Odd sounds indeed
By SAMANTHA AMJADALI
HOME to spoon harps, African moth cocoon shakers,
octavators and violimbas, OddMusic.com is a celebration
of the world's "unique, unusual, ethnic, or experimental
music and instruments".
The heart of this addictive site is its gallery,
where noise lovers can learn about dozens of weird
and wacky instruments fashioned from stones, video
tapes and even beer bottles.
entry boasts a picture of the unconventional instrument
and an audio clip, so visitors can hear exactly
what a due capi, a two-headed wood and aluminium
wind instrument, or a trimeister, a fusion of
guitar, mandolin and fiddle, really sound like.
of the offerings are experimental, but a large
portion are traditional instruments, used for
centuries by various indigenous peoples from around
the globe. For example, the uplifting Ukranian
bandura, the jaunty Javanese gamelan and our very
own didgeridoo, one of the world's oldest wind
interests at the site range from techno to junkabilly
noise rock. Anything goes at OddMusic, where there
is only one rule:
for all opinions and members" -- at times a difficult
request, especially in the case of instruments
such as the bikelophone, a spooky contraption
built in 1995 for the Lyle and Sparkleface Band.
bikelophone, which produces sounds ranging from
tranquil bliss to cacophonic terror, boasts magnetic
pick-ups to amplify the sound. So, any instrument
attached to the bikelophone is amplified. The
current configuration includes bass strings, scrap
wood and metal, metal bowls, telephone bells,
a mechanical foot pedal and a touch-sensitive
amazing pencilla: Has nothing to do with a
writing instrument. It is, in fact, a "groovy"
electric 10-stringed collision of a hammer dulcimer,
slide guitar, koto and fret-less bass with six
pick-ups of varied types. It is struck with sticks,
plucked and bowed.
beer bottle organ: Originally developed in
Europe in the early 1800s, its sound is created
by blowing air over the tops of beer bottles filled
(or tuned) with mineral oil to prevent it evaporating.
The beer bottle organ is played with a keyboard.
double violin: A 10-stringed double violin
that shares the same fingerboard.
harp guitar: Part guitar, part harp, part
bass, this contraption is a 20-string instrument
with an extended second neck that stretches above
the main neck. The second neck holds seven un-fretted
bass strings which are plucked like a harp.
planet stainless: Created in the Philippines,
using stainless steel kitchenware, this improvised
amplifier creates natural vibrating effects when
thumb piano: Made from an old aspirin tin,
the thumb piano (also known as a kalimba) is just
tip tip tip cheeepeeeee: The STTTC uses a
modified computer keyboard on which each key does
not denote a fixed pitch as would a normal piano
keyboard. Instead, each key changes pitch each
time it is played, offering an astoundingly diverse
palette of sound.
A set of three joined stainless steel and
bronze water drums. The central larger drum is
held between the player's legs so that the water
may be "activated" by moving the legs as the trongos
are played. The motion creates ambient schiziosonic
modulations and pre-echoes that vary depending
on the speed at which the water is moved.