Nowadays, many musicians preferred to build their own instruments to complement the already known instruments and to give a unique feeling to their musical compositions. Keep reading so you learn and be surprised with several recent examples of new and unusual instruments built through this century.
The truth is that many contemporary instruments have been born from this process of artistic creation, as many artists are known for their continuous search to find new sounds to differentiate themselves from other musicians.
The Hall of Fame
From the enormous telharmonium weighing 200 tons, to the fixed pianos of John Cage, the trimba by Moondog, the arsenal of manipulated oscillators by Silver Apple, the harpsichord by Henry Dragg, the three-neck guitar named Pikasso by Pat Metheny, the teletron of The Apples In Stereo, the laser harp of Jean Michel Jarre (indeed more visual than musical).
Another example of this curious instruments are the electric batteries and synthesizers created in the Kling Klang studios of Kraftwerk, these new instruments are a musical and visual experience, like the extraterrestrial theremin, popularized in the sixties by bands like The Beach Boys.
When it Comes to be Quirky, Bjork is Not Alone
The eccentric Icelandic artist Björk was also stung by the bug to create her own new instrument and come up with the Gamelest, she put together two classic instruments: the Indonesian gamelan (a brass percussion type instrument) and a percussion piano with steel bars.
The Most Expensive Move Out Ever
Brunettes Shoot Blondes is another band that had the fabulous idea of creating its own instrument: they modified a nineteenth-century grand piano to build a completely mechanical multi-instrument: it includes a marimba, tambourine, turntables, cello, and even castanets. Just the transportation of this piano, which contains more than 20 instruments, cost much money as building it.
Nourishing Vegan Music
And vegans also get a place on this adventure, The Vegetable Orchestra, is an Austrian collective and they build their instruments with nothing more and nothing less than vegetables! The musicians buy the aubergines, cucumbers, carrots and any other vegetable or fruit they use to build their instruments a few hours before their performance. Speaking of nourishing music, after each presentation they treat their fans with a vegan feast.
For the Congolese collective called KOKOKO!, any piece of trash from the street can become an endless rave, although its electronic junk is not the most original musical production in the world, the instruments with which they create their hypnotic dances are.
Having no money to buy their own equipment, was not a problem for the KOKOKO! guys; they inspired themselves by the sounds of their native Kinshasa to create a new style named kintueni techno, and they continue with the great African tradition of creating craft musical instruments.
The cacophony of glass jars crashing together, the rhythm of a typewriter, a bass built with cans recovered from the trash, a large wooden structure reminiscent of a giant kora… The only thing that is required to compose amazing music is a bit of imagination.