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