Monthly Archive: May 2007

Scrap metal orchestra

Posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Yesterday Rambert performed Anatomica #3 by Andre Gingras to a score by my old friend and colleague Joseph Hyde. After chatting with Rambert's principal percussionist Rob Millett, Jo discovered Rob was an avid collector of scrap metal instruments. Jo's score featured four percussionists playing scrap metal percussion of various kinds and the music was influenced by Gamelan and minimalism, but it sounded quite unique, I was very impressed. Jo and I are dreaming of setting up rival scrap metal orchestras, and after hearing what he managed to acheive with this piece, I'm definitely inspired!


Jo's kindly allowed me to post an excerpt of the piece here:

later on, with a wonderfully distorted electronic sound:

I asked Jo for a list of what the four percussionists play:

Performer 1
• 6 alloy scaffolding pipes
• 5 square-section iron pipes
• 1 long iron pipe
• small shaker
• 2 metal drums
• tam-tam (as large as poss)

Performer 2
• shaker
• lensdrum
• 7 cowbells
• large Chinese cymbal, 20” heavy Turkish cymbal
• ‘circle’ of drums comprising:
large orchestral bass drum, 18” floor tom, 16” tom, 14” tom, 12” tom, low timbale, high timbale, low bongo, high bongo
large field snare, snares off

Performer 3
• shaker
• kalimba
• 3 cowbells
• 9 kitchen bowls
• 3 temple bowls
• 18” light Turkish cymbal with ‘sizzles’, 14” light Turkish cymbal,7” light Turkish cymbal
• Small set of standing drums: small, damped bass drum, small snare (snare on), 14” tom, 12” tom, low bongo, high bongo

Performer 4
• 49-key Keyboard, playing a variety of pre-recorded samples

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Groanbox boys

Posted on Saturday, May 12, 2007

My friends Michael and Cory, aka the Groanbox Boys have just been featured in The Independent - their footstomping mix of accordion, banjo is really something special. They're planning a new US tour this summer and a UK and Ireland tour in the autumn, I recommend checking them out at

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Archive Cage TV appearance

Posted on Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Here's an unbelievable performance of John Cage performing his piece 'Water Walk' on a popular US TV show in 1960. (via therestisnoise)

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