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Thread: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

  1. #26
    totally amateur k0k0peli's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    I created a Bonfire Symphony with piezo transducers (old record-player cartridges), selenium solar cells and kludged oscillators, etc. The amps and speakers were old radios I hacked into. Symphony setup: Insert the piezo carts into cracks in dried driftwood. Artfully stack the wood in a fire pit and wire the carts to amplification. Set the solar cells on stakes around the fire pit; wire them into the oscillators as variable resistors controlling the pitches generated. Now, pour on some firestarter and ignite the blaze. Flickering light makes ominous oscillations. Cracking of burning wood via the piezo transducers provides a rhythm track. When the piezo carts burn, they shriek and go silent. It all simmers down to silent ashes. A metaphor of life, I guess. Pass the moonshine.
    Last edited by k0k0peli; Jul-15-2015 at 1:19pm.
    Mandos: Coleman & Soviet ovals; Kay & Rogue A5's; Harmonia F2 & mandola
    Ukuleles: 3 okay tenors; 3 cheap sopranos; Harmonia concert & baritone
    Banjos: Gretsch banjolin; Varsity banjolele; Orlando 5-string; fretless & fretted Cümbüs o'uds
    Acoustic guitars: Martin Backpacker; Ibanez Performance; Art et Lutherie; Academy dobro; Ovation 12-string
    Others: Maffick & First Act dulcimers; Mexican cuatro-menor; Puerto Rican cuatro; Martin tiple; electrics
    Wanted: charango; balalaika; bowlback mando

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  3. #27
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    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    In the band I play slide on one song only
    Many years ago, I was doing an outdoor gig and had a glass slide in my shirt pocket intended for a middle section on one song. Somehow, in my attempt to grab it, slip it on my left hand pinky, and get back to business in one incredibly deft and economical swoop, it slipped off my finger, flew about twenty feet in front of me, and shattered into forty pieces in the middle of the crowd. I can report that I did get the crowd's attention. But I also took this as a sign and never purchased a replacement slide.
    Bobby Bill

  4. #28

    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    Wish I was there for that one k-peli


    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Wilson View Post
    I traded for this instrument.
    Barry - I've long wanted a zheng. If/when you're done exploring with it - I've got a bunch of CBOM gear I'll trade you for it ..

    I've not done anything off the wall musically - other than choosing as my primary instruments harp, oud and charango. But I love to hear "weird" - I've got a library of over 3K CDs of avant/art music ..

    I would love to experiment with electric sound - but I spend all my time studying trad playing: http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/sh...-project-(NMC)
    Last edited by catmandu2; Jul-15-2015 at 12:26pm.

  5. #29
    Scroll Lock Austin Bob's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    I once performed in a Filipino/American Christmas pageant at the state capitol building.

    I was dressed in a Barong, and sang (or tried to sing) Christmas carols in Tagalog , whilst playing the bandurria part on my mandolin.

    Ten years later, I can still remember the first verse of Pasko Na Naman
    A quarter tone flat and a half a beat behind.

  6. #30
    Registered User Randi Gormley's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    There's a scene in "Caveman" where everybody is sitting around a campfire and suddenly, from banging rocks and stepping on someone's foot, there's music. If someone could find the Youtube video, that would be great -- I'm not adept enough to find it and post. It think it's called "banging on sticks and rocks." that's sort of in the same vein as the musicians in a metal shop post.
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  7. #31
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    Quote Originally Posted by Austin Bob View Post
    Ten years later, I can still remember the first verse of Pasko Na Naman
    Oh my! Pretty scary. I trust your arrangement was a bit more, ah, festive.

    And k0k0peli, thank you for your effort and inventiveness, and also, your descriptive powers. I felt like I was there. I wish you had recorded it, though. That sounds fascinating. A video would go viral.

    Randi, here 'tis. The guy banging two sticks together keeps a steady beat, may have some real talent.

    Last edited by journeybear; Jul-15-2015 at 1:25pm.
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  9. #32
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    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    Using the drum patches on a Midi sound source triggered by a Synth access Electric Mandolin
    is pretty curious a thing to do .
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

  10. #33
    totally amateur k0k0peli's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    Quote Originally Posted by catmandu2 View Post
    Wish I was there for that one k-peli
    You would have been underage. Other details of the performance were sufficiently illegal -- various substances; no permit; etc. (It happened on a beach near Mendocino, California.)

