WOOD AND BUTTER
There’s an old-fashioned toy in which you slide a little wooden bird figurine to the top of a narrow, upright metal rod and release it; the bird then slowly progresses back down, pecking at the rod as it descends. The instrument shown here does something similar, though on a larger scale. There are several upright rods up to six feet in length, plus a supply of bent wire pieces in various shapes and sizes which can be placed on the uprights and will jiggle or hammer their way downward. Some of the uprights are threaded rods, which also allow for the old trick of setting a metal washer spinning slowly down. There are pickups at the bottom, positioned to pick up the sounds of the jiggle and hammer and spin actions as filtered through the rods.
In the audio clip, several different washers and bent-wire pieces can be heard descending the rods.