions’ which will allow fans and curious audiophiles to audition the entire length of the album after intense security checks on headphones at the world’s most reputed art galleries. Here’s hoping this trend doesn’t take off but opens up doorway to consumers respecting music more than they do.