Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Chair Guitars

Here's a crazy video that I stumbled onto with some very creative "seats"

Monday, September 19, 2011

Diego Stocco Music from a dry cleaner video

I love Diego Stocco's creativity, the guy has a mind that works like mine, but he's out there making music from all sorts of awesome "Found Music" sources. Diego is my inspiration. Check out his latest video where he makes music with the sounds found in a neighborhood dry cleaning store.


More info and pictures are available at the Behance gallery:

The Diego Stocco Youtube Channel

Friday, September 16, 2011

Moyo Drums on Sale

My friends from Moyo Drums are having a sale this weekend on their drums ahead of the The Yosemite Flute and Art Festival, where they will be exhibiting. This weekend only, Moyo Drum is offering the show price of $305 for any in stock Moyo Drum PLUS FREE SHIPPING. 
SALE ENDS SUNDAY 9/18 6:00pm ACT NOW! If you are planning to attend the festival you will be able to see and play all these drums and your cost will be the same. 
Call today! Rick & Linda (559) 641-5980

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Check out Noise Junk Site

I just stumbled upon Noisejunk which is a site dedicated to cataloging unusual musical instruments. This is an excellent resource for finding new ideas. If you are a builder, be sure to reach out to them to get your site included.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Little Guitar Works makes really twisted Bass Guitars

I spotted these awesome bass guitars today, and I am blown away by the craftsmanship in these instruments. Just have a look at the ergonomic design of these bass guitar. They call it the Torzal Natural Twist and (per their website): the ergonomic design increases the efficiency of the hands, wrists and arms, reducing the risk of developing repetitive strain injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis.

As a bass player I definitely get the idea that the bass players job is to hold down the groove and that can lead to issues with carpel tunnel.

You have to check out all of the Little Guitar Works bass guitar product line to appreciate how beautiful these babies are.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Cigar Box Guitar Festival in Pennsylvania this Saturday

WHAT: The second annual Pennsylvania Cigar Box Guitar Festival
WHEN: Friday, August 28 and Saturday, August 27, 2011
TIME: 10am-5pm
WHERE: Downtown York, PA. on the grounds of The York Emporium

DETAILS: The fest will host 14 acts on two stages plus demonstrations, instrument vendors and more. Headlining acts include Purgatory Hill, Shane Speal (from Cigar Box Nation) and psych-folk legends, Stone Breath. YouTube favorite and NY street musician, Keni Lee Burgess will give a free playing seminar as well.

There is a special Friday night jam session on the 26th for instrument makers and players starting at 6pm. The jam is $20 and includes pizza and beer. In addition, there will be cigar box guitar concerts in local pubs throughout the weekend.

BoingBoing blog on Cigar Box Guitar Festival

Monday, August 22, 2011


Here's an awesome sound creation tool that works for free on the web, or you can download for $.99 for iPhone and iPad.

You can chose the scale and tempo as you setup the generative items. There are 40 scales to choose from.

I picked up my Native American Flute in the key of E and jammed along, it was great.

I downloaded to my iPhone 3 and there isn't enough processing power, it sounds horrible. I am hoping that it runs better on one of the newer iPhones. Please post a comment if you've verified this.

Otomata for iPhone
Earslap website for Otomata

Sunday, August 21, 2011


I saw this interesting musical instrument in the video by Michael Hearst that i posted yesterday. I thought that it was worth some additional investigation.

The Otamatone is an electronic instrument, designed by Maywa Denki. Some would call it a toy, but it's shaped like a musical note. I think that there are some real musical possibilities
This video gives you a pretty good idea of the possibilities:

Here's another video (in Japanese) which shows all of the possibilities:

And this one is my all time favorite video:

Sells for about $35 US

Think Geek
Otamatone on Amazon

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Michael Hearst Ode to Odd Instruments

Saw this awesome video today:

Including (in order of appearance):

Friday, August 19, 2011

Thingamajigs Fundraiser Concert

To help support artists traveling from overseas and other parts of the country to join Thingamajigs for its Annual Music for People & Thingamajig Festival, a special fundraising concert will be held at Meridian Gallery in San Francisco. Local Bay Area artists will volunteer their time to perform music and demonstrate their special instruments to audience members and bring awareness to Thingamajigs' arts and education programming.

The Thingamajigs Fundraiser Concert features the music and original homemade instruments of Bart Hopkin and Tom Nunn, and will also feature Persian-Tuned Piano performed by Iranian artist Ramin Zoufonoun.

