The Glassdance, which consists of 48
revolving tuned crystal glasses, belongs to a relatively rare family
of friction instruments. It was inspired by Benjamin Franklin’s
‘glass armonica’ and is by far the most complex instrument
Cris Forster has built to date. In the detailed graphic (click
here to view detail), note that the stems of the glasses
are mounted through the centers of red sprockets. A variable speed
motor coupled to a modular drive transmission rotates the glasses.
Consequently, a performer may play two or more glasses simultaneously.
This instrument has a remarkable sensitivity to touch, and a rich
variety of tones and timbres.
Built: 1982–1983, San Diego, California.
Total number of glasses: 48.
Length of stand: 55 ½ in.
Height of stand: 42 ½ in.
Width of stand at wheels: 42.0 in.
Overall height of instrument: 76 ½ in.
Lead crystal glass, Douglas fir, birch, teak, mahogany, aluminum,
brass, and steel.
Lowest glass: G above middle C.
Highest glass: Third G above middle C.