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)