Monday, November 20, 2006

Aluminum Xylophone

Okay, this thing just plain sucked so it got smashed real good.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Tongue Drum Three

I would have to say that to date I still feel the first tongue drum I built was the best out of the three. This one is close, and by far better than Tongue Drum Two the Adventures in Naughty Pine. For this one I used a different type of wood which was great. All the sites I have been to suggest using a harder wood then soft. I think that’s why number two sounded so flat and boring. I don’t actually know what kind of wood this is that I was using; it was just something I found at one of my local second hand shops. These were part of a four box set of containers one might find in a kitchen from the seventies. Coffee and flour were once the jobs of these two boxes, and now a whole world of noise awaits them. Of course I had to add on the fridge grate bit. I think I will look back on the year Two Thousand and Six as the year of the refrigerator grate. Those two little sticks with the knobs on the tops are the sticks one would use to beat this instrument down.


Anonymous said...

I'm going at my mother's home this week end, I'm sure she has that kind of wood boxes in her attic, So maybe I will make my first tongue drum too !

11:45 AM
Anonymous said...

I recently made a very basic four-tongue drum using an Altoids tin and a knife. I now have a rudimentary tongue drum and a messed-up knife, as well as lots of fun.

I gotta say, I never would have thought of any of the instruments I make without having visited your site, Iner. You're quite an inspiration.
1:36 AM
iner said...

Ah shucks
6:45 PM

Saturday, November 04, 2006

The Evolution of the Fridge

Fridge grates, oh fridge grates I love you. If I was singing a song about fridge grates that’s what I would sing, but I’m not so let it go man. This is just a blog about crazy instruments.

Over the years I have used refrigerator grates in quite a few different instruments. There is the Two Stringed Golf and Refrigerator Bass one of my first instruments built that I actually liked, and the more percussive instruments such as the Percussive Computer Panel, and The Things from the Fridge series 1, 2, and 3. I guess the point I’m try to make is that the fridge grate has become one of those materials that has a permanent place in my spaceship/workshop. Much like the metal salad bowls, or the lovely and talented fan grates, and last, but most defiantly not least, the Chicken Cooker. Yes the fridge grate is now part of the local junkman’s list of must haves, and I think it is this instrument that put it there.

I have yet to name this instrument, as it stands now The Evolution of the Fridge is where it’s at. These things can and will change with time, but for right now let me talk a little on this new piece. In one of my fits of bowing madness I came up with the idea of bending the grate in a semi circle fashion in order to make the bowing of each of the tines more distinct for one, but also so that each individual tine is easier to reach. This worked out just as I had thought it would. The chamber I built was more of a piece together a few of the scraps I have lying around the spaceship and see what happens. I find the recycling of my own garbage to be just as rewarding as the recycling of others.

Once the resonating chamber was built I ran two springs down the center of the box, attached the face and grate, and then started bowing. I was getting some really cool sounds with the bow, but it wasn’t until I brought it out to a Jam night that I truly discovered it’s magic. Getting tired of bowing and the sounds I was making I decided to play the instrument in a bit more of a percussive manor. At first it was just a few taps on the box, then I would run a pen back and forth across the tines, but it was when I started plucking the tines that I got the sounds this instrument was suppose to make. All of a sudden I had a really messed up looking bass on my hands. I spent the rest of the night playing the Evolution that way, and have continued to play it like that since. Occasionally I will pull out the bow, but that’s only when the tips of my fingers get raw, and need a break.

I look forward to seeing how the fridge grate will evolve in my work over the next few years. It’s a good thing I have this blog to keep as my record.

Here are some comments that were left for this instrument.

Improvisors̢۪ pool said...

Aww, this one looks sweet. Wait, they all look sweet. You must add mp3 files.

The Lone Guitarist said...

yeah some mp3 files of these cool instruments/creations would help put them into perspective a bit

Failed Spooning

This instrument did not work out at all, and I think I know why.
Let me start by telling you where the idea came from, because it wasn’t mine. I saw it in a music store in Fredericton New Brunswick. A couple of spoons mounted on a piece of wood. How easy is that? Well I messed mine up, and I think it’s because of the spoons I used. It would appear to me that these spoons are cast. What I need to make this work better is spoons with some tension in them so they can bounce up and down a bit more easily. When I do remake this instrument I think I may also want to hollow out the piece of wood so I get a bit of a resonance chamber going on. Live and learn.

Here are some comments that were left for this instrument.

missy_2_shoes said...

try try again... I actually bought one of these readymadespoonsets for my arthritic Grampa who can no longer hold two regular spoons to rattle on anymore. It was cool, and yours look way nicer. (Sam with the Cameron family is a killer spooner... and have you seen his slinky instrument? I bet you guys compare notes :)

Tongue Drum Two: The Adventures of Naughty Pine

This here is my second attempt at constructing a tongue drum. Ever since I split this crazy blog up I have been thinking that I need to start building more percussive instruments, and instead of just duct tapping a bunch of different sized cans together I thought I might try my hand at actually building something from scratch. I thought I would start with the tongue drum. I built one about two years back but it was very small, and only had the two slats, that I might like to add were equal in length, which is something that you might want to try and avoid if you’re looking for different tones. Back in the good old days I built stuff by what my eyes remembered, there was no math, there was no science. I was just flying by the seat of my pants. Well two days ago when I started to build the new tongue drum that all changed.
I used pine in the construction only due to the fact that the piece of hardwood I had cut for this new drum snapped clean in half as I was finishing my grooves. Pine was all I had left so I moved forward and started to make my cuts. At first the grooves in between where much smaller, but two bad things were happening. One, they would occasionally rub together when struck, and two, there wasn’t much volume to be had. So I got out the jig saw and free handed the re-cut. I do not recommend free cutting with a jigsaw if your loved ones are apposed to loud obscenities coming from a space room somewhere deep in the bowels of a two bedroom apartment. Oh and it might be dangerous to boot. So after fixing my cuts and giving the thing a good sanding I was ready to piece it together. Before putting the under plate on I decided to mount a spring inside the box running the length of the instrument. I can’t yet tell if this is doing anything, but I will let you know as soon as I bring it out to a Jam night.
Before I go I would just like to say that if you do decide to build one of these, try to find a harder wood then pine, over all I would say the piece as a whole sounds a bit flat, and that’s that.