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.