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 on a larger scale. There are two upright stands. On one, 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. On the other upright stand, there are long vertical strings, also provided with special wire pieces that can slowly dance their way down. There are pickups on both stands, positioned to pick up the sounds of the jiggle and hammer and spin actions as filtered through the rods. A separate table holds a mixer and a pair of small equalizers for controlling and coloring the sounds.
In the audio clip, several different washers and bent-wire pieces can be heard descending the rods.