Date: Aug 19,2011
Time: 08:00 PM - 10:00 PM
$15 general; $10 students/seniors
Reservations: (510) 444-1322 or
For more information: 510-418-3447 or

Thingamajigs Website

Friday, August 05, 2011

Musical Desk

Here's an awesome example of both craftsmanship and ingenuity. This guy created a musical desk:

Thursday, July 07, 2011

RobOrchestra Vibratron - Circus Galop

The Vibratron tries to play one of the most intense pieces of piano music ever composed. Unfortunately, despite recirculation (at a rate of about 5 balls per second) all 6,000 balls were exhausted before the song was finished. ...

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Music From a Tree

This is "found music" at it's finest:

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Solid Body UBASS

Kala announces their new Solid Body UBASS Guitar

Friday, July 01, 2011


The Knock Box was designed to serve as a percussion tool for all musicians. Lightweight and compact, the Knock Box is a must for the traveling musician. Run it through an equalizer and all sounds are possible.

The Knock Box is a small, wooden box equipped with Big Twin transducers by K&K Sound.

Features include:

  • ergonomic heel rest which folds over the Knock Box to protect it while in transit
  • adjustable spiked feet which afford incline of playing surface
  • round and v –groove guiros @ either edge
  • designed to accept universal mounting bracket currently under development – bracket will allow percussionists to mount the Knock Box anywhere on their kit

Singer / songwriters can tap the Knock Box with their foot, or hand to add a percussive foundation to their arrangement. Percussionists can play it by hand, sticks, brushes, bass pedal – mount it to the kit or leave it on the floor.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Slaperoo by Andy Graham

I attended MakerFaire 2011 in San Mateo, CA this year. It's becoming an annual event for me and my son to check out all of the cool things that folks are 'hacking' in their garages. This year I ran into Andy Graham demo'ing his latest creation The Slaperoo.

Andy describes the The Slaperoo on his website as:

"Inspired by a long shipping crate with a highly tensioned steel strap, the SLAPEROO™ uses the same type of steel strapping (aka, the Slapper) to produce it's unique percussive tones.

"The rigid tubular body of the SLAPEROO™ is made of anodized 6061 alloy aluminum, which provides the strength necessary to handle the hundreds of pounds of tension required for the the Slapper to get its unique sound.

"The Slapper floats just above the length of the body, allowing it to be 'fretted' like a stand-up bass. However, rather than strumming, the Slapper is struck against the body with one or two hands. It can even be bowed like a violin.

"At the heart of the SLAPEROO™ lies a custom-designed transducer (pickup) that converts the vibrations of the Slapper into an audio signal. The 1/4-inch instrument plug in the back allows it to be used with any instrument amplifier.
Cost: $599 (list)

I have confirm that first of all, Andy Graham is a first rate musician. I saw him perform at MakerFaire 2010, and what caught my attention last year was his unique "multi-didj" stand which enabled him to play the didj while simultaneously banging out the beats on a full drum kit. That's Talent! Little did I know until this year, that Andy is also a talented inventor and entrepreneur. The Slaperoo is just one of several musical inventions that Andy has created over the years (including the DijBass and DijBow). But The Slaperoo has a unique sound. Admittedly, I was also fascinated
by the sound of banging on the metal bands around a shipping container many years ago, (used to drive my lab mates crazy when a new crate arrived), but I didn't have Andy's inventor spirit then.

Here's a couple videos to intrigue you:

Video I took of Andy Graham playing the Slaperoo at MakerFaire 2011:

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Check out the new Alesis iO Dock for iPad2

Alesis has announced a new product designed to fill the gap in getting all of your music instruments connected to your iPad and providing the necessary outputs from your iPad so that you can get all that great sound out to your audience in a pro-audio format.
They are not shipping yet, but I sure would like to get my hands on one to test the sound quality in and out.

