INI Workshop Prototype Instruments pt. 2

INI Prototype Instruments Pt. 2

INI Prototype Instruments Pt. 2

These are the last of the prototype instruments I designed for the INI instrument workshop which took place last Thursday at Artspace New Haven.  If you go to you can see some pictures and video from the event.  Turnout was great and everyone had a swell time making things to make noise.  We plan to give a series of instrument making workshops at MakeHaven ( in the new year so stay tuned.  We envision a 2-part workshop where we would make contact mics in part 1 and then make instruments in part 2.

Meanwhile, below you can see the last three instruments I put together to give the participants some ideas of how to set about making instruments from scratch with only common, household materials.

This object can serve as either an actuator of another object/instrument, or as an instrument itself.  Scraping the spring over resonant objects as a bow produces a complex sound of both the object and the spring.  Alternately, the spring can be shortened by pressing it against the wood and plucked, which produces an oddly bass-like sound.  Contact mics are easily attached to the L brackets on either end making it a quick, versatile instrument for beginners.

“The Moisturisor”: Wood, plastic container, spring, metal plange, hot glue, piezo element, lentils (uncooked)

This guy is sort of a one-trick pony, but the trick is pretty great.  Fill it with any spherical object, then poke it and let the spring tension do the rest.  A contact mic is glued into the bottom of the jar.  It is best suited as part of a suite of instruments rather than as the solo act.

“Toothy ‘the Harmonator’”: Wood, paper clips, tin can, glue, screws, contact mic

Toothy is one example of the use of a clamping mechanism to aid the conductance of sound energy from the resonating object to the contact mic.  The paper clips are glued to the bottom piece of wood and a strip of tin is glued on top of the base of the clips.  The contact mic is placed between the paper clips and another piece of tin and clamped down on the base by another piece of wood that is fixed with screws.  The paper clips are tuned by cutting or filing the tip of the paper clip to shorten the length of the ‘u’ shape.

Below is the handout for the workshop.  There are some great quotes, interesting links, and an 80s hipster photocopier aesthetic you will not find in any other homemade instrument handout.  🙂

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