Salamandir on harmonic flute (didjeriflute), Ranjit on harmonic bass (tromba marina)
“The harmonic flute is a very simple instrument that makes very, very complex sounds. It was made from a piece of 1-inch PVC tubing, about 7 feet long, that I rescued from a construction site dumpster.” – Salamandir (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The tromba marina is a bowed instrument from the 15th to 17th centuries with a single very long string. It’s fingered below the bow, so you get harmonics that sound a lot like a trumpet – thus the name. My version is made from a 7 foot long piece of lumber – also rescued from a dumpster – and a cello string.
I worked with calligrapher David Chang to make a score for the Brooklyn Ballet’s piece “Quilt / One Night Stand”, a set of structured improvisations. Here’s our video score, and a photo from the performance.
My toy dog always barks 26 times in a row. I asked composers to contribute microscores for piano, each 26 beats long, to be synchronized to the chihuahua’s voice. Fifteen composers wrote about sixty scores, which were performed by the mechanical dog at the Qubit Machine Music festival at the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center in New York in February 2014.
Composers: Ranjit Bhatnagar, Jason Charney, RP Collier, Langdon Crawford, Christi Denton, Rachael Forsyth, Ben Houge, Lem Jay Ignacio, Bryan Jacobs, James Joslin, Ari Lacenski, Tony Marasco, Kala Pierson, Erik Satie (adapted by Ranjit Bhatnagar), Isaac Schankler, and Schuyler Thum.
Here’s an excerpt from last night’s performance of Zachary James Watkins’ composition “Moveable” for augmented piano. (I built the piano-tickling monster for this performance.) This is just a low quality recording – a much better one will be available later. The full piece is about 75 minutes long; the excerpt is 8 minutes.
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!
Thanks to everyone who came to the 29 Noisy Noises party on March 1 and helped me celebrate finishing 29 instruments in 29 days! Lots of great people came over and made a lot of great noise on the 29 instruments — you can hear some of it below.