The tower stands at a whopping 130 cm or for all my friends south of the boarder 51 inches. There are 21 bell like objects mounted up the pole at varying heights and placements. I tried to set them into groups of three or four that sounded good together. Also attached to the pole is a spring that runs almost the full length of the piece, and one tunable piano string. The bass of the instrument is a disk from a breaking system of some body’s car. Who’s car? I have no idea.
Thursday, June 29, 2006
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
My Oblique Strategy for the Things from the Fridge 3 Strings and Things was You are an Engineer
Oddly enough the same card came up for the Things from the Fridge 2. It was at that point that I decided to remove the cards from the deck after they had been chosen.
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Monday, June 26, 2006
I am still hoping that I won’t go to hell for cutting up these rosary beads.
Friday, June 23, 2006
Sometimes I fell like I post any and everything I do. That’s not true. I built this instrument some time ago, and kind of just lost track of it. There are a few out there like that.
A very simple instrument to build that is easy and fun to play. You can suck as bad as I do, and still be able to pull this one off. It would be nice to have a bunch of these with different tunings.
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
I don’t know if I should put this on my experimental instrument page or my lost in time and space page.
This is part of my spaceship, the percussive part of my spaceship.
As I’m writing this it has occurred to me that the spaceship could in fact be the largest experimental instrument I have built to date.
As you can see there are many different things you can play on this panel. Some of the things include, saw blades, refrigerator grates, and numerous springs.
This entire box is built on hinges so you can open or close them to get different levels of sound. The box not only acts as a resonator, but it also holds all my painting gear, tools odd electronic things that must be destroyed, and some 8mm video cassettes from my misspent youth.
Monday, June 19, 2006
Alien Bell Monster with multitap delay.wav
Friday, June 09, 2006
That’s really all there is to say about this piece. It’s an aluminum tube with a bell free floating in the bottom. You play it percussively. It sounds good. Maybe I should call it The Aluminum Percussive Tube with Bell that Sounds Good I really wanted this post to be funnier than it turned out to be.
Thursday, June 01, 2006
Refrigerator grates are another one of my favorites. It’s right up there with stainless steel salad bowls, but still a bit behind chicken cookers (just read some of the other blog entries and you’ll understand what I’m talking about)
This grate did in fact come from my fridge. Luckily enough for me there was a new fridge in our kitchen. I have found over the years that, in the interest of harmonious relationships that one should not dismantle working appliances for art sake.
This, thank god was not a working appliance. Every six months or so I would have to get out the hammer and a slot screw driver and go on an ice expedition into the deepest coldest recesses of our refrigerator, often uncovering ancient bottles of hot sauce, or some weird condiment my mother had given me years ago because she thought it tasted like crap. The ice would build up to be about a foot and a half thick in some places. Once I found a human hand, or rather a human like hand.
At this point you’re probably wondering what this has to do with building and the functionality of musical instruments. Absolutely nothing, but it sounds infinitely more interesting than saying I build a rectangular box out of wood and mounted a fridge grate on it.
The instrument consists of one brass bowl I found on one of my many junk shop excursions, and the hexagonal disks I found in the coach house behind my watering hole. Each disk is cut slightly smaller than the last.
Big Joe's the name. What can I say about this one. It's a big frickin' drum with six strings stretched across the skin, and three strings that run from the end of the neck to the base of the drum. Not only do the add a nice lower tone to the instrument, but depending on the tension you apply to them can affect the pitch of the top six strings.
I got this idea from a book that Jen had brought home from the library. I believe it was called Sound Designs or Instrument Designs, I'm not sure. If you know please tell me so I can stop sounding like an idiot. The gentlemen who's name escapes me at the moment created what he called the Wheels of Time. I liked it so much that I built my own. I did have to follow my own rules in the construction of such things. The blades could not be new. They had to be found or found cheap. Found cheap was what they turned out to be. Rusted and used. Just the way I like it.
ok it has only been a few days since i posted this instrument, but I have found the book and the names of the authors.
Sound Designs: A Handbook of Musical Instrument Building
Reinhold Banek & Jon Scoville
Anybody interested in building there own instruments should try and find a copy of this book.
I know that this is not the most experimental of experimental instruments but, that's just the way it works some times.
I found these pieces of bamboo when I was on vacation in mid July, and thought to myself hey why don't I make a xylophone. I've always wanted a xylophone.
I had such high hopes for this one. In my many attempts to impress the drummer in Jon Was A Machine who's name is Sean. I attempted, and still attempting to make many different percussive trinkets for him to add to his kit. Now, one such as myself who knows absolutely nothing about drumming and the good sounds that go along with it, thought it would be easy to screw a bunch of old metal cups that Jen had bought me to the back of an old wooden chair I found on the street. Let me tell you this. My thoughts were wrong. Very wrong. It sounds and looks like crap. So after I finish typing this i think I may have to go and smash it.
Tin Cup badness be gone.
What can I say? I have always wanted a thumb piano. I built this after I did a show at the
The piano was built from a weird bowl and a funky hand carved face plate I found at the Goodwill. The tines were from a rake head I found lying in the middle of
The copper chimes were a bit more of a challenge. I cut each piece myself with the help of the book Sound Designs which I talk about in the part about rusty the saw blade steel drum. i actually cut two of each and hung them on both sides to fill the sound out a bit more. I have nothing else to say about chimes right now.