INI Workshop prototype instruments Pt. 1

LLW in Action 1

LLW in Action 1

In preparation for our workshop at Artspace, Brian and I met to quickly put together a few prototype instruments out of wood, screws, springs, etc.  We basically wanted to see what we could do with next to no materials (and no preparation.)  The following prototypes are the results of this first meeting.

The Hook

This instrument was created by cutting the top and bottom off of a coffee can and mounting it on a piece of scrap pine. We then used a hot glue gun to affix a spring with a metal plange on the end of it. The instrument can be “played” with one hand with little effort.

Hawt Springz

This instrument is simple enough: 2 screws and 2 nails onto which are fastened 4 springs. Recipe complete. The two recordings below use different methods of exciting the resonating springs, one a guitar pick, the other a guitar string dragged over and through the springs.

“Bowed” with a guitar string (D)

Plucked and scratched with a guitar pick

Love on a Long Thin Wire

This instrument was the simplest to construct, but is in some ways the most elegant and sonically pleasing. It Consists only of a piece of wood with a small hole through which is threaded a guitar string. The cut-out bottom of a can of soup (with a hole drilled near one edge) and a metal plange are suspended on the wire which is pulled taught and angled to let gravity pull them to one side or the other. When combined, the two metal pieces on the string are resonated by each other and by the guitar string. Alone, they are activated by gravity pulling them along the coil-wound string.

The bottom of the soup can and a metal plange

The bottom of a soup can alone

All of the above recordings were made in my studio with a large condenser microphone. They sound much more rich and vibrant when heard through a contact mic, which will be discussed and demonstrated at the workshop at Artspace on December 13th from 6-8pm. The workshop is *FREE* (yes free) so sign up and brings your friends. In addition to knowledge gained, participants can expect to come away with an instrument they create with our assistance, AND a contact microphone built by the hands of El MuCo. Please use the page above to RSVP and we will see you in a couple of weeks!

*A $10 materials donation would be lovely to help cover costs. Think of it as good karma. (Plus, some people sell contact mics for $15 and you will be getting one plus instruction plus instruments, etc for only $10!! can you believe it?)