Invented and built by Cris Forster,
the Chrysalis was his first concert-sized instrument. The instrument's
design was inspired by a huge, round, stone-hewn Aztec calendar.
Cris thought to himself, "What if there were a musical instrument
in the shape of a wheel? And what if this wheel had strings for
spokes, could spin, and when played, would sound like the wind?"
Thus, the basic idea of the Chrysalis was born. Built in 1975-76,
the Chrysalis has two sides, or two circular soundboards, and 82
strings on each side. The wheel, which sits on the crest of a wave-like
stand, may be freely spun in either direction.
Built: 1975–1976, San Francisco, California
Total number of strings: 164
Longest string: 20.0 in.
Shortest string: 8.0 in.
Wheel diameter: 36 ¾ in.
Wheel width: 5.0 in.
Height from floor to top of wheel: 57 ½ in.
Stand length: 61.0 in.
Stand width: 10 ½ in.
Sitka spruce, oak, ash, maple, birch, ebony, aluminum, brass, and
Left Side: F# above middle C to B above high C
Right Side: B below middle C to F# above high C