Tiki Spoon Cello

A couple of weeks ago, I found this giant wooden spoon in an Arcata thrift store. It didn’t take much imagination to figure out what to do with it. It’s practically a ready-made string instrument, so the question became: how many and what kind? I have quite a few string instruments in my “Orchestra of the Unwanted.” I’ve got harps, lyres, zithers, fiddles, guitars and basses, but I don’t have much that sounds like a cello.

I like the sound of a cello, so I strung this spoon with a pair of pretty beefy (1mm) stainless steel strings, mounted a piezoelectric pickup on the bridge and a quarter-inch jack on the bowl of the spoon, and now it does a pretty good impersonation of a cello. It has a ton of upper harmonic response, that can easily get out of hand, but if you can keep it from squealing, it sings with depth and clarity.

In this piece, you can hear how the deep cello voice anchors the quartet of recycled instruments.

You can find much more music by Tin Can Luminary and the Orchestra of the Unwanted at: http://www.johnhardin.bandcamp.com and you can find pictures of all of the instruments, along with demonstration videos at: http://www.electricearthmusic.wordpress.com

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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