Today we’re listening to FM3, a duo consisting of pianist Zhang Jian and producer Christiaan Virant. They paired up in Beijing in 1999, collecting samples of traditional instruments like the sheng (mouth organ) and matouqin (two-string fiddle).1 Inspired by audio-looping speakers found in gift shops of temples, they set out to manufacture handheld “Buddha Machines” that would play samples of those instruments on repeat. They produced five such machines, of which the first edition was just reissued and is available for sale in five colors. We’re playing the LPs that loop the recordings made for the first two devices, though music from all five is available on streaming services.
We wish you a great start to your week.