Wednesday, December 4, 2013

New Instrument

My latest Antarctic musical instrument, constructed out of driftwood, dried kelp, and penguin vertebrae, is titled Last Flight of the Adélies. To me, the elegant Adélie vertebrae looked like miniscule spaceships, or, seen from another angle, tiny white birds in flight. Thus I mounted the bones in a flock/formation, with swirly, swooping kelp tracing the flight paths of each individual bird/ship. The name of the instrument is a reference to the collapse of Adélie penguin colonies near Palmer Station, plus I like the idea of flightless (yes, I know they are phenomenal underwater "flyers") penguins returning to the sky.

The instrument will be amplified via a contact mic attached to the wood base and played by bowing, tapping, and rubbing the bones and kelp. It will make it's performance debut next week during my concert at Meridian Gallery in San Francisco.

Last Flight of the Adélies in progress

The completed instrument

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