Thursday, June 23, 2016

Unusual Musical Machines

A month or so ago, Aearwen sent me a link to a video of this wonderful music machine. The two of us always have our eyes open for new and interesting ways to create music, and I was entranced with the machine and the vision of the maker. I've attached the YouTube clip below, but decided to look into other music machines today because I think a little music is a great way to start a Thursday.

The Wintergaten Musical Machine is quite amazing. I've included
the YouTube embed code right below so that you can click and
watch it in action. Here's a link to a short article about the
musician and the machine from National Public Radio. 

Let's take a look at a few other unusual instruments. Here's the Yaybahar - an instrument where the strings are vibrated and transmit their vibrations to the frame drums at the end. Once again, there is a YouTube clip. It's rather hypnotic and very interesting.

The Yaybahar transmits sound from the strings to the two drums at
the far end. It is designed and played by a musician from Istambul.

Here's a vimeo link so that you can hear for yourself.

The Hydraulaphone was invented for low-vision musicians to be able to play and compose for something unusual. Water is fed through a system of pipes and music is played by opening and closing a set of openings. These are large-scale or portable. Obviously water is a must to be able to produce music on this instrument.

The Hydraulaphone exists in large-scale as well as in this
portable version. It's actually pretty interesting. I love the
concept a lot, and larger installations could be fantastic
public artworks as well as musical instruments.

Here's a link to Steve Mann playing the smaller version
of a hydraulaphone.

I've probably already overdone the unusual instruments for the day, especially if you followed the video links, but there's a plethora of them out there in the world - some very playable, others only conceptual. Although I have doubts whether I'll be seeing most of them on the concert stage, I am delighted that musicians keep following the goal of achieving ever more vibrant and interesting sounds. Go forth, enjoy your Thursday, and listen to some music, whether it be man-made, or natural.

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