Suggested Price: $399 USD (but Sweetwater is listing it for $199)

Here are some links to additional information:
Update (6/28): iSoundDesign reports that the situation is now resolved.
The Alesis iO Dock features:
  • The world’s first pro audio dock for iPad and iPad 2
  • Connect microphones and instruments including guitar, studio monitors, PA speakers, headphones, and MIDI controllers
  • Universal device works with virtually every audio and MIDI app in the App Store; Core MIDI compliant
  • Perform, craft, create and play back music in virtually any conceivable manner or location
  • Video output for connection to TVs and projectors
  • Inputs: two combo XLR-1/4" for use with audio gear, instruments, and computer audio
  • Input channel gain controls and switchable phantom power for use with condenser microphones
  • Guitar-direct switch for use with amplifier- and effects-modeling app
  • Outputs: pair 1/4" and 1/4" headphone with separate volume controls
  • Control: MIDI In, MIDI Out, USB MIDI, and assignable 1/4-inch footswitch input


  • iO Dock docking station for iPad
  • Power supply
  • Quick start guide


  • 2x XLR-1/4"
  • Individual gain controls
  • Phantom power, switchable
  • Guitar (high-impedance) switch on Input 2

  • 2x 1/4" Main
  • 1/4" TRS Headphone
  • Individual level controls

  • RCA Composite (requires compatible apps)

  • MIDI In (DIN)
  • MIDI Out (DIN)
  • 1/4" Footswitch (function assigned by apps)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Music for People & Thingamajigs Festival

The "Music for People & Thingamajigs Festival" is scheduled for Sept 22-25, 2011. This is the 14th year for the festival, and it is a celebration of unusual music made from unique (and found) instruments, by unique musicians.

Past participants include Carla Kihlstedt, Walter Kitundu, Peter Whitehead, Brenda Hutchinson, William Winant, Laetitia Sonami, and many others.

Thingamajigs offers a call for proposals from artists/composers for the 14th
Annual Music for People & Thingamajigs Festival, which will be held on
September 22nd through 25th, 2011 in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Thingamajigs is an organization working to:
1) promote the creation of genre-crossing works which incorporate made/found
instruments and alternate tuning systems
2) showcase artists working in this medium, and give such artists a forum for
showing their work
3) expose the general public, and especially children, to new ways of
experiencing sound
Previous Music for People and Thingamajigs festivals have included work of (or
participation by) Pauline Oliveros, Lou Harrison, Laetitia Sonami, Walter
Kitundu, Mark Applebaum, Bart Hopkin, Carla Kihlstedt, Peter Whitehead, Willie
Winant, Lisa Moskow and many others.
See our website for more info on previous participants at
Proposals will be accepted until Jun 15, 2009, although accepted proposals that
are received by May 15, 2009 will be included in our grant proposals and will
have a greater chance of receiving outside funding. Proposals should include a
bio of the artist/performer/composer(s), a specific description of the work or
performance submitted, and documentation of the submitted work (CD or link to
a website). We prefer electronically submitted proposals, but will accept hard
copies at the address below. Composers must provide the performers for
proposed performances.
Please contact: with proposals or questions, or
send proposals to, 5000 MarcArthur Blvd PMB 9826 Oakland,
CA, 94613,USA.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sung Kim Experimental Musical Instrument Maker

MakerFaire is next week in San Mateo (I am going!). Here's a great video highlighting one of the experimental musical instrument makers who will be in attendance: Sung Kim

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Very cool innovation from Swan Percussion being shown at NAMM 2011 show this week. I'd love to try out this drum, looks like fun.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Bali Steel Pan

Doing a little internet and youtube research tonight. While I still have my place on the waiting list for a Halo, I also stumbled onto another new Hand Pan maker called "Bali Steel Pan". Not much to go on other than a website and a youtube channel. It looks like they're being made in Bali by a trio of builders. The youtube videos offer some insight.
Current price looks to be $1050 (USD), plus shipping.

Bali Steel Pan Website

Bali Steel Pan Youtube Channel

Thursday, January 06, 2011

A Halo Improvization video

Just a little, awesome teaser from Pantheon Steel and the Halo

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Meinl 2011 Catalog

Meinl has their new 2011 Percussion Catalog online now. Not only is it an innovative way to present their 2011 product line, but it's also a gorgeous presentation.They are using Flash for the catalog, and I like the concept. Embedded in the catalog are videos of the new products, which demonstrate the sounds of the instrument. The only downside to the online catalog is that you need a high speed connection (either that or their web servers are overwhelmed at the moment) because it took a long time to load.

Here's some of the cool new instruments in the lineup (and just in time for NAMM):

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Isle of Tune

Here's another new online sequencer, soon to be an app for Iphone. It's called "isle of Tune", and it uses an automotive motif to set your sequence in motion. You create roads, with cars. As the cars drive past various objects (houses, trees, lamp posts), different sounds are triggered. You set the sounds and tones of the various objects.

Saturday, January 01, 2011


Check out this cool online musical sequencer. It's called "Seaquence" and it's an experimental, interactive sequencer. You can create and save or share your creations.

Here's a few that I created: