Archives for category: Instrument Tree Sculptures

Early October, 2012 – We have had a bout five days on non-stop sunshine, clear blues skies, and almost no wind – unheard of this year to have such good weather. So, today I went off across the field and into the woods near the river and found two smallish trees to experiment with. One issue has been the strings coming off the bridge, and so last time I was out I tried making an extended bridge from some elderberry sticks – it is pretty primitive, but it works. The problem is, though, that the strings still slip, and when they do it sounds rather dull.

Today I thought about how to get more than two strings working – you need to keep a couple of regular strings on the violins in order to hold the bridge in place. Today i realised that the answer is to float the violin, on an extended bridge, on the four strings. see picture:

Image

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Sept 23 we (Bennett & Stefan) made a first attempt at a guitar-tree sculpture.

On the way back we had a conversation on the topic of the affordances of instruments that incorporate objects from nature into their design. Rather than the highly modified nature, or technology, of say a violin or a guitar, a musical instrument that incorporates a naturally occurring object becomes a vehicle for interaction with nature in artistic production. The specific affordances offered can be deployed to radically alter the nature of the musical performance – the question becomes one of “what is the music that this particular structure” can engender, rather than importing a notion of musical structure which the object is only used to realise.

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