The Vampire Hamster of Rothenburg

I made this little horror movie/music video to highlight some of the recordings I made recently with the Orchestra of the Unwanted. The Orchestra of the Unwanted is a growing collection of eccentric musical instruments I built from recycled materials and found objects. You can see pictures and demonstrations of the instruments by following this link.

The unique sounds of these crude instruments inspires the music I make with them. A lot of the music I make with the Orchestra of the Unwanted sounds like it belongs in a horror movie, so I got the idea to make a video to accompany this new album that had the look of a classic black and white horror movie from the ‘50s.

Then I remembered Rothenburg. In the summer of 2019 I visited Rothenburg, a medieval walled village in Germany. It is a beautiful place with cobblestone streets and 500 year old houses. They have a castle and a cathedral with some of the very best German woodcarving, but they also have a monster.

I saw it, and took pictures of it. It was one of the strangest things I have ever seen, and the image of it has haunted me ever since. I realized that Rothenburg had everything I needed to make a horror movie.

I shot the Vampire Hamster of Rothenburg almost entirely, on location, in Rothenburg, Germany, as an unwitting tourist, no doubt saving myself thousands of Euros in permit fees. The movie tells the story of a doomed love affair, a treacherous play for power that brings down an empire, and a bloodthirsty monster’s 500 year reign of terror. Although the story, and all of the characters portrayed in The Vampire Hamster of Rothenburg are completely fictional, the monster is REAL.

The whole movie is only 11 minutes long, but it includes excerpts of all 8 tracks of my new 53 plus minute long album, also titled The Vampire Hamster of Rothenburg by Tin Can Luminary and the Orchestra of the Unwanted. I hope you enjoy the movie, and that you like the music in it enough to check out the album, and make it the soundtrack to your own horror movie.

Author: john hardin

Artist bio: The writer in me says: “Don’t tell them who you are, show them what you do.” The artist in me says: “It must be strong, simple, bold, yet rich with detail, but above all, original.” The filmmaker in me says: “We need to contextualize your work by weaving the roots of the Psychedelic Revolution, the Environmental Movement, Gaia Theory, Future Primitivism and musical influences from Iannis Xenakis to Bart Hopkin into a narrative that portrays an iconoclast's struggle for cultural relevance from the forested hinterlands of rural Northern California within the greater post-industrial, post-post-modern, post-reality mind-fuck of the 21st Century.” The critic in me says: “Will that guy ever shut up?” The comedian in me says: “It has to make me laugh at least once.” The engineer in me says: “Don’t forget to tell them that you do it all off-grid, with solar power, using recycled materials.” And the improvisational musician in me says: “Cut! Great job everybody!”

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