Playing the Breath Flute
Cassidy Roaster isn’t really a new instrument; rather an augmentation of a preexisting commercial instrument. In this and in other ways it is like the Speaker Driver Instrument. In Cassidy Roaster the preexisting commercial instrument is – what else? – one of the ubiquitous Casio mini-keyboards. The output from the keyboard goes to a power amp and from there to a surface driver [Dayton Audio Thruster]– a small audio driver designed to be attached to walls or other surfaces to turn them into sound-radiating surfaces. There’s an overturned roasting pan mounted alongside the keyboard, and the player, while using the right hand to play the keyboard, uses the left hand to hold the driver against the surface of the roasting pan. The roasting pan serves as sound radiator, and the player can modulate the sound in crazy ways by moving it about on the pan, changing the pressure or the angle, bringing out different resonances in the metal of the pan. This produces a weirdly, everchangingly distorted sound acoustically, but there are also piezos on the pan, and their output can be sent through an equalizer and volume control to an external speaker. For more weirdness, you can use inputs other than the keyboard – for instance, the power amp happens to include a radio receiver. You could also substitute some other sort of sound-radiating surface for the pan. The possibilities for these little drivers as hand-held devices are endless.

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