    Quote Originally Posted by journeybear View Post
    And k0k0peli, thank you for your effort and inventiveness, and also, your descriptive powers. I felt like I was there. I wish you had recorded it, though. That sounds fascinating. A video would go viral.
    Super-8 was about the most advanced consumer technology of the time (ca. 1970) and that was beyond my thrift-shop budget. But yeah, it should be re-created and recorded. Not by me. Some adventurous whippersnapper should be able to use my account as a blueprint, right?
    Mandos: Coleman & Soviet ovals; Kay & Rogue A5's; Harmonia F2 & mandola
    Ukuleles: 3 okay tenors; 3 cheap sopranos; Harmonia concert & baritone
    Banjos: Gretsch banjolin; Varsity banjolele; Orlando 5-string; fretless & fretted Cümbüs o'uds
    Acoustic guitars: Martin Backpacker; Ibanez Performance; Art et Lutherie; Academy dobro; Ovation 12-string
    Others: Maffick & First Act dulcimers; Mexican cuatro-menor; Puerto Rican cuatro; Martin tiple; electrics
    Wanted: charango; balalaika; bowlback mando

  11. #34
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    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    I daresay so. You laid it out pretty clearly. I wonder which will work better, solid-state or tubes. Perhaps a mix. And for visual effects, there are things you can put in the fire that change color and such. Just no mandolins. Please!
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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    Registered User Steve Lavelle's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    The nerdiest, and perhaps weirdest thing I ever did musically was to program a mainframe computer (HP 9000 F*(?) ~1974 time shared with 16 different high schools) using machine language to play the melody to a Bicycle Built For Two (a la Hal 9000 from 2001 Space Odyssey). This was in high school, as a demo for Parent Teacher night, using paper tape as the programs storage medium. CRTs were just starting to become a user interface to the time shared mainframe, the system hard disk was a bout 16 inches wide, we didn't even have a card reader , yet. Bits were converted to tones on circuit board driving a speaker made in the electronics class by some other nerds.
    Steve Lavelle
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  14. #36
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    Yes, but ... Did it have a good beat? Could you dance to it? On a scale from 1-100, what would you give it?
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

    Furthering Mandolin Consciousness

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    totally amateur k0k0peli's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    Quote Originally Posted by journeybear View Post
    I daresay so. You laid it out pretty clearly. I wonder which will work better, solid-state or tubes. Perhaps a mix.
    My setup was all solid-state although I also built ultra-distorting high-voltage amps using neon glow tubes. But an adroit tinkerer might build tube-based oscillators that would be modulated to drive solar cells controlling yet other oscillators. One might also incorporate small motors -- but that violates the purity of the concept.

    CORRECTION: The variable resistance solar cells were cadmium, not selenium, IIRC.

    And for visual effects, there are things you can put in the fire that change color and such. Just no mandolins. Please!
    Q: Why is a bouzouki better than a mandolin?
    A: It burns longer.

    Meanwhile, I recall my 'Nam-era Army days, in a field artillery battalion, a certain BS session where one gun-bunny suggested playing shave-and-a-haircut with a battery of 155mm self-propelled howitzers. (Those look like tanks but with bigger guns firing 6-inch-diameter shells.) That would require close coordination between the gun crews. It would be trivial with modern computer-controlled artillery, but it would have been a nifty trick then. Alas, DivArty didn't go for it. Spoilsports...
    Mandos: Coleman & Soviet ovals; Kay & Rogue A5's; Harmonia F2 & mandola
    Ukuleles: 3 okay tenors; 3 cheap sopranos; Harmonia concert & baritone
    Banjos: Gretsch banjolin; Varsity banjolele; Orlando 5-string; fretless & fretted Cümbüs o'uds
    Acoustic guitars: Martin Backpacker; Ibanez Performance; Art et Lutherie; Academy dobro; Ovation 12-string
    Others: Maffick & First Act dulcimers; Mexican cuatro-menor; Puerto Rican cuatro; Martin tiple; electrics
    Wanted: charango; balalaika; bowlback mando

  16. #38
    Registered User Kevin Stueve's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    Quote Originally Posted by k0k0peli View Post
    My setup was all solid-state although I also built ultra-distorting high-voltage amps using neon glow tubes. But an adroit tinkerer might build tube-based oscillators that would be modulated to drive solar cells controlling yet other oscillators. One might also incorporate small motors -- but that violates the purity of the concept.

    CORRECTION: The variable resistance solar cells were cadmium, not selenium, IIRC.


    Q: Why is a bouzouki better than a mandolin?
    A: It burns longer.

