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CLASSICAL  January 2008

CLASSICAL January 2008

Subject:

Re: More from Moravec

From:

Susan Juhl <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Moderated Classical Music List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 9 Jan 2008 11:53:47 -0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (60 lines)

Jon Gallant wrote:

> [Here's a question for a parlor game: list serious musical
> compositions which make use of unserious instruments or sounds.]

A CD came out in 1996  called Gravikords, Whirlies & Pyrophones. It
has 18 pieces on it, all featuring really unusual instruments. Here are
5 pieces as examples.  (There's an accompanying book that explains all
about what you hear).

First up: Excerpt from Pacific 3-2-1-zero by Phil Dadson.  He uses
end-struck Tubes, tuned tongue bamboos, metal chimes, roto-toms, cymbals
and gongs.  The instruments are large, and the players stand before them.
Dadson composed it as a statement against nuclear testing in the Pacific
by the French government.  He's from New Zealand.  He said, a part of
Pacific 3 2 1 zero is the idea of isolated islands of humanity connected
by common waters.

Another composer, Jean-Claude Chapuis, composed  for modern glass
instruments. He's a Frenchman who makes them, based on historical
instruments. The crystallophone is a mallet instrument with tuned flat
bars of plate glass. The seraphin is a set of musical glasses but they
need no water because Jean-Claude rough-tuned them during the
glass-blowing process and later fine-tuned them by abrasion in his
Luminescence.

Ward Hartenstein makes ceramic percussion.  He plays a clay marimba in
Claycussion, composed by John Beck.  The piece also uses a bass marimba,
agogo bell and shekere

Daniel DeVore loves bamboo.  He became a fluteman, making, playing and
selling bamboo flutes everywhere he went.  He learned to shape different
instruments.  Some he calls bootoo, short sections of bamboo, played in
pairs.  One end of each piece is closed by a natural node in the bamboo,
while the other is open.  The stamping tube sound is produced by striking
the tubes end-on on a solid surface. It sounds like rain.  Another sound
is achieved by scraping them against one another.  A single bootoo tube
can be played like a flute.  Sometime De Vore sings into the open end.
Other instruments: a barimba made of semicircular bamboo sections and
tuned like a marimba, a bamboo chime and a bamboo flute.

Barry Hall invented a Barryphone when in grade school.  He never stopped
building unusual instruments.  One is the flowerpotophone.  He chose not
to hang them but to mount them, open-end up, on a wooden stand. He finds
his flowerpots everywhere he goes, and for Terra Zona, ended up with a
set of 25.  flowerpotophones Wendy Mae C,hambers short piece for the car
horn organ is fun.She gathered automobile horns with pitches corresponding
to a standard chromatic scale over a range of two octaves.  She set them
on a metal framework and wired them to a piano-like keyboard. A twelve-volt
batter powers the horns.  The book describes the difference in the notes
from American cars and from foreign makes.For instance, she found her
low C in a Caddie....

Susan Juhl

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