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Listen to the Serpentine Bassoon

Serpentine Bassoon with Sensors

The Serpentine Bassoon is played with a normal bassoon crook and double reed. Joanne, however has carefully modified the instrument by including microphones [pickups], a touch sensitive thumb-plate, pressure and movement sensors, which the musician can use to control synthesizers, samplers and effects machines. Joanne uses the instrument to produce an incredible wide range of sounds;including wild animal cries, soft-detailed plucking sounds, bassoon, horn and oboe timbres, cycling rampaging flangers, distortion tones, melodic shifting delays and echoes and all manner of bizarre oscillations, sirens, mutterings and warbling. Click here to visit the website of Joanne Cannon and Stuart Favilla
Serpentine Bassoon

An electroacoustic double reed instrument that controls effects machines and synthesisers.

The Serpentine Bassoon is a unique Australian double-reed instrument constructed from a 2.6 meter leather tube [the equivalent length of a bassoon].

This conical bore instrument was designed and built by Gary Greenwood specifically for and in collaboration with Joanne Cannon.

Leather is a flexible material, allowing itself to be looped and curved to achieve a playable shape.

Unlike the instrument's early music equivalent; the serpent [an instrument constructed from wood and then covered with leather], the serpentine bassoon is constructed from two sheets of polished leather; providing a good acoustically reflective surface inside and out.

The leather tube is then wet-formed into the specific shape and heat dried. Leather is less resonant in comparison to other acoustic materials.

This facilitates amplification without the usual worries of screeching feedback tones.


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