In which Bart Hopkin plays the instrument called …U… and explains its workings. This video was made for the 2021 online Maker Music Festival happening May 15-16 (https://www.makermusicfestival.com) Be sure to check out the festival! Many makers and wonderful instruments featured.
Here’s an improv/demonstration of Aquaalt, a water-modulated string instrument. It’s closely related to the Aquavina made by Jacques Dudon in the 1970s. Both of these instruments make use of shifting resonances created by water moving on the bottom of a stainless steel pan resonator, an idea pioneered by Richard Waters with his Waterphone in the late 1960s.
THREE PASSAGES FROM INNER CHAPTERS
A musical setting of three short texts from Zhuang Zhou’s Inner Chapters as translated into English by Gia Fu Feng and Jane English, used by permission of Jane English (https://eheart.com). Audio from a studio recording ~1988; drawings and animation 2020. Video shot by Carly McLane 2020.
Flango is an animation by the wonderful animator Cory Sheldon (http://www.corysheldoncreative.com/), based upon drawings by Bart Hopkin and set to music of instruments designed and built by Bart.
LOST IN ORPHIC FOREST
Lost in Orphic Forest is an animation by the wonderful animator Cory Sheldon (http://www.corysheldoncreative.com/), based upon drawings by Bart Hopkin and set to music of instruments designed and built by Bart. Featured instruments include a dal slide whistle, a wooden-key lamellaphone, and something called string-on-tine.
Animation, drawings, music and musical instruments by Bart Hopkin. The most prominent instrument, which was double tracked for this recording, is HHK Strings.
IN BOSKY JANGLE
I built In Bosky Jangle (originally known as Sound Chamber) a few years ago for an exhibit in Bolinas, California, and it has appeared in several other places since then. It is a kinetic soundspace of bell trees and other instruments with a foresty kind of mood. Visitors are invited to enter the forest and play.
EXPLORING THE SCIENCE OF SOUND WITH INVENTED MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
Here’s a talk and demonstration I gave as part of the Oakmont Sunday Symposium series at Oakmont Village near Santa Rosa California, curated by Philip Wigen and Dutch Lichliter. This is a fairly extensive discussion touching on various topics in acoustics. Looking back at it, I see that it suffers from one disconcerting problem: my tendency to talk too fast! … making it hard sometimes to decipher the words. That aside, there’s a lot of interesting stuff here.
MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS EVERYWHERE: SOUND AND VIBRATIONS
Jim Metzner is the force behind a wonderful program called Kid’s Science Challenge, centered on an annual contest in which children submit entries for science projects, with a different theme each year. I helped him a few years ago when the challenge was to design a new musical instrument. This video, in which I talk about various sound-making ideas, was part of that year’s program. We got lots of wonderful submissions for the contest, and you can see some of them here.
BANDS AND BARS
A few years ago I built this unwieldy sound assemblage with the unifying principle that all of the sounding elements are bands or bars of steel which are fixed at one end and free to move at the other. Apologies for the haphazard quality of the video and editing: until the day I retrieve this instrument from storage and reassemble it, this is the only documentation of it that we have.