Tuesday, March 13, 2012

More residency work

Things have been progressing pretty nicely with the artist's residency.  It has been interesting to step outside of the idea that I should build "real" instruments, and I have had a chance to explore the intersection of √¶sthetics and sound.  When I am making instruments I feel a certain amount of (self-imposed) pressure to make a recognisable and tunable instrument, something that some one who plays guitar or a similar instrument would be able to play.  Success is measured by doing just that, by being able to hand it to someone and have them pick it or strum a chord.

This is different.

This is about activating a room, a stairwell.  It is about creating a series of objects that will sound good in the space and that will sound good together.  I am writing a song with these found objects as I make them, and having made two instruments that are nominally in the same register as a guitar, it seemed like it was time to make something lower.  One of the problems I have been running in to is that guitar strings come at a specific length, and that if I want to make a bass I need something longer.  Then I was at SyraUke this past weekend playing washtub bass, which we have strung with a weed-wacker cord.  So there it is.

Below are three videos.  The first is an alternate way to play the first instrument:

This one is the second instrument, a 3 string slide:

And here is the bass.  Apologies for not being a bass player, but here is what it sounds like:

This is really shaping up to be weird.  I like it.

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