Some Curious Musical Instruments To Amuse You

Aside from all the thousands of established musical instruments, which one would imagine would produce enough different sounds to meet any musician´s needs, there are always odd balls out there who absolutely have to have an instrument that will produce yet another sound, so here are a few that i have come across for your […]

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Aside from all the thousands of established musical instruments, which one would imagine would produce enough different sounds to meet any musician´s needs, there are always odd balls out there who absolutely have to have an instrument that will produce yet another sound, so here are a few that i have come across for your listening pleasure.

Constance Demby:

This extraordinary woman has invented a whole slew of new instruments as part of her life´s work as a New Age Healer, and her music and instruments have been used by all manner of people and projects beyond her own use of them as an aid to healing.

She has invented quite a few instruments, but I shall simply give you one of them, it is easy enough once you know of her to find much more of her music online or on her own website.  So here we go with a wonderful instrument she calls The Sonic Steel Space Bass.

First though, here is her description of the instrument itself, so you know what it is you are watching and listening to.

The Sonic Steel Space Bass is a 10 ft sheet of mirror finish stainless steel with 5 octaves of steel and brass rods. The rods can be bowed, struck percussively, and the metal sheet can be rubbed to create various effects. Several tones can be created by bowing a single rod, resulting in a multi-tiered overtone series. A sound scientist determined that the sound waves on the lowest notes of the instrument are approximately thirty feet long.

The instrument emits deep, primordial, archetypal resonances that put audiences into altered states in which listeners report transdimensional experiences. In healing modality, the ultra low sub-sonic frequencies have been known to break up and dissolve long held encrustrations held in the embodiment, resulting in healings.

I have chosen a short video of her playing this instrument so that you can see what it actually looks like, however there are many full length examples of her music online, but as sound files rather than videos, and I wanted you to see what it actually looks like.

Wonderful sound isnt it?  And I have to say it, but she is a very alarming looking woman.   So now you know what it sounds and looks like, I suggest you might want to go to her website and listen to much more music.   ( http://www.constancedemby.com).  She is also well represented on Youtube, of course!.

OK, so that was the first of the odd instruments I wanted to show you.

The Bazantar:

Here we have an instrument that more or less represents the likely outcome of a mating between a double bass and a sitar.  There is only one of these monsters in the world, as it was designed and built by Marc Deutsch for his own use.

Simply put, it’s a five-string acoustic bass, fitted with twenty-nine additional sympathetic strings and four drone strings.  It possesses a melodic range of over five octaves, and its sympathetic range spans four octaves.The inventor intends this to create an interplay between melodic, sympathetic, and drone strings to produce a more resonant sound than a conventional upright bass.

And as you will hear in the video below, I think he has rather succeeded in his aim, at the very least he has produced an instrument that is capable of the most amazing range of sounds, and is actually remarkably musical as well I find.

So here is a video of the thing in action, see what you think.

I have to confess that I love the sound(s) it can produce.  Sort of classical bass player meets Ravi Shankar.  In this video he explains very fully how it all works, why he created the instrument and what he wanted it to do for him musically.  Intriguing to listen to I find.  Always good to listen to a committed and knowledgeable person talking about their passions.

The Olle Hemmingsson Trio

So, from the sublime to the ridiculous perhaps.  Here we have an old diesel tractor being used as a rhythm section for a jazz band.   Silly, but remarkably effective in fact.

Watch, listen and enjoy:

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