VIDEOS

In addition to the videos appearing below, I’ve set up a youtube playlist featuring short demonstrations of instruments from the instrumentarium.  You can find it here.

‘Moe Family

Three instruments from the ‘Moe family are featured in this video. ‘Moes have a uniquely flexible pitch-control system which allows either glissing or playing discrete pitches.

Speaker Driver Instrument

Sounds from a deconstructed loudspeaker.

Musical Siren

… Designed and built by Aaron Soloway and Bart Hopkin.  Musical sirens operate on a principle similar to that of an old fashioned warning siren, but they are much quieter and can play melodies.

Schmeary Glissary

A glissy musical instrument. 

GUITAR-LIKE THINGS

This video presents several guitar-like instruments made by Bart Hopkin.

…U… Explained

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. 

AQUAALT

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.

SMOKED PAPRIKA EXPLAINED

Smoked Paprika is a musical instrument in which strings and bent metal bars interact through shared resonances. This video explains the workings.

WHAT-A-SHAME

What-a-Shame is a set-up for two steel rods of variable length in interaction.  

PLAY HEAR

Play Hear was a big interactive sound installation set up for several days on Market Street in San Francisco in the fall of 2016.In subsequent years it has appeared for public enjoyment in several other locations. . 

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. 

BICYCLE WALTZ

Cory Sheldon of Cory Sheldon Creative created this animation based on drawings by Bart Hopkin and set to music played on Bart’s invented instruments. Featured instruments include Dinosaur, NorhtSound/East-West Chimes, Cubist Bass, Waterfall and more.

 
 
 

GRAYBOY AND THE ODDBIRD

Animation,drawings and music by Bart Hopkin. The instruments in this one are more conventional, prominently featuring a little electric guitar and an acoustic bass that Bart built, with the addition of a pianica made by Yamaha.  

 
 
 

FLANGO

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. 

 
 
 

FISH IN THE SKY

Cory Sheldon of Cory Sheldon Creative created this animation based on drawings by Bart Hopkin and set to music played on Bart’s invented instruments. 

 
 
 

DARKLING PORTRAITS

This clip is an amalgamation of animated silliness with audio featuring two of Bart’s instruments: Sorry-Ass Organ and Piezo Tongues.

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.

 
 
 

PASSERSBY

Animation, drawings, music and musical instruments by Bart Hopkin. The most prominent instrument, which was double tracked for this recording, is HHK Strings

 
 
 

SLANTED MAN

Animation by Bart Hopkin set to music played on Bart’s invented instruments. The instruments heard in this one include Dansal 3, Tines & Eachoes, ‘Moe Flute, Spomo-lo, and Bowed T-Rods..

 
 
 

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.

 

HOW TO BUILD A DRIFTWOOD XYLOPHONE

Late afternoon at Drake’s Beach on Point Reyes. Joyce Kauffman joins me here, along with videographers David LaFontaine and Janine Warner, to show how to make a xylophone of driftwood.

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.

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