Sunday, May 07, 2006

Sun Flowers Of Death Phase Two

The Sunflower of Death. That is what Girasol Del Muerte translates to. I came up with the name after I played a gig with my old band called Manna Machine. Not only did I repeatedly cut and scratch myself on the many tines of pain, but I was running a guitar string through a couple of the tines when the end of the string fell out of my hand and directly into the one opening I had left on my power bar. Not only did I get an obvious shock from this, but I also blew my new volume pedal up, and as this was going on the owner of the bar we were playing at had been called upstairs to one of the apartments, by a lady we like to call the music hater, who constantly complain about the volume of music, especially the volume of Manna Machine music. So as there owner of the bar is upstairs I manage to blow up my volume pedal which sent a terribly loud constantly rising buzz and hum through to my amp which ended in a ear pounding thud that most people thought was part of the show. There were even a few passers by that stop and watch us from the open garage door on Queen Street. There was nothing I could do. i was in shock. That pun was intended. So needless to say from that point on, at that certain bar, our experimental and improvisational nights had to be capped by midnight, just so we could keep music hater happy. Some people just can't take the sounds of metal on metal. Go figure. Click here for the sunflower of deaths beautyful sounds.

Above the Vornado and a sunflower

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Girasol Del Muerte

My very first instrument. It brings a tear to my eye just looking at it. Ok seriously, this really was the first instrument I ever built, but it was not originally designed as an instrument. It was suppose to be more of an intercom system for me when traveling around in my space ship. It was one mid summers evening, Jennifer and I were sitting around our apartment being our usual goofy selves when I noticed that across Queen Street the cops had pulled some fellow over. Jen has always compared me to an old lady the way I run to the window whenever something interesting is going on out side. I can't really say that she is wrong either. Any who, as I was watching the cops approached the gentleman's car I got the idea to hook the fan grate intercom up to my stereo and see if we could hear just what was going on. To both our amazement, the fan grate intercom ( the name Girasol Del Muerte did not come until much later) had pierced through the hustling and bustling noise of Queen Street, and we could hear every word the police spoke. Crazy man. Crazy.
It was until after they left that I ran outside and across Queen Street to the scene of the crime. In my red and white checkered and striped pajama pants that actually look pink to anybody with eyes, a grey ratty old tank top, and nothing on my feet but the skin god gave me. I stood there , yelling at first, but gradually lowering my voice as Jen stood in our window giving me the thumbs up after time. To anybody that lives in this wonderful neighborhood called Parkdale the sight of a crazy bearded bare foot man in pink pants and a wife beater is not really that uncommon. Basically it was more to me than just the night I built my first experimental instrument, but it was also the night that I truly became a Parkdalien. Here comes those tears again. If you want to hear some of these sounds click here and go to Black Iner. Be warned, this is an old web site. Some audio may be offensive to your ears. Or you can click here to just hear the sunflower of death.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

The Vornado

photo by iner souster
The Vornado was one of my many fan grate instruments I built a few years ago. Visually this is perhaps my favorite of the Sunflower of death series. The name came from an old Vornado fan that was given to me. You can see the name on the base of the stand. Along with that the instrument also consists of one of my old studio lamps, a steel salad bowl, a metal funnel. The stand is from my busted tripod. Inside there is a telephone receiver, which is great when you yell into the center opening of the fan grate which is attached to a spring. There are also four stings running on the outside from the bulbous body to the tines on the grate. Not only are the tines and springs playable but you can flip the Vornado around and use the body as a hand drum. That's it.

Here I am putting the final touches on the Vornado. The photo was taken by Jen. If you notice the background you can vaguely see what looks like the interior of a spaceship. If you are at all interested in more of this go to

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Old Biker Jacket Drum Kit

This instrument was first built for Michael Keith to play at a show we did some years ago. The photo was taken at the in the Joseph D. Carrier art gallery. There is also some news footage out there of me playing this godforsaken instrument. It was made up of some light fixtures along with old pots and pans. All the skins were made from my old biker jacket. I thought to myself the eighties were twenty years ago are you really going to ever where that thing again. Before I could answer I had already cut the thing to pieces. Unfortunately it sounded terrible, there are no two ways about it, but a least I got rid of the jacket. All they different components have since been reintegrated into other more functional instruments. The first person that can tell me what they all are gets a special surprise.
photo by iner souster

Monday, May 01, 2006

Rain Machine

Don’t even say it. The rain machine was a direct result of teaching a bunch of kids how to build instrument from garbage and household products I did a couple of years ago for the Toronto Public Library. Some of those kids are mad geniuses. That is all I want to say about that.