The Glass Bees and I played a bunch of my homemade instruments last night at Barbès in Brooklyn. (The show was made possible by Bethany Ryker, who brings interesting stuff to Barbès every Wednesday and to wfmu every Sunday.)
Here’s some excerpts from the show– thanks to bee Chris for editing and naming the songs!
You may be able to catch an interview and some more from the show on NPR’s Weekend All Things Considered this Saturday or Sunday. [Update: the interview aired on March 7th and can be read & heard on NPR's site.]
photo: me and two bees with our granny-carts full of junkstruments!
Years ago I was in a gallery show with Mineko Grimmer, who makes sound sculptures of pebbles frozen in ice. As the ice melts, the pebbles drop into a pool or a wooden lattice and make irregular sounds.
I made my own version entirely out of things from my junk drawer: marbles, squashed pennies, old keys and dog tags, and some acorns I was saving in a tiny jar. What does it sound like? I won’t find out until the weather warms up.
This one didn’t really work out. It was supposed to be a sequel to last year’s automatic tension guitar, but it doesn’t work or sound nearly as good. I’m experimenting with cheap substitutes for the little clapper solenoids I used last year, which are now really hard to find, but so far the results are bad.
And it’s not even automatic! I didn’t get around to rigging up a computer interface, so I’m playing it with the funny little wooden keyboard you can see at the upper right. It sounds like this.
A drum, some antique wind-up motors (from the Aladdin Toy Motors company of Brooklyn!), and leftover wood from the laser whistles combine to give you a simulation of the sound of a peaceful sunday morning in New York City. It sounds like this. (Video here)