instrument-a-day 19: tromba marina

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I made a trumpet marine, or tromba marina from a maple beam, a cello string, a leftover bridge from the 8-bit violin, and a styrofoam cooler as the resonating body. This one’s a bit fancier than the one I made during instrument-a-day 2008.

The tromba marina is fingered below the bow, creating harmonics by lightly touching the string at the nodes. (I tied little bits of thread at the nodal points to make it easier for me to find them.) The bridge is unbalanced so that it vibrates and rattles against the body, making a buzzing sound. It’s an amazingly weird instrument. I love it, but I can’t really play it.

(Here’s a youtube video of a performance with a real Tromba Marina.)

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I designed the 8-bit violin during last year’s instrument-a-day. I ended up donating violin 0x01 to Flux Factory’s fundraising auction. I made this one, pretty much identical to the first, for and with the help of violinist Patti Kilroy, who tried it out for this video. This is the first time she’s played the finished violin!