    Meanwhile, I recall my 'Nam-era Army days, in a field artillery battalion, a certain BS session where one gun-bunny suggested playing shave-and-a-haircut with a battery of 155mm self-propelled howitzers. (Those look like tanks but with bigger guns firing 6-inch-diameter shells.) That would require close coordination between the gun crews. It would be trivial with modern computer-controlled artillery, but it would have been a nifty trick then. Alas, DivArty didn't go for it. Spoilsports...
    The Pride of Wildcat Land the KSU Marching Band regularly plays the 1812 overture with percussion assistance provided by howitzers from Ft Riley.

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    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    Quote Originally Posted by kstueve View Post
    The Pride of Wildcat Land the KSU Marching Band regularly plays the 1812 overture with percussion assistance provided by howitzers from Ft Riley.
    That's new! (For me, anyway.) I hope it's my old unit, 1/5 FA of the Alexander Hamilton Brigade, doing the honors. Our motto: Field Artillery means never having to say, I missed. I do recall someone miscalculating and sending a couple shells into a KSU dorm parking lot. Oops.
    Mandos: Coleman & Soviet ovals; Kay & Rogue A5's; Harmonia F2 & mandola
    Ukuleles: 3 okay tenors; 3 cheap sopranos; Harmonia concert & baritone
    Banjos: Gretsch banjolin; Varsity banjolele; Orlando 5-string; fretless & fretted Cümbüs o'uds
    Acoustic guitars: Martin Backpacker; Ibanez Performance; Art et Lutherie; Academy dobro; Ovation 12-string
    Others: Maffick & First Act dulcimers; Mexican cuatro-menor; Puerto Rican cuatro; Martin tiple; electrics
    Wanted: charango; balalaika; bowlback mando

  18. #40
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    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    I designed and built a nyckelharpa from scratch back in 1978-81 using only a small photograph as a guide.

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    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    Although we didn't think of it as a musical project around 1981 a friend and I programmed a BBC micro computer as a radio telescope receiver fed from a chicken wire antenna V frame, with the output to a screen so we could watch the sky above on a monitor. Then we decided to take that analogue scan to control some variable oscillators. It was UHF so we down converted it and then could listen to a slow-scan of the screen which was very SciFi sounding whooshes and swooshes with the silent gaps being the stars. We could alter the scan rate and the frequency response to get weird effects.
    Eoin



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    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    Does tuning a mandolin in DDAD tuning count?
    Indulge responsibly!

    The entire staff
    funny....

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  23. #43
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    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    I used to have a long boring car commute to work so I got a 2 - octave chromatic harmonica and learned Stars and Stripes Forever in its entirety (didn't go so far as to buy a second harmonica for the key change - I just stayed in the same key)

    Girouard A-style
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  24. #44
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    It's like being cool or hip - If you have to ask, you'll never know. Besides, it's not all that weird, IMO. Try harder!
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    OK, here's my weirdest musical thing. This goes back a ways, but I used music to teach the concepts of genetic mutation to undergraduate students.

    I brought an electronic keyboard into class and played a simple tune everyone would know. Any common tune will work but waltzes work best. I would then alter the tune in a way that demonstrated each of the following types of genetic mutations: base substitution-transition; base substitution-transversion; frameshift mutation-deletion; frameshift mutation-addition; codon deletion; trinucleotide repeat. The use of music in this way increased student interest in the forms of mutation, thus they payed more attention when I demonstrated the changes using genetic code on the board.

    I also demonstrated actual examples of mutations musically after writing them on the board by assigning the nucleotides musical tones and playing genetic code portions of wild-type genes and their common mutations such as sickle cell anemia or cystic fibrosis.

    It was fun for the students and for me, and provided an alternate way of demonstrating genetic code even if it was not particularly 'musical.'

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  27. #46
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    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    Buddy of mine plays the piccolo part to "Stars and Stripes" on the mandolin, quite well actually! Fun as all get out to hear when you least expect it.
    Timothy F. Lewis
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

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    Registered User msargent's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    I regularly use my telecaster as a tunable reverb unit using a bone conduction transducer system of my own design. Sounds great with cello.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  30. #48

    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    Excellent msarge- inventive, effective, cool; tele is a helluva tool.

    I just thought of one thing I do that's just plain weird: entertain with banjos and accordians.

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  32. #49

    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    I showed up at a traditional jam with an Otamatone. For some reason, I wasn't asked to come back.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PxLB70G-tRY

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  34. #50
    MandolaViola bratsche's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the weirdest MUSICAL thing you've ever done?

    I was once hired, along with a bunch of other musicians, not to play, but to mime playing along with a soundtrack. It was some commercial product rollout/presentation, they wanted us to "look authentic", and the soundtrack was as tacky as you can imagine, played at earsplitting volume. That was certainly up there in my "weird" list. Hopefully never to be repeated...

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