Experimental Instrument Prototype

Expermental_prototype1Experimental Instrument: Prototype: This is my first experiment making a wall instrument. The piece consists of steel and nylon strings, wood, brackets, various metal pieces, and clamps. (Approx. 45″ x 12″)

This project is intriguing to me as I have played oboe for about 17 years. I’ve also played trombone, trumpet, clarinet, bassoon, and guitar. I studied classical music and theory at the University of Arizona prior to pursuing a degree in studio art. I’m experimenting with ways to combine my love of music and art and am considering pursuing this interest for my master’s thesis at the University of Denver.Experimental_sketch1

During my first run of this project, I wanted to develop my sculptural skills before adding electronic components. The final piece is the second version as the first was unsuccessful in keeping the steel strings taught. Initially, I assumed that just clamping the strings tightly on the bottom wooden base would be strong enough to keep the strings tight. However, only after a small amount of time the strings stretched considerably due to the hole size in the wood and the metal clamps holding the strings. In addition, the brackets were not sufficient to stop the wood from bending towards the center creating even less tension in the strings.

I decided to hang heavy metal objects from the bottom to keep the strings tight. Visually, I enjoy the contrast of the methodical pattern of the strings at the top of the piece compared to the chaotic mass on the bottom. However, heavier objects will be needed for the next version as only the nylon strings are able to make sufficient audible noise. This, along with other adjustments will be needed for the next